Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

Yom Kippur 9/21/2020 12:12 AM

Yom Kippur is the quintessential and unique Jewish holy day of the year. All the other holidays that our God has given to us as a faith and as a people have their parallels in non-Jewish society. All societies have days of national independence, harvest festivals of Thanksgiving, celebrations of victories and historic moments of salvation and national preservation. Naturally, our holy days of...

ROSH HASHANA 5781 9/6/2020 01:07 PM

I believe that all of us can agree that this year the awesome days of Rosh Hashana will be different than in past years. Many of us may not even be allowed to attend the synagogue for public worship. Others will pray and assemble in open, outside areas. There is a rhythm to our holidays that this coronavirus has interrupted. Nevertheless, Rosh Hashana will take place and Jews worldwide will...

RETURN AND REPENTANCE 8/30/2020 12:28 PM

We find ourselves towards the end of the month of Elul, standing before the great days of judgment, forgiveness, and renewed commitment. A few weeks ago, I happened to visit my physician on a relatively minor matter. As he handed me a prescription for a lotion that I should apply and a pill that I should take, he inquired as to whether I had ever been vaccinated for pneumonia. When I told him...

ALL ZOOMED OUT 8/23/2020 10:06 AM

Like many other rabbis and teachers, I have been delivering lectures and teaching Torah to a mostly unseen audience via the technological wonder called Zoom. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandatory governmental ordered lockdowns and assorted prohibitions regarding gathering in public places, especially synagogues, I have had little choice in the matter. I believe that I have...

SPIRITUAL FALLOUT 8/16/2020 10:49 AM

The current Corona epidemic has created many types of victims in its wake. Tragically, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have died from the effects of the virus, out of the millions of others, really tens if not hundreds of millions of others, who contracted the disease. Thank God, over 90% of those who were sick have recovered and even though there is some anecdotal...

COMMON SENSE 8/9/2020 12:32 AM

One of the problems of the concept of common sense is that it is really an oxymoron. Sense is anything but common in human affairs and amongst human beings. King Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, devotes much of its contents explaining that fools in this world far outnumber those that are wise and sensible. There are many things in life that should be self-evident to anyone that bothers to...

JEWISH PRIVILEGE 8/2/2020 10:12 AM

Anti-Semitism is an old and pernicious disease, for which much of mankind has never found an adequate antidote or cure. It reappears in every generation, and almost in every clime and country. However, like many other deadly viruses, it constantly mutates, assuming different ideologies, slogans, and activities in each different instance. But its goal is always the same – to demonize the Jewish...

DEMONSTRATIONS 7/27/2020 10:03 AM

Over the past few weeks, the neighborhood that I live in here in Jerusalem, Rechavia, has been subjected to almost nightly demonstrations. The demonstrators gather across from the house of the Prime Minister of Israel, and proceed to make a lot of noise, beat drums, block traffic, and generally make one aware of their presence. However, I am not really clear as to what they are demonstrating for....

WRITER’S BLOCK 7/19/2020 12:37 AM

Human beings who regularly put pen to paper or, in the case of modern society, finger to keyboard or voice to dictating computer programs, are faced with the often-recurring problem of writer’s block. In my experience, writer’s block occurs in two different formats, both of which are equally annoying, frustrating, and challenging. One form of writer's block is that the writer simply has no...

ROYALTY 7/12/2020 12:51 PM

The Talmud recommends that we should make every attempt to view royalty along with its pomp and circumstances whenever we can. The Talmud explains that by seeing and visualizing the honor and deference paid to human beings of royalty, we can then gain a glimpse of understanding regarding the honor and deference that we should pay to the royalty of heaven itself. I remember that when Queen...