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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

PESACH 4/14/2019 11:10 AM

At the great seder night of Pesach when we read and discuss the immortal words of the Pesach Hagada, my family has always enthusiastically sung the portion of the Hagada that we know as “Dayenu.” By the grace of God, I have been able to witness a number of my generations singing this meaningful poem of praise to the Almighty for the bountiful goodness that he has bestowed upon us. Since...

SHABBAT HAGADOL 4/7/2019 11:05 AM

The Shabbat that precedes the holiday of Passover has been named by Jewish tradition as Shabbat Hagadol – the great Shabbat. Over the ages there have been numerous explanations and comments as to why this Shabbat is set apart from all others. The view that is recorded in rabbinic literature is that this Shabbat marks the anniversary of the Jewish people’s preparation of the sacrificial lamb...

THE PASSING SCENE 3/31/2019 10:49 AM

I have very wonderful friends who are kind enough to pick me up in their automobiles and drive me to the synagogue during the week. They are very punctual and the time that is set for pick up is almost always exactly observed. Because of this, I go down to the corner of my street and wait there at least 10 minutes before the appointed time because I enjoy the scene which is never the same and...

ELECTIONS 3/24/2019 10:57 AM

As the election campaign here in Israel finally reaches its conclusion, much debris is scattered in its wake. Individuals have been maligned, their lives and livelihood threatened, and in some cases, even their reputations ruined irreparably. Such is the nature today of elections in our so-called advanced Western society. The United States is still suffering from the fallout of the 2016...

PURIM ALWAYS 3/17/2019 12:02 PM

The book of Esther teaches us that “these days of Purim will never depart from the Jewish people and their generations." The part of the message that is being communicated to us here is that the struggle for Jewish survival – physical and otherwise – that is represented by the holiday of Purim, is a never-ending challenge that will not depart from our midst as long as the Jewish people...

OUR MIRACLE MINYAN 3/10/2019 11:31 AM

It is now close to ten months since our congregation initiated a second morning prayer service to begin at 7:45 AM. The main morning prayer service was and is at 6:45 AM. This early time proved very inconvenient to me and to a few others and hence the synagogue graciously allowed for a second morning prayer service later in the morning to accommodate us. Over the time that this second prayer...

WEIGHTY MATTERS 3/3/2019 10:17 AM

Some time ago I was standing in a long line before the check-in counter at an airport in the United States. There was quite a delay in reaching that counter because a young woman was having a great difficulty because her suitcase was overweight. The airlines are very strict in enforcing weight limits on luggage, especially because charging for luggage and overcharging for overweight luggage has...

MORNING NOISES 2/24/2019 06:30 AM

For six days a week here in my neighborhood in Jerusalem it is impossible for one to reasonably expect to sleep late in the morning. I usually rise at about 6 AM and I am awakened by all sorts of sounds from the outside world that drift into my bedroom. First, the birds start chirping away loudly and persistently well before the actual sunrise. In my neighborhood there are several woodpeckers...

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 2/17/2019 06:51 AM

I have often been perplexed by the statement of the rabbis in Avot that says: “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, “ as there is another statement of the rabbis of the Talmud that if one begins to do a good deed, one should persevere to complete it. So, what should our attitude towards unfinished business be? And should a project or endeavor be started when it may be clear...

DOUBLE ADAR 2/10/2019 06:37 AM

The month of Adar is designated in Jewish life as the month of joy and celebration – and with this being a Leap Year, we have a double dose of those special feelings. In every nineteen-year lunar-solar calendar cycle, there are seven years in which an extra lunar month is inserted into the Jewish calendar. This extra leap month is always the month of Adar. And with the wondrous holiday of...