Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Spirituality

THE SADDEST DAY 7/3/2018 09:49 AM

There is no doubt that the saddest day on the Jewish calendar is the commemoration of the fast day of the ninth of Av. The day marks the days of destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem millennia ago. It also harbors within it the commemoration of many other sad and tragic events throughout Jewish history. From the original reluctance of the Jewish people to enter the land of...

MY ORCHID PLANT 2/19/2018 11:06 AM

Among my many failings is the fact that I do not have a green thumb. Plants and I do not agree and, in fact, many times I feel that the plants that I have in my home are just downright hostile to me. The care of these plants and the reason that they have survived so long has always been due to the distaff side of my home. I very much enjoy flowers and plants and I see in them some of the...

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....

FAKE RELIGION 7/30/2017 01:02 PM

One of the many troublesome trends existing in our societies is the elevation of issues that are basically political and even monetary, to the level of religious faith and practice. The current struggle, mainly in the media and not so much on the ground itself, regarding the installation of metal detectors on the Temple Mount, is an example of making a security and political issue into a matter...

DISASTER AND REBIRTH 7/23/2017 10:10 AM

The remarkable lesson of the Jewish commemoration of the destruction of our Temples many centuries ago is not only that this commemoration continues to pain us but that, ironically, it almost unexpectedly provides us with hope and fortitude for a brighter future. This fact is emphasized to us in the statement of the Talmud that the time of the Messiah began on the day that the Temples were...

ON BEING A SKEPTIC 7/9/2017 11:24 AM

One of the great challenges in life is retaining belief and optimism regarding humans when one is, in one's heart of hearts, a confirmed skeptic. This challenge is corroborated for us by King Solomon, considered the wisest of all humans, in his monumental work, the book of Kohelet. There is a great deal of difference between realism and skepticism on one hand, and pessimism and depression on the...

NO SERVICE 3/27/2017 11:40 AM

On my recent trip to America I encountered great difficulty with my mobile phone. It kept on telling me that it could not complete the calls I was attempting to make because there was “no service.” This happened at numerous locations throughout my American stay, frustrating me greatly. I was hooked up to a major American telecom provider and could not understand why I was encountering this...

SPRINGTIME 3/20/2017 02:14 PM

Those of us who are living in the northern hemisphere of our globe are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of springtime and the end of the winter weather woes. Here in Israel we had a fairly normal winter with a decent amount of rain and a few cold spells. In the main however it was an unremarkable winter, weather wise. Nevertheless, winter is winter and I for one am anxiously and excitedly...

PASSWORDS 2/15/2017 11:30 AM

In a moment of extreme foolishness I recently attempted to pay a credit card bill online through my computer. People of my generation should avoid such risky and dangerous behavior. The computer arrogantly demanded a password in order to log into my account. It also condescendingly informed me that I already had a password and that I should really type it in to get started paying my bill. I...

DOING BETTER 10/26/2016 11:15 AM

In a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal one of the opinion writers for that esteemed newspaper wrote a thoughtful piece about his feelings as he embarked on the annual fast day of holiness. The main thrust of his article was that American society can and should do better. It should produce better candidates for the presidency, it should be a more robust society, it should be...