October 19, 2019

Get Over It

Thought this was a funny title for a book:
"Sh*t Happens So Get Over It."
There are no perfect lives out there. 

I reminded again this week how everyone has something: Mark Herd, Co-CEO of Oracle, died at 62 and and Elijah Cummings, elected to 12 terms in the House of Representatives, died at 68.

All the success int he world on the surface doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of schlimazel (misfortune) under the surface.

Unfortunately, sh*t definitely happens in life and we can get all spun up over it or we can take everything in faith and stride. 

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. 

What does kill takes us to the next phase of existence. 

All you can do is your best, the rest is in the hands of the Almighty above. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 18, 2019

Check Out Those Rims

Wow, this was some car that I saw in Florida. 

Pimp my ride! LOL

Check out those awesome gold rims with this blue "oldies" car. 

This was definitely a standout even down there where there are plenty of Bentleys and Lamborghinis driving around. 

The owner of the car gave me a big thumbs up when I tool this photo. 

Hope you enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 17, 2019

Capital One Cafe Catastrophe

So I've seen the advertisement for Capital One (Bank) Cafes on TV for some time now.

Well I saw my first real one in Fort Lauderdale this week.

It was big, bright, comfortable and had children's games and a host of meeting and breakout rooms. 

They even gave us two cards for some free coffee at the embedded Pete's Coffee.

It was a corner store in a large, expensive space. 

It was great place to get some work done or relax. 

But aside for a cash machine or so, there was nothing that I could see having to do with banking in this place. 

Also, there were also almost no customers for the coffee.

Basically, it is totally confusing idea from a marketing and branding perspective--Is it a bank or a coffee house?  And why would I go to Capital One to get coffee or to Pete's Coffee to do my banking????

While I think that Capital One has literally outdone Starbucks in building a great cafe space, I don't think anyone will actually get what this is or why it is!

My guess is that whoever came up with this idea is going to be looking for a job within about 6 big money-losing months. ;-)

(Credit Photo:  Andy Blumenthal)
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October 16, 2019

Searching For Gold

This guy had some getup on in Fort Lauderdale on the toasty beach. 

He's in the ocean dressed in a full wetsuit with a mask over his face, a hat on his head, and the headphones over his ears. 

He had a metal detector and wand looking for lost gold in the water right off the beach. 

But didn't see him find a dime the whole time we were there. 

I can't believe these guys can actually find enough jewelry on the beach to make this worth while. 

Back and forth with the wand...searching, searching.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 15, 2019

The Coming Great American Aliyah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Coming Great American Aliyah."
If you just open your eyes and have faith, you will know that you will be going to Israel–the question isn’t if, but when! What G-d has decreed, no man can annul. There are three types of ways things will unfold for American Jews: Some will go to Israel on their own,”nicely.” Others will be going only when they absolutely have to–“not so nicely.” The third group will not be going–unfortunately, as difficult as it is to say, they won’t make it. While this is all about the fulfillment of messianic times, and we don’t know when precisely it will all transpire, I pray that people (including myself) will choose to plan intelligently for the future to make aliyah in good times, and that their shouldn’t be pain and suffering for the Jewish people in getting there, but rather that it is an amazing experience filled with endless blessings.

May G-d bring us in peace, prosperity, and health to fulfill His promise of the ingathering and to rebuild the Temple and bring Mashiach to the world.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 13, 2019

Filled With Love

Really liked this painting in Florida.

Hearts and flowers. 

Makes me feel filled with love!

Love, beautiful love.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."
When we see wrong and evil in this world, we have a duty to stand up and speak out with truth and integrity, to be a good influence and guide things for the better, and even to repair the world ("Tikkun Olam")...Words are perhaps a good start, but also, "words are cheap." The way to really judge someone is less by their words, and far more so by their actual deeds. Moreover, sometimes words aren't enough and we need to not just say something, but do something! As Edmund Burke stated, "The only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." It's great to speak out when we see wrong, but more than that we have to be willing, when necessary, to act out--to do something.

As Jews, we need to be ready, willing, and able to stand up for what is right in the never ending war of good over evil in this world--regardless of silver or lead, G-d forbid--with our words and with our deeds.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 11, 2019

Rainbow Card Display

Thought this was a cool, even if rudimentary, museum display. 

Instead of postcards in the display holder, they put colored glass. 

Then just let the sun shine in and look at the awesome wall display. 

Might be fun to swap around to get different patterns and blends. 

As a kid, I always used to turn the display to see what just around the bend, in this case you get the disco effect. 

Color and light play nice together.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 10, 2019

Adding A Very Special Facebook Friend

So this was really strange what happened to me before Yom Kippur. 

My parents passed away 5-6 years ago already.

I always miss them so much!

Somehow, on Facebook, my dad's Facebook profile came up, which I was surprised to find. 

Looking at it, I saw under his friends was of course, my mom. 

I didn't even know my mom had a Facebook page (I don't think she ever really used it). 

But I was so curious, I clicked on her profile.  

I saw the prominent blue and white button to "Add Friend."

And I saw my hand reaching to press for that button. 

I so wanted to reach out and be able to be with, see, communicate with her again. 

Then I stopped myself realizing that the friend request, unfortunately, couldn't go to Heaven. 

If only it could...I would be so happy to press that button and have my mom hear from me again. ;-)

(Photo of my dear parents from Florida)
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October 8, 2019

Interplanetary Travel - Coming Soon


Awesome presentation on Interplanetary Travel by Charlie Kuehmann, VP Materials Engineering at SpaceX and Tesla. 

Interplanetary travel and colonization is one of the most exciting possibilities for mankind.  

It's all just beginning (we've only been in orbit for about 50 years). 

One of the keys Charlie mentioned at SpaceX and Telsa is how quickly we learn. 

It's okay to fail, as long as we learn quickly and progress from it.  

The progress with reusable rockets at SpaceX is impressive. 

Can't wait for more to come soon.  ;-)

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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Where Are We Going

Just thought this was an awesome provoking painting. 

To me, it begs the question of where are we going in our lives. 

The terrestrial landscape combined with the light at the end of the tunnel effect as the sky is provocative and at the same time almost hypnotic. 

It also makes me feel the enormity of the universe versus the smallness of just a man.

I see myself standing on the red hilltop looking into that big sky and wondering about so many things. 

In the end, believing that we don't have all the answers, but that we are in G-d's good hands. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 7, 2019

It Spills Over

Sometimes the glass is not half full or half empty. 

But rather is spills over entirely. 

There is nothing, nothing left inside. 

Worse even is when the glass completely shatters.

Then there isn't even a vessel anymore. 

All that's left is to pick up the pieces. 

As humans, we try to fill up the water, stop the water inside from spilling out, and to save the glass.

The rest is in G-d's hands. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 6, 2019

Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier’s Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier's Eyes."
He said, just think about it: “You have the chance to say I’m sorry, I regret what I did, and I won’t do it again, and be forgiven — what a tremendous opportunity that is!” I had never really thought of repentance in this particular way…as an opportunity. Usually, it’s more of something that is uncomfortable, difficult, and that we really don’t want to have to do.

So with a few more days to go before Yom Kippur, let us thank G-d for the chance to make amends and do better in life, because this is an incredible opportunity and a true blessing, and one that we do not know will ever come again.


(Credit Photo: Gil Kremer, Israel Defense Forces)
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October 4, 2019

Celebrating With Security

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Celebrating With Security."

Take a look around you at the new security measures and people risking their lives for yours and your family. Take a moment to thank them. But also, recognize that the security isn't there just for show, it's there because the hatred and threats have tangibly increased along with the ever present means to carry them out. It is critical that we continue our vigilance and the strengthening of our security measures, because those that hate us for who we are and for our faith are not going away, and unfortunately, they may even continue to grow in numbers and resolve. However, none of us should live in fear and be forced to stay away from our religious institutions, our Torah study, and prayer, but rather to the contrary, we need to stand up strongly--in defiance and in faith!

While I don't know what specific security measures we will see next Rosh Hashanah, I can say with almost absolute certainty that it will be more and not less and that you should definitely be taking notice.

(Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay)

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October 2, 2019

Who's Fasting For Whom

Today is the Jewish fast day of Tzom Gedaliah. 

Gedaliah had been appointed governor of Israel by the Babylonian conquers in 423 BCE.  However, within the year, Gedaliah was assassinated. This resulted in the remaining Judeans fleeing to Egypt and the Babylonian exile being firmly established until the return from this exile in 371 BCE. 

Literally for thousands of years the relatively small Israelite nation in the Holy Land was repeatedly attacked and conquered by the large surrounding empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans.

Despite this punishing history, when it came to the Fast of Gedaliah, my father used to inject a little light humor and say:
Gedaliah didn't fast for me, so I am not going to fast for him.

I can still hear his words in my head and even now it still brings a warm smile to my face and happiness inside me. 

Upcoming next week is Yom Kippur--fasting and atonement. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 1, 2019

The Founding Of Zionism

Key Person Year Published Work Main Idea
Avraham Mapu 1853 The Love of Zion Longing of Jewish people for their ancestral homeland
Moses Hess 1862 Rome and Jerusalem Europe's welcome to Jews is tenuous, and Jews should seek return to homeland
Leon Pinsker 1882 Auto-Emancipation Jews are not accepted in European host countries, and are urged to seek national rebirth
Nathan Birnbaum 1890 Self-Emancipation Coined the term Zionism referring to a movement to re-create a national Jewish home in Israel
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1892
El Hatzipor      (To The Bird)
Poem on longing for return to Zion
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1898 Mikra'ei Zion (Assemblies of Zion) Poem of hope and expectation of return to Zion
Theodor Herzl 1896 The Jewish State Jewish State will usher an end to rabid anti-Semitism everywhere
Theodor Herzl 1897 Launched Zionism as political movement and convened first Zionist Congress
Theodor Herzl 1902 Altneuland Envisions idyllic future Jewish state
Ze'ev Jabotinsky 1923 Samson Nazorei Ideal of active, courageous, Jewish warrior

I am reading the book Israel: "A Concise History of a Nation Reborn" by Daniel Gordis.

I've prepared this summary of the founding of Zionism, which I have briefly summarized above.

Hope this is helpful to those interested in the origins of the founding of the modern State of Israel. 

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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