Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

OPTIMISM

Monday, January 16, 2017

It seems that the intrinsic nature of human beings is to be optimistic about the future and about life generally. This is a very strange phenomenon since it flies in the face of all of human experience and seeming reality. We are all aware that the rule, that whatever can go wrong will eventually go wrong, has had very few exceptions in human history. Therefore, foreign policy or military preparedness based upon optimism as to the motives and circumstances of rival nations or the world order, must be deemed to be foolhardy and dangerous. We may hope for the best but we must always prepare for the worst. But, being too much of a pessimist leads to depression and offers a self-fulfilling...

click here to read the entire article

SHMOT

Monday, January 16, 2017

There are crises that develop slowly and gradually while there are others that are sudden, surprising and unexpected. We see that in Jewish history both types of difficulties abound. The fall of the northern kingdom of Israel – that of the ten tribes – was sudden and unexpected. Only a short time before the northern kingdom of Israel had been one of the major military powers in the area. The destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem and of the kingdom of Judah more than a century later was a long drawn out affair completely predictable and predicted. In perfect hindsight, a strong case can be made that based on the history of anti-Semitism in Europe and especially its virulence...

click here to read the entire article