Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

AVOT 5/13/2018 09:57 AM

Both the Mishnah and Talmud are unique in their style of composition for in effect it allows the students thousands of years later to feel as though they have entered into that ancient study hall to hear the discussion of the scholars of Israel. Though most of the text of the Mishnah covers matters of law, ritual, commandments and observances, the tractate called Avot deals almost exclusively...

DAYS IN MAY 5/6/2018 10:49 AM

There are times in life that one is able to see the beginning and end of an idea or movement in its entirety. When I was a child I remember vividly that the first day of May was called May Day and was the day of celebration of the proletariat Left. Fiery speeches, and loud bands, tens of thousands of marchers waving red flags all dominated the media and street of the day. The mood of the day...

PESACH SHENI 4/29/2018 12:53 PM

The idea that is embedded in the commemoration of Pesach Sheni is truly a unique and exceptional one. The Torah generally provides no opportunities for do overs. One cannot fulfill the commandment of shofar or of lulav at any other time except those set aside for those commandments in the month of Tishrei. Yet here, regarding the Pesach offering complete with the commandments of matzoh and maror,...

HERE AND THERE 4/25/2018 12:38 PM

A very dear friend of mine travels extensively several times a year between his family in Europe and his permanent home in Israel. He often tells me that when he is there he wishes to be here and when he was here he often wishes to be there. I am somewhat in the same situation, so I readily can identify with that sort of emotion. But I check myself by the realization that this is a true...

EVER YOUNG 4/9/2018 12:40 PM

One of the great impossibilities of the human condition is to be blessed with old age and many years and yet somehow to remain an essentially young and energetic person in mind, body and spirit. This is not only true in the case of individual people, but it applies to even nations and empires. Age takes its toll in a universal and indiscriminate fashion. Just look at Europe today. It is old...

SEEING THE BIG PICTURE 4/9/2018 12:39 PM

Due to the progressive weakening of my eyesight I have been forced to search for and acquire all types of aids to help me in my reading and studying. A few months ago, I was able to purchase an excellent device that is manufactured in Holland that enables me to read and study with comparative ease even though I cannot see or read the text with my naked eye. This machine is essentially a...

PESACH 3/18/2018 12:15 PM

One of the more amazing things about the holiday of Pesach is that even though it is over 3300 years old it is relevant and current to our world today just as it was when it was originally celebrated by the Jewish people in Egypt long ago. It naturally speaks to every generation in a different tone and nuance, but its basic message of human freedom and Godly service has never changed. Its...

IT’S THE ZHIDS 3/12/2018 11:28 AM

One of the more uncanny peculiarities in human history has been that whenever a sinister unexplained event in the world occurs, the Jews are immediately sought out as the scapegoats and the cause of the event. Unfortunately there is a very long and bitter history to this phenomenon. It is so deeply ingrained in parts of the non-Jewish world that even in our time, despite a long history and in the...

COSTUMES 3/5/2018 08:51 AM

Since all of us are still in a somewhat post-–Purim frame of mind, I am taking the liberty of commenting on costumes, past and present that mark the holiday. I received many pictures of my blessed great-grandchildren, all of them dressed in costume. Some were airline pilots and flight attendants while others were mail carriers and even letters. There were a number of Queen Esthers, police...

PURIM 2/26/2018 10:58 AM

The book of Esther promised us that the days of Purim would not pass from the Jewish people for all of its generations. The rabbis of the Talmud even stated that all of the holidays of the Jewish year would not necessarily be celebrated in the messianic era but that the holiday of Purim would remain eternally. At first glance, this seems to be a very strange observation. Purim ostensibly...