Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

JERUSALEM AND CHANUKA 12/11/2017 11:31 AM

The decision by Pres. Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel has been received in dismay and anger by portions of the Arab and Moslem world. This is pretty much what could have been expected since portions of that society have never given up on the idea of the destruction of the Jewish state. However, what is more troubling and disappointing, to me at least, is the...

THE UN AND ISRAEL 12/4/2017 09:47 AM

The state of Israel and the United Nations have a long and tortured history in dealing one with the other. Some seventy years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution that became the basis in international terms for the creation of Israel. The United Nations thereby became the godfather of the Jewish state. It was an unlikely combination of diplomacy and...

TELLING THE TRUTH 11/27/2017 01:56 PM

Often times, if not even always, telling the truth is a painful experience both for the teller and for the listener. Our entire life is wrapped up in avoiding painful truths. And even if we are aware of them, not communicating them to others because that will make us very unpopular is also stressful. The rabbis of the Talmud called this world “a world of falsehood.” This is so ingrained...

BALANCE 11/20/2017 11:29 AM

As I thankfully and somewhat less then gracefully age, my sense of physical balance has weakened, gradually but inexorably. When one has imperfect physical balance one is markedly more prone to fall, and all falls carry unknown consequences with them. There are physical supports such as canes and walkers that are recommended for use and in many cases they are truly mandatory for safe living....

ONE-HUNDRED YEARS OF COMMUNIST RULE 11/12/2017 12:33 PM

1917 was a year of momentous events for the world and for the Jewish people. It was the year when the Balfour Declaration was issued by Great Britain and the year of America’s entry into World War I. It was also the year that the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and created the first Communist government and society in the world. Communism was messianic vision incarnate. It was the...

A CENTURY OF BALFOUR 11/6/2017 09:56 AM

In November 1917, amidst the then stalemate and endless carnage of the Great War –World War I – the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour sent a letter to Lord Rothschild in London offering official governmental support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. This letter has become enshrined in Jewish history as the Balfour Declaration. This was he first...

THE VANISHING AMERICAN TRADITIONAL JEW 10/30/2017 12:00 PM

The Jewish community in the United States has changed dramatically over the last sixty years. A trip down nostalgia lane will reveal that the backbone of the Jewish community in the United States then was the traditional Jew. That Jew did not attend synagogue services often but was somehow vaguely familiar with the prayer service itself. He or she was not strictly observant of the laws of...

DIFFERENCES 10/22/2017 01:53 PM

The human race is notable for its similarities and differences. All human beings are alike basically but each and every one of us is different. This is a fact of human life yet in spite, the nature of human beings is to focus and concentrate on the differences between us and to ignore the basic similarities. Recently, I was sitting in the waiting area of a busy airport watching the world...

AFTER THE HOLIDAYS 10/16/2017 10:14 AM

The concluding week of Tishrei always carries with it a note of anti-climax, if not even sadness. The great holidays of the year have departed with their soaring beauty and meaningful moments of personal reflection. Flooded with memories of the past we were transported to a different existence, physically and emotionally. Time was slower, family dearer and our spiritual bond with our...

SUCCOT 10/2/2017 09:50 AM

All of us sense a feeling of spiritual deflation immediately after the exalted atmosphere of Yom Kippur. To have to plunge immediately and directly into the icy waters of everyday life is much too challenging a task. We have just been given an entire day to nurture our souls and to exist as angels without the necessity of fulfilling the requirements of our bodies. So the Lord, so to speak,...