Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

SHABBAT HAGADOL 3/29/2020 05:46 PM

This Shabbat which immediately precedes Pesach is crowned with the title of Shabbat Hagadol – the Great Shabbat. Since every Shabbat is also crowned with greatness then why does this pre-Pesach Shabbat merit a special appellation? There is one basic principle that underlies all the many explanations. And that is that basically, without Shabbat there really can never be a truly meaningful...

A Long Journey 3/22/2020 12:26 PM

I traveled to America last week in order to spend the holiday of Pesach with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Because of the troubles associated with the Coronavirus, it was very difficult to obtain a plane reservation. However, a number of resourceful people in Israel arranged a charter flight through El Al on behalf of yeshiva students and young women in Israeli seminaries....

Going to a Concert 3/15/2020 12:00 AM

Several weeks ago, in spite of all of the dire warnings regarding the corona virus, I attended a concert of great cantors here in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful concert and all the performers were in excellent voice. They were accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and by a choir of many dozens of fine tenor, baritone, and bass voices. I don't often go to concerts - in fact, this is the...

MY LOST WALLET 3/8/2020 06:47 AM

When I recently returned from my trip to the United States to attend the wedding of my grandson, I arrived back here in Jerusalem in the early evening. As can well be imagined, I was very tired, so I didn't immediately unpack everything. Instead, I went to bed about an hour after I arrived. I had placed my wallet into my carry-on bag, and I gave it no further notice until the next morning, when...

Airports 3/1/2020 11:45 AM

Over the past few months, I have traveled several times from Israel to the United States in order to attend happy occasions in my family. Because my children live in various areas of the United States, I always ask to transfer from the New York airports to fly to Chicago or Phoenix or Houston or St. Louis in order to fulfill my familial obligations. I am very averse to having close connections...

PACKING A SUITCASE 2/23/2020 01:09 PM

I have had the good fortune this winter of attending a number of weddings of grandchildren in the United States. This naturally entailes traveling far distances, an experience, at my age, that no longer has the aura of glamour attached to it. Even with wheelchair and so-called VIP service present at all airports today, this is still a daunting challenge to elderly travelers, but, thank God, I...

MIRACLE FOOD 2/16/2020 06:00 AM

One of the great fantasies of human beings is the search for a miracle food that will heal our ills, prolong our lives and prevent us from gaining weight, no matter how much of it we consume. In addition, we want this food to be appetizing in appearance and taste. Presently there is no food known to mankind that fits this description, and there hasn’t been since our ancestors were expelled from...

Legends and Folklore 2/10/2020 12:24 PM

I have several calendars in my home. One is naturally a Jewish calendar for the year 5780, which details all the holidays and fast days of the Jewish year. I also have an Israeli calendar, which, in addition to listing all the Jewish holidays, also has Israel Independence Day, Jerusalem Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day, amongst others. But for good old times sake, I also have an American...

THE CONVENIENT SCAPEGOAT 2/2/2020 12:31 PM

Recently I was in a taxi as I had to go to a town approximately 45 minutes from Jerusalem. I am not by nature a very gregarious person or a constant conversationalist. I usually am a silent passenger when in a taxi, especially since the driver is a stranger to me, though I am very appreciative of his efforts and skills. As it happened, this taxi driver was determined to discuss with me all his...

NATIONAL DENIAL 1/26/2020 11:48 AM

One of the unique and exceptional facets of Jewish history and even of the biblical narrative regarding the story of the Jewish people is the fact that there is no attempt to whitewash or ignore where there are failings, serious mistakes, wrong policies or incorrect social behavior. The Torah, which is the template for all narratives in Jewish life, has, as its motto the seal of truth – truth...