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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

SHOFTIM

Monday, August 25, 2014

Law and order are the hallmarks of a functioning democratic society. The concept that one can receive fair redress for damages and hurts through an equitable system of established justice is central to the concept of a free society that provides individual rights to its citizens. However, dictatorships also provide law and order for those who live under their rule - a little too much law and order. And therein lay the eternal contest between an ordered and properly functioning society and an individual’s inherent freedoms and rights. There is a great deal of space and latitude between anarchy and dictatorial rule. The Torah speaks to this issue but allows for a great deal of human and...

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BITTER LESSONS

Monday, August 25, 2014

The past has many bitter lessons for the present. Many times the lessons themselves unfortunately provide no answer to current dilemmas since they provided no clear answer to the past dilemmas either. That is what makes these types of historical lessons such bitter ones. It presents the problem in clear perspective but denies us any clear solution to it. One hundred years ago at the beginning of World War I the Western front became deadlocked after a few months of bitter and bloody fighting. Trench warfare and a war of attrition ensued that would continue for the next four years causing millions of casualties on both sides. That the front was stalemated was now obvious to both Germany...

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