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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

Shavuos – The Book of Ruth 5/17/2020 08:27 AM

Every biblical narrative has at its heart a main character, a hero or heroine. Even though the book and the scroll of Ruth is named for her, the true main character and heroine of the story is Naomi. This is confirmed in the book itself when the prophet Samuel, the author of the book, relates that when Ruth gave birth to Oved, the women of Bethlehem declared; “A male child has been born to...

Long Lost Relatives 5/10/2020 11:33 AM

Because of the increased use of Zoom over the past months, people have been listening to my lectures who otherwise would have been deprived of that great benefit since they do not live in the Rechavia section of Jerusalem. Because of this, as well, I have discovered relatives that I never knew existed and with whom I have had no connection. The discovery of long-lost relatives always comes...

These are the times… 5/3/2020 03:55 PM

At the low point of American fortunes in the Revolutionary War against England, the American army wintered at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It was one of the most bitter winters in recorded history, not only weather-wise, but in all other respects for the ragged army of George Washington. He was down to about 3,000 troops. The British had 10,000 troops in New Jersey plus 6,000 mercenaries,...

Rabbi Yaakov Perlow zt”l 4/26/2020 12:00 AM

A wonderful person whom I knew for the past half century, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, passed away recently from the plague of the Coronavirus. He was better known as the Novominsker Rebbe. He was a person of many talents and of wide perspective. In our Jewish world today, such a person is becoming exceedingly rare. There are not many people like him who were able to bridge different groups and who...

Boredom 4/19/2020 03:03 PM

One of the effects of being cooped up in one's home for weeks on end, which is the situation for many if not most of us over the past month, is the fact that sooner or later it becomes very boring. Boring is a curse for rabbis, teachers, lecturers, and unfortunately for students as well. There is no comment more devastating to someone who has made a presentation, to say to that person, "I was...

Jews and Judaism 4/13/2020 06:34 PM

I have often quipped that one should never confuse Jews with Judaism. Jews are human beings, subject to all human failings, foibles, and various patterns of behavior and thinking that do not always coincide with the values and the true ideas of Judaism. Nevertheless, over the centuries, in the main, Jews and Judaism were attuned and aspired to the same beneficial conditions for society and for...

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...