Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

FRAMING THE PICTURE

A very talented young relative of mine is a fine artist. I mean that she is really good. Every family has at least one talented member in its midst and she is ours. She recently painted a magnificent painting and it was sold for a goodly amount of money to a very fine person and art connoisseur. The only rub in the deal was that the painting was unframed and the purchaser asked for it to be...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

Continuing good health is one of the major blessings of life. I think that even more than length of life and increased longevity, a healthy life is what most human beings desire. Unfortunately, the lot of humans is such that sickness, minor and major in nature, is almost unavoidable at some stage in one's existence. Midrash teaches us that there was a time in the world when no one became ill and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JUSTICE

Everyone is in favor of justice in our legal system and in our social and societal lives. Yet justice is an ephemeral and difficult to define concept. Many times what passes for justice is really the personal subjective opinion of a judge or a jury on a complicated and confusing issue. The Torah demands that judges in a Jewish society strive to "judge the people with righteous correct judgment."...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GRAVES AND MONUMENTS

The current Jewish world has a fascination regarding graves, especially the graves of righteous people and holy humans. There are regular tours to Eastern Europe and other locations that are almost exclusively devoted to visiting the gravesites of the leading rabbinic figures of past centuries. This is especially true in the Chasidic world where massive tours to visit Uman, for example, to pray...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MONEY FOR THE HOLY LAND

Throughout the long exile of the Jewish people, a few Jews continued to live in the land of Eretz Yisrael under very difficult circumstances. There were waves of substantial Jewish immigration to the country in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, but nevertheless the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael remained in the main small, weak and impoverished. The Ottoman Turks who ruled the country...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

A FRIENDLY RESPONSE

One of the banes of urban living is the insularity and surliness that it breeds among humans. In small towns, people usually say "good morning," "thank you" and "excuse me" to one another on a constant and regular basis. My experience when living in large cities, both here in Israel and in the United States, is that such pleasantries are often omitted and even when offered remain unanswered. I...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE WINTER ZMAN

For the tens of thousands of full time yeshiva students, both Israelis and young men from the Diaspora, who are now studying Torah and Talmud here in Israel, this period of time marks the beginning of the "winter zman." The "winter zman" extends from the beginning of the month of Mar Cheshvan until the beginning of the month of Nissan. Because this year of 5765 is a leap year containing two Adar...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WATCH OUT FOR EXCESS

There is a custom amongst Jews that in the period after the holiday season of Tishrei, and after Pesach as well, that is popularly called "behab." This word is the Hebrew acronym for the days of the week - bet, hay, bet - Monday, Thursday, Monday. On the first series of the days of Monday, Thursday, Monday falling in that order in the months of Cheshvan (after Succot) and Iyar (after Pesach),...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SECURITY

One of the elusive goals of human beings is to become "secure." We search for financial security and certainly hope for physical security. The promise of every Israeli politician (and American, British, French, etc.) is to provide physical security for the citizens of the country. Yet, even in times of peace and quiet - rare as they may be - humans are always gripped by a certain unease regarding...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YOM KIPPUR AND JEWISH MEMORY

The central theme of Yom Kippur is naturally repentance and heavenly forgiveness. This theme is emphasized in the order of the prayer services of the day. The recitation of the confession of our sins and shortcomings and our commitment to try and do better are an integral part of all of the prayers of this holy day. Yet, there is another, more subtle and not openly expressed idea that haunts the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein