Showing posts with label Commandments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commandments. Show all posts

February 15, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 

So fresh and delicious. 

Plenty for all. 

G-d's blessing for a restful Shabbos.

Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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September 15, 2018

Reflections B4 Yom Kippur


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Reflections Before Yom Kippur."

"I get up in the middle of the night, and I’m still 3/4 asleep. My mouth feels dry, and I walk over to the mouthwash to refresh. I reach for the bottle, but I grab the image in the mirror..."

Hope you enjoy this true story and the parable for living our spiritual lives and not just reach for the ego image in the mirror.

May you be sealed for another year in the book of life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 22, 2017

613 Everywhere

So many times, I have written about the holy mystical number of 613 (the number of commandments in the Torah) and variations/transpositions on these numbers (316, 163, etc.).

My wife and I continue to see 613 all the time and everywhere!

Prices, receipts, license plates, accounts balances, stock price changes, lottery winnings, bar codes, time of day, wait times, schedules, number of email, rows in a spreadsheet, road numbers, social media views, etc. etc. etc.

- I have questioned myself over and over whether I am seeing it because I am sensitized to it or simply even looking for it at this point. 

The answer is a definite no!

Here's a recent example, of the change in the stock price for Teva Pharmaceuticals (above)--it's exactly -.0613!

But this isn't a one time event or a fluke.  

As we all know stock prices fluctuate every moment on the marketplace. Yet, when I check at completely different and random times, it is up or down by a variation of 613!

Other times, I'll check multiple stocks... and they will simultaneously be moving or priced at variations again of 613--at the exact same moment, I repeat, different stocks priced at the exact same moment.  

Here's another non-financial example:

I did a post a few weeks ago on the critical importance of emergency preparedness. 

Look at how many views it got on LinkedIn...exactly 163!

This happens everywhere and all the time!

Here's a third example:
A license plate. 

Here's a fourth example:

Can you see the code on the package...613!

A fifth example:
A tracking code on a shipment. 

A sixth example: 
A bar code on a bottle of Life Water.

A seventh example:
A label on some spinach!

An eighth example:
A construction site.

An ninth example:
A public solicitation for the Department of Energy.

A tenth example:
The winning pot for Powerball. 

Hey, I am not superstitious and I am not OCD--seriously. 

But this happens all the time.

I cannot help but think that G-d is sending us an important message.

From a personal level, my wife and I have both tried to take the messages seriously and to continue to improve our lives--albeit we know, we are far from perfect human beings. 

However, we also feel compelled to share this message more broadly.

There is a lot going on in the world, and could this mean something bigger and more consequential to a lot more people?

Please, please, please, G-d have mercy on your children...we are but flesh and blood...and we desire to do good. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 13, 2017

Today Is 6/13

So today is 6/13.

Yes, check your calendar. 

It only comes once a year. 

613 is the mystical and holy number of commandments in the Torah. 

For more than 2 years (this is not a short-term phenomenon), my family and even some friends have been seeing an inexplicable number of 613 everywhere. 

Here is one from a stock I follow from the other week: Twitter was up exactly 6.13%...and I don't follow that many stocks. 

Just yesterday, another stock (that been doing terribly...it's a startup!) is down an enormous 61.3% since I started following it. 

And yet another major stock--of the largest company in Israel and the largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world--Teva--is down 16.03 year-to-date.

Nearly every day, we see an endless barrage of license plates, roads, train and plane schedules and physical or URL addresses, get purchase receipts or invoice totals, see number of posts, views, likes, or emails, and even the other day almost booked a hotel with the address....that's right and only 613!

I am a rational person...maybe almost to the extreme, and what I initially laughed off as a lark or someone's OCD thing, is beyond any reasonable explanation that I can fathom at this point.

I am left with faith that there is truly some message being sent from the One Above...the question is what is the meaning of the message?

I continue to hope and pray that the message is one of blessings and redemption for mankind...I hope you will join me in this prayer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 13, 2017

Know Before Whom You Stand

So this was one of those amazing types of photos--like a one in a million. 

It was taken in Synagogue in front of the aron (ark) where the Holy Torahs are kept.

On Sabbath and holidays, after services, devout people often go up to the doors of the ark to say a personal and silent prayer of devotion getting up close to the Torahs (G-d's sacred words to us). 

What you'll see here is that someone is dressed (for Purim) as Superwoman. 

The juxtaposition of Superwoman to the Holy ark is accentuated by the words above the ark, which translated from the Hebrew states:

"Know before whom you stand."

A cautionary note and reminder that before the ark, we are literally standing before the presence of G-d (and to conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and propriety)

So in this picture, we have Superwoman standing before G-d, the most super of them all!

When I think of how minuscule we as human beings are before our Maker, it is magnified for me that even the most super of human beings infinitely pales when standing in front of the majesty and omnipotence of our L-rd. 

Superman and Superwoman prostrate yourselves before Hashem, even as we all must do. ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with compliments to Monique for the photo)
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March 4, 2017

Kosher Trust Or Not

Here's the big controversy in our synagogue this week. 

The Rabbi is having a Purim open house and he invited everyone to bring a pot luck.

"Only home-made food, no purchased food please!"

In Jewish circles, this is the opposite of what you'd expect, where checking the kosher labels and symbols is critical to ensuring the food has followed the strict kosher dietary laws and can be eaten. 

Yet as pointed out, kashrut has been made into a whole commercial business these days...does it still reflect the intent?

The Rabbi explained in services today, in a very well received way, that we need to get back to respecting and trusting each other. 

That these values are essential to being truly religious people.

It was a wonderful speech in that it evoked unconditional acceptance and respect for everyone. 

As we know, no one is so perfect, even though the goal of course is to be as perfect as we can be. 

So two things:

1) I really like the notion of treating people well and putting that high on the priorities as we are all G-d's creatures.

2) I myself am kosher, but not fanatically so, therefore, I personally appreciated the acceptance and love in the community. 

Yet, after I got home, and thinking about this some more, and despite my own failings religiously and otherwise, I asked myself, "Am I really comfortable eating from a parve and meat community pot luck?"

And even as I ask this question, I am sort of squirming at the idea of just eating anyone's food--and not knowing anything about it. 

How am I doing due diligence in even trying to keep kosher like that?

While maybe I'm not the most kosher of everyone, it certainly is important to me to at least try (to some extent), but I ask myself can this be considered really even trying--when some people aren't religious, may not have a strong religious education, and perhaps some may not even be (fully) Jewish?

Sure, someone can even have the best intentions and try to bring kosher food, yet it's certainly possible that the food may not be kosher. 

Perhaps, in prior times, it was an issue of more or less kosher, but these days, it can be an issue of kosher or not kosher at all. 

This is a very difficult issue--because we can't put people up against the law--we must by necessity respect both. 

So yes, I love the idea of respecting everyone and that's a given assuming they are good, decent people, but trust is not something you just have, it's something you earn, by...being trustful!

I'm not one to preach religion to anyone...I struggle myself with the laws and in trying to do what's right in the commandments between man and G-d. 

And while I am ready to accept all good and loving people, I am perhaps not ready to just trust them without knowing that the trust is dutiful. 

Love thy neighbor as thyself is paramount, but also we have a duty to G-d to try to fulfill his commandments the best we can. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 4, 2017

The Miraculous Mezuzah

So there is a Jewish commandment to put a mezuzah on your doorposts. 

Reminiscent of ancient times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d told the Israelites to put the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doorpost.

When they did this and the Angel of Death killed the firstborn in each home of the taskmaster Egyptians--he passed over the doorposts of the Israelites that had the blood on it as commanded by G-d.

So too these days, the Mezuzah has the holy prayer of the Shema Yisrael on it:
"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One".
And it is believed to be a symbol of G-d's divine protection for the home. 

This week in Synagogue, Rabbi Haim Ovadia told some miraculous stories about the Mezuzah from when he was the Rabbi in Bogota, Columbia.

He told of how the cartels would raid the buildings where the people in the community lived.  The cops would be told not to respond to the calls for help for at least an hour.  But what was a miracle was that apartments with the mezuzahs were not harmed. Later, the people found out that the cartels, thank G-d left them alone, because they didn't know what a mezuzah was and thought it was some sort of fancy alarm system!

Another story, was the boss who put mezuzahs on the offices at work, and what happened? The profitability of the business went up.  When they looked at why this happened, they realized that the boss would stop at the mezuzah to recite the Shema, and the workers thought the boss was there paying more attention to them and so productivity went way up. 

Finally, the last one was really funny.  They couldn't easily get mezuzahs in Bogota, so when they heard someone was coming from a trip to Israel, they asked him to bring 5 mezuzahs for the home. When it arrived, they opened it up, but lo and behold, the parchment with the prayer inside was missing from them.  When they asked what happened to it--the person said, I already know how to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost with 2 nails and a hammer, so what do I need the instructions inside it for!

G-d is glorious and the holiness that he bestows on us with his commandments is amazing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 31, 2016

Nourishment For The Soul

So the Rabbi , a Kabbalist of mystical Torah interpretation, told my wife to concentrate on 3 commandments.

1) Shabbat
2) Kosher
3) Going to Synagogue

Today, we had a little delay and almost didn't make it to synagogue, but my wife said, "Remember what the Kabbalist said about going every week," so we went even though we were a little late. 

We went to a conservative synagogue today called, B'nai Israel, in Rockville - it was our second time there. 

The services there are so orchestrated down to the tiniest of details...you could tell that a lot of thought, planning, and effort goes into every service. 

I was really impressed at how meticulous they were for example: 

- Explaining everything and even handing out the sources to their Shabbat speech

- Having everyone ready for their part of the service whether leading the prayers, reading the Torah, or making the blessings over the wine and bread (which was already on a cart on the bimah--alter)

- Including a women who read the weekly Torah portion, children who led some of the prayers, an elderly lady who spoke about upcoming events for the Seniors group, and they even sang Hanukah songs in everything from Ladino to Yiddish.  

At the end of the service, we spoke briefly to the Rabbi and thanked him for such a "perfect service," and my wife commented how he had such a cool radio voice when he leads the congregation (and he really does..like JM (jewish music) in the AM).

After service, I told my wife how happy I was that we made it to synagogue, that is was like nourishment to my spirit and soul for the week.

We have to feed ourselves physically as well as intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course spiritually.  

Like the fingers on our hand...we need them all to hold unto life itself. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 11, 2016

613 Faith Redux

So between Nov 2015 to June 2016, we were all seeing the mystical number of 613, the number of commandments in the holy Torah. 

Then on June 12, 2016, there was a terror attack in Orlando, which killed 49 people and wounded 53 others. 

We read about this all over the front page of USA Today on 6.13.16  (the date spells 613 in BOTH directions!) 


Then all of a sudden we stopped seeing 613--completely stopped. 

That is until 2 weeks ago.

When out of nowhere we all simultaneously and independently started to see 613 again. 

On clocks, license plates, order numbers, treadmills, everywhere. 

Yesterday, I saw 613 displayed brightly on a warning cone (above) in the roadway!

And today again, an order number received "randomly" for a purchase online ends in 613! 


In Judaism, we are taught that nothing in life is random...everything comes from G-d. 

All I can say is that it is scary to see this--it feels like some sort of warning or message--and we need to have renewed faith in G-d, turn to him, and ask for his mercy. 

In the ongoing war of good over evil, I think it's certainly a time for extra repentance, prayer, charity, and lots of good deeds. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 3, 2016

613 Stock Market

Someone challenged today about the number 613 (mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah).

They said, "I would argue that you can pick any 3 digit number and get the same results."

They went on asking that it be "No variations in sequence, no breaks between numbers, no mathematics."

So here is perhaps an answer from Heaven--check out the closing change down in the S&P 500 today: Exactly 6.13!

You're turn. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to CNBC)

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June 2, 2016

613 Lottery

On the way into the office today, this was the sign for the lottery jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball.

251 and 110. 

Combine the numbers and yes, it is exactly 613 again!

Mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah.

Please G-d for blessings. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 29, 2016

613 Calories

So today I tested out a hypothesis about seeing 613. 

I tried to do it intentionally. 

I was getting my activity, and lo and behold, I see that I am at 612 calories burned so far. 

Oh, how cool--I can capture 613 in a another second or two. 

And I continue my activity looking intently at the Apple Watch monitor. 

Okay, 613 now!

No, now!

How about now? 

But it doesn't come. 

I am waiting for it.

It can't come on my terms.

Next thing I know, the calorie counter jumps from 612 to 616.

I can't believe it. 

I couldn't capture the 613 when wanted to. 

Every other time so far has been--we'll it's just been. 

And maybe that's the whole point. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2016

613 Synagogue

So look what I noticed about the wonderful Magen David synagogue. 

1+5=6
    1=1
1+2=3

Mystical, holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah). 

May Hashem bless us in his mercy. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 25, 2016

(Re)Kashering The Kitchen

So with all the 613s that we and are our friends and family are seeing, we are taking these as a sign and important message. 

Yesterday, I posted that I would show you today how it is personally affecting us.

So one of the things that we are doing is (re)kashering our kitchen. 

New and separate dishes and cooking utensils for meat and dairy meals.  

We got these beautiful French Perle Lenox in gorgeous lilac and ice blue (of course, no one better actually use one and break it). 

Being more a part of the synagogue and community now, we are hoping to host more people for Shabbat etc.

There are other small (and large) ways that we are coming back to more of our traditions, but we are far from perfect. 

Sort of a blend of the secular world, the religious one, and just being ourselves. 

But that is our road, and we strive to do better in all aspects of our lives and pray for G-d's mercy and blessings all along the way and at the destination. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 24, 2016

Heading Down The 613

So today another amazing mystical and holy 613 (commandments in the Torah).

This one is a country road between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How apropos to be on the 613 road!

Tomorrow, in my next post, I hope to show you where this road is personally taking us now.

But wherever 613 leads that is where I want to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: With gratitude to my dearest sister, Roz Blumenthal)
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May 17, 2016

613 The Perfect Trip

So the sightings continue today of the mystical and holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah).

Check out the cost of this vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park.

It's not $599 or $699 like you would usually see these things advertised for. 

Instead the family adventure starts at $613!!!

Too many times now, too frequent, and in too many different places to be just random or chance. 

Someone is trying to tell us something.

Hopefully, it is a sign for blessings for mankind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Ellen Weiner)
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May 4, 2016

613 Buses

Here's my next encounter today with mystical number 613 (the number of Commandments in the Torah).

This is the sign on the bus shelter by the Foggy Bottom Metro.

Two buses are on the way--the M36 and M31.

Both coming to the same bus stop.

One immediately right after the other. 

Read top right to lower left...613.

Within ten minutes I saw yet another 2 signs on the metro train in 2 different locations...both 6 car trains coming right after each other in 1 and 3 minute intervals.

(Note: Metro also has 8 car trains that it usually alternates with the 6's, but today none were in sight at either station). 
I am not making this stuff up...this is freaky, but if you believe, maybe also very cool. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 2, 2016

613 From Elevator To Seaweed


So as you know, we are experiencing 613 (mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah) all over the place.

This last week, we got on the elevator to go to the 13th floor, and immediately, the next guy gets on and presses for the 6th floor. 

613 is brightly lite up on the elevator console and we turn to each other and are like, "What the...?" (No one else got on/off and no other floors were pressed while we were on it.)

Next my wife is looking on Amazon for some roasted seaweed as part of our lovely diet plan.

Guess how many reviews are on the product...613.

Yes, while each individual occurrence can be explained away or coughed up to chance--is it really possible for so many of these to be happening virtually daily. 

Any statisticians out there? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 27, 2016

Friendly Sightings 613


So this is a first where other people are contacting us with their experiences seeing 613 (the holy mystical number of Commandments in the Torah).

These two photos of a police car and a no smoking sign are coming to us from South Florida. 

Also, I experienced another weird 613 experience this week in that I was number 36 in The Top 100 Most Social CIOs (see the 613). 

If you see 613 in extraordinary ways in your life, please feel free to share the them with Dannielle and I. 

We hope and pray at this time of Passover (commemorating redemption and freedom) that this is a sign of great mazel and blessing for all our times. ;-)

(Source Photo and with gratitude to Ms. Ellen Weiner)

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April 14, 2016

Boarding 613

So this was pretty amazing with the mystical number 613.

Today, it showed up on the arrivals board for the trains, and I literally had to run down the train platform to capture this photo after my daughter saw it in the distance from the escalator. 

Under destination (DEST) and minutes (MIN) for wait, the first line says boarding (BRD)--although just a moment before it said arriving (ARR). 

Then the next two lines has the trains arriving in 6 minutes and in 13 minutes, respectively.

Also note that this same morning I saw 613 twice more (for a total of 3 times) on the train car/doors and in the phone number for a truck parked in front of the grocery. 

I am no prophet, but I believe that something important or perhaps cataclysmic is about to happen ("arriving") in the world. 

Interestingly enough, in 10 days is Passover--the redemption of the Jews from slavery in Egypt along with the giving of the 10 commandments (of the total 613) on Sinai. 

Now is a good time for faith, devotion, and prayer--that is my feeling for what it's worth. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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