Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL 9/15/2019 12:54 PM

Historians over the past few centuries have been heavily influenced by a Marxist view of the world and of human events. In this understanding of the past, present and future, great external forces such as the competition of the classes, stages of economic development and powerful historical and sociological forces somehow determine human behavior and explain human history as well as current...

PASSAGE OF TIME 9/8/2019 12:28 PM

It is common to mark our lives by measuring the passage of time. This is completely natural since we are mortal, and time has become the most precious of all worldly commodities. As we stand at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year, we certainly think of ourselves in terms of time – past, present and future. Yet, we realize that we do not really control our time but rather...

LOOKING FOR OURSELVES 9/1/2019 12:13 PM

There is a natural curiosity within each of us as to our origins and ancestry. There are even many organizations, professional, educational and commercial enterprises as well that are solely devoted to ancestral and genealogical searches. Building family trees is a very popular avocation in our world. All of this is very true in general society, but it is also a frequent occurrence in Jewish...

A PARKING SPACE 8/26/2019 09:48 AM

Some people asked me – well, not too many people, in fact only a very few – how do I come up with topics to write about every week. And looking back at the situation, I must admit that I have been doing so for decades. So, it is reasonable to think that there really is nothing new that I could write about. But human society and individuals are so fascinating that there always is something...

PICTURES 8/18/2019 11:09 AM

I am certain that all of you are aware that because of the ubiquitous camera, which is built into our mobile phones, many people now take a picture of anything and everything even if it does not really concern them or impact their lives. We live in a generation where everyone lives in the present and everything must be immediately recorded and disseminated as widely as possible. Because of this,...

GENERATIONAL CONVERSATION 8/11/2019 11:55 AM

We are all aware that we will never again be as smart, perceptive, clever and knowledgeable as we were when we were 16 years old. There is no question that from that point of life onwards the trajectory is always downhill. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be said for age and experience and for the tempering of our views and opinions by the realities of life. One of the omnipresent...

THE NINTH OF AV 8/5/2019 11:12 AM

This coming Sunday will mark the anniversary of the day of destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans 1,949 years ago. 1,949 years is a very long time, even in terms of the span of human history. Great empires have risen to dominate the world over this period but without exception they have all crumbled and disappeared into the dustbin of history. Religions and beliefs arose and...

SECULAR TYRANNY 7/29/2019 11:27 AM

The rabbis of the Talmud were perceptive and insightful judges of the human character and its failings and foibles. One insightful comment is that when one wishes to discredit someone else, one usually does so by accusing the other of the failing of which the accuser is guilty. In our present society which, in many parts of the world and especially in Europe, and only somewhat less so here in...

A CHILDLESS SOCIETY 7/24/2019 10:10 AM

One of the many consequences, perhaps an unintended one of the current progressive, leftist, socialist societies that comprise Europe and other places on the globe, and is visibly present in American society as well, is that of the disappearance of the importance of having children. Europe generally is suffering from a decline in its indigenous population and of its growth in terms of...

PLURALISM AND HISTORY 7/14/2019 06:36 AM

Throughout Jewish history every era or number of generations has had its own buzzword that encapsulates within it the apparently new idea that was to replace the tradition of Torah study and observance as the core of Jewish life. In our generation the great buzzword that afflicts us is pluralism. Even though the word is hard to define, the idea that it represents is clear and dangerous. It...