Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

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...

THE LOST ESSAY 2/4/2019 12:35 PM

I usually invest time thinking about these weekly essays that I write before actually writing them. It is not always easy to come up with a subject that really interests me and if it does not interest me, I do not expect that it will interest any of my readers. Just a few days ago when I was preparing to go to sleep for the night a brilliant idea struck me as to an essay that I thought would...

THE PESSIMISTS AMONGST US 1/27/2019 11:38 AM

Purely on an anecdotal basis, I believe that the diehard secular leftists amongst us are pessimistic people. In a recent article written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris and published in the Haaretz newspaper – where else but there could this be published – he posited that the Jewish state here in the land of Israel is doomed to disappear within the next half century. He based this...

THE CURSE OF HABITUAL POVERTY 1/20/2019 12:15 AM

A recent report broadcast on Israeli radio detailed the fact that approximately 50% of all of those who declared bankruptcy and were eventually freed from the clutches of the creditors to whom they owed money, within a few years found themselves once again heavily in debt and living a life of moderate to abject poverty. The sociologists and economists who prepared this report had many...

TEXTING 1/13/2019 07:48 AM

I must preface this piece of writing by stating that I am a technological dinosaur. I hardly ever use my cell phone except in emergencies and when I am visiting outside of Israel. I do not have a smart phone or even a kosher phone. I just have an old-fashioned cell phone that only makes and receives calls. Additionally, I admit that I never text; I do not know how it is done. And, in any event,...

ELECTIONS 1/6/2019 10:26 AM

The national sport here in Israel is politics. Everyone engages in it and it is played at all levels of society, in the workplace, the family, in the synagogue and especially in local and national government. Elections are held frequently and are conducted in a vigorous and contentious manner, with no holds barred. No Israeli government coalition has ever served its entire mandated time and we...

VICTIMHOOD 1/1/2019 06:00 AM

One of the most treasured psychological disorders that people love to retain for themselves is that of victimhood. Feeling that one is a victim, whether one really is or isn't, gives a person a sense of comfort. It no longer is the fault of the person no matter what that person does and no matter what the results of a person's actions are. It is simply the fact that everyone is against him,...

ELAL 12/23/2018 06:59 AM

Over the past few months I have had the occasion to travel between Israel and the United States a number of times. I do so on my favorite airline, El Al Israel. I enjoy being on El Al because, as their motto states, it makes you feel at home more than any other airline in the world. On El Al everyone is eating kosher, its planes don't fly on the Sabbath and the passengers can get up and pray...

THE PAST AND THE FUTURE 12/16/2018 11:32 AM

Judaism preaches a forward-looking outlook on life and a positive take on the human situation. It also encourages, in fact commands, that even though one is to concentrate on the future, one is never to forget the past. For what happened in the past to a great degree shapes our future and influences it greatly. Much of our current society is solely enmeshed in the present and has little...