Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

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...

EMAILS NOT READ 12/9/2018 09:12 AM

Like most of us today I receive a great deal of email from people and companies whom I do not know and have no connection to. Most of the emails that I receive fall into the category of spam and are rapidly deleted. However, I am a creature of habit and I look at my email inbox regularly, sometimes more than once a day. I am always hopeful that there will be an email of importance, intelligence...

Being Aware of Hellenism Today 12/2/2018 09:00 AM

The holiday of Hanukah marks the struggle between the Hellenistic view of the world and of life and that of traditional Judaism and the values that it represented and continues to represent. The Hellenistic world was a superstitious world. It was a world where human beings were represented as gods, and a world of paganism, where idols, icons and statues were all glorified and worshiped,...

LESS DIFFERENCES, MORE UNITY, A STRONG ORTHODOXY 11/25/2018 06:37 AM

During my recent trip to the United States I had the honor of addressing the student bodies of different Orthodox educational institutions. These institutions were of diverse streams of Orthodoxy. Some refer to themselves as modern Orthodox, while others claim to be more authentic, so to speak, and less open to the culture and ideals of the modern world. At the various venues, some of the...

The Palestinians’ Worst Enemy 11/18/2018 06:00 AM

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a fact that is well-known but usually ignored by the media, and in fact, by governments throughout the world. A study by an NGO that is usually notoriously anti-Israel in its conclusions regarding human rights and has in the past called Israel an apartheid state, recently concluded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the West...

Elections 11/11/2018 09:19 AM

Both in the United States and Israel elections have become the main topic of conversation and interest. In the United States, it is the midterm congressional elections that have dominated the public conversation. Needless to say, the conversation has been vitriolic and bitter and the continuing lack of civility in American political life remains troubling to many, though it is hardly unexpected....

FAME 11/4/2018 06:00 AM

As the saying goes, fame is fleeting. However, most humans enjoy it when it exists. The problem with fame is that it is very temporary, fickle and has a very short shelf life. However, while it lasts it is intoxicating and delectable. The famous anecdote about the politician who learns that an investigative article regarding his nefarious behavior was about to be published in the local newspaper,...

IGNORING REALITIES 10/28/2018 12:34 PM

The Jewish people are by their very nature an optimistic and hopeful people. We believe that things will get better and that we, in the world at large, really can and will have a rosier future no matter how dismal and discouraging current affairs may be. I have always regarded myself as an optimist and since, in my lifetime, I have seen many great miracles and accomplishments, I have always felt...

A BABY IN THE HOUSE 10/14/2018 12:23 PM

Over the recent holiday of Succot, my great grandson Zev came to Israel and stayed with me in my home for almost two weeks. Since he is only six months old he naturally brought his parents with him, also very dear to me but certainly not as cute as Zev. It has been many years since I had such a young baby reside with me for that length of time. I had forgotten the wonders that accompany a baby...

HALF BIRTHDAYS 10/7/2018 11:52 AM

I have long noted that when one speaks to small children and asks them their age they will often answer in terms of half birthdays. They will say that they are four and a half or five and a half years old. This is because when we are very young we are anxious to become older and to possess the enticing fruit of privileges granted to children as they advance in years. This idea of half birthdays...