Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts

August 28, 2020

Better Than Hand Sanitizer LOL

What a great way to fulfill Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Tier 3 for love and belonging. 

Just use this bottle of Social Belonging! 

Better than dish detergent or hand sanitizer.

Good for attaining love, friends, societal and other belonging needs. 

22 fluid ounces!

That's enough to get you through the Coronavirus quarantine's loneliness and then some.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 6, 2020

We Are Comm-unity!

I saw this painted on a storefront window. 
Community, United We Stand. 

With all the polarization these days, is this still true?

Unity is literally built into Comm-unity.

Divided, we tear each other apart. 

Instead, we could accomplish so much together.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 14, 2020

Coronavirus Cancels Synagogue

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Coronavirus Cancels Synagogue."
While I understand the rationale to close the synagogues, not to congregate with others and expose ourselves or spread the Coronavirus, I can’t help thinking and believing that what we need now, more than ever, is prayer to Hashem and the mitzvah of Torah study that the synagogue provides to us. Indeed, only in the hands of G-d is the ultimate power of health or illness, and life or death...To me, this Shabbat was not a full Shabbat, because there was no synagogue, no Rabbi’s sermon, no community to talk and share with. I feel robbed of my religion today. I want to be able to go to synagogue and have a real Shabbat. How many other Shabbatot will we have to continue to go through without being able to pray in a minyan, hear the Torah reading, listen to the Rabbi’s speech, and see our community friends?

Many say and I firmly believe that we are on the doorstep of Mashiach and that he is even here among us waiting for the right moment to reveal himself. We’ve survived so much and finally have returned as a people to our homeland of Israel. Now we must survive the final birthing pains of Mashiach and then we will be able to go not only to our synagogues once again, but also to the Temple in Jerusalem to pray and learn at G-d’s very footstep in this earthly world.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 7, 2020

A Cool Shabbat Shalom!

A very cool Shabbat Shalom to you!

Congratulations on another week of hard work and accomplishment. 

Now it's time for a day of spirituality, mindfulness, thanksgiving, and much needed rest and relaxation. 

Heal and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul.

A time for Hashem, self, family, and community. 

Shabbat is a true gift from G-d. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 11, 2020

Traveling Chasidim @AISH Greater Washington DC




(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal and Credit Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 15, 2019

Pelican Shabbos

Shabbat Shalom says the Moo Moo Cow.

Shabbat Shalom says Leo The Lion.

Shabbat Shalom says the Gefilte Fish. 

Shabbat Shalom says the Long Beak Pelican. 

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 20, 2019

Having Each Other

So I hurt my back last week. 

Incredibly painful. 

Difficult getting up from sitting or laying position. 

Today, I was trying to walk it off a little.

One of my kids was walking with me taking good care of me. 

We ran into a neighbor. 

She was nice and asked about what happened. 

I told her in brief and said how grateful I was for my daughter taking me for a little walk while I try to heal with G-d's help. 

She smiled and said how lucky I was (which I acknowledged). 

I asked if she had any kids, thinking that she did. 

But she goes to me:

I have no one!


I was a little surprised that she didn't have anyone and how she said it. 

I sort of repeated it quizzically. 

She goes:

Well I did have a cat but she was 19 years old and I had to put her down. 


I felt really bad for her, especially since I know she had an operation this last year and is planned for another one coming up. 

I said that we're her neighbors and friends and that she can call on us whenever she needs someone. 

This whole thing just made me so upset--no one should be so alone. 

I  really pray that G-d has mercy on his children and that no one should be alone and that we should all have caring and loving people around us always. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 28, 2019

Rocking Mimouna @Magen David Synagogue




I learnt last night that Mimouna comes from the word "Emunah" which means faith. 

The Mimouna is the celebration at the end of Passover. 

It is a custom from the Jews who lived in Morocco who celebrated hand-in-hand with their Arab neighbors in peace and harmony

This celebration of faith, friendship, and peace has now become standard in Jewish communities far and wide. 

In the light of the anti-Semitic instances yesterday with the vilr caricature in the garbage New York Times and the Shooting at the Chabad synagogue in San Diego (exactly 6 months after the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue), I say:

Let us have faith in the one true G-d that he will redeem his loving people of all religions and utterly punish the haters and anti-Semites for the evil they are. 

(Source Video and Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

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)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 27, 2019

@Sandy Spring Museum Music Jam



So nice to see neighbors from the surrounding communities just getting together to play music and sing along.  

It's amazing to me the good that people can accomplish when they come together like this. 

This is hopeful and happy. 

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 12, 2018

Loneliness Is Death

There is a very important article in the Wall Street Journal today on the link of loneliness to death. 

Frightening loneliness statistics:

- One in 11 Americans over age 50 "lacks a spouse, partner, or living child."

- More than 1 in 4 baby boomers is divorced or never married.  

- 1 out of every 6 people lives alone. 

Research indicates that loneliness leads to early death. 

The impact of loneliness is equivalent to:

- Smoking 15 cigarettes a day

- Drinking 6 alcoholic beverages a day

Loneliness is worse for mortality than:

- Obesity 

- Physical activity

"The effect of isolation is extraordinarily powerful...we have to address loneliness," says the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Whether you are extroverted or introverted, we all need human interaction, sharing, caring, touch, and love.  

Truly, no man is an island!

Those that are stranded on loneliness island need to escape it and make their way back to human civilization.

Alone our lives are dull and stunted; but together, we have the inherent social dynamics to be able to experientially learn, grow, change and mature. 

Alone we die--together we live. 

It's not just power in numbers, it's life itself. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 21, 2018

Awesome "Am Echad" by Ari Goldwag



When I am for myself
And you are not with me
What am I when I am separate?
For I am a Jew
I do not go alone
Just with you, my friend, hand in hand
One nation, one song
Come my brother and give me your hand
And we will rejoice and dance together
As one person, with one heart
I don't want want to be alone,
Just forever brothers sitting together
To be a family
Is the secret of joy
For everything is better together
And we sing
All Israel are friends
We won't give up on anyone
If we can successfully love
And sing 'how pleasant..'
The Moshiach will come soon
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 20, 2018

Shabbat Shalom and Good Luck On The Jackpot

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Shabbat Shalom and Good luck on The Jackpot."
So the Mega Millions jackpot is up to an astonishing $1.6B! This is the largest lottery in U.S. history. Instantly you become one of the richest people in the world. At the kiddush after shul today, it didn't take long for the conversation to hit on the upcoming lottery drawing. 
Read about it--it was funny! ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 24, 2018

Ramath Orah Synagogue



So the other day, I received this wonderful email from someone working on the 75th anniversary of Ramath Orah Synagogue on the Upper West Side in Manhattan where I grew up. 

My grandfather (Opa), Simon Blumenthal, had served as the President of that synagogue for many wonderful years.

I remember always being so proud of him for his dedication and hard work for the community. 

I look up to him when he got up to give the announcements at the pulpit. 

And he built the beautiful center bimah, the special succah downstair with the roof that opened up to the sky at holiday time, and made many other truly impressive improvements to the synagogue. 

He and his wife, my grandmother (Oma), Hilda Blumenthal were an absolutely beautiful couple and the finest of people. 

My parents, Fred and Gerda Blumenthal, continued in their footsteps and to be members at Ramath Orah long after we had moved away to Riverdale, and they were contributors to the shul and attended the annual synagogue dinners for many years. 

Even though the synagogue was mainly filled with elderly people at the time, we always knew and prayed that it would become revitalized again, which it did and is now. 

Pictured at the bottom is me as a kid sitting with a talit over my shoulder and in my grandfathers (the President's chair) in the front of the synagogue.

Aside from leading and singing the regular Yigdal and Adom Olam prayers, I loved to sit with my father and grandfather in synagogue.

We prayed together, and we stayed together as a family and community. 

I miss them all so much, but am sure they are up in Heaven together sitting in the Big Synagogue in the sky basking in the light of Hashem and watching over me and my family today!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 8, 2018

Haleli @Mimouna with Magen David Synagogue



Praise be our G-d, the Master of the Universe.

May he bless us with an abundance of good for the New Year after the Passover commemoration of our exodus from slavery to His redemption and the Holy Land of Israel.

Blessings, Peace, Health, Prosperity, and Joy!

What a lovely event with the community of Magen David Synagogue in Maryland.

My heart is uplifted by the song, dance, friendship, and faith in the Almighty. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 11, 2018

Three Legs of Quality of Life

So this is something that I am learning. 

Quality of life means perspective and balance. 

When people go to the extreme and focus all their energies on any one area almost to the exclusivity of the others in their life, it usually means they are going wrong. 

Some people are "party animals"--life is all about their fun, enjoyment, experiences (and even excessive partying, sleeping around, getting drunk and high), and their very immediate gratification. 

Others are all about work--climbing that professional ladder and earning more money, material goods, and more power is the holy grail and also the bane of their existence. 

And yet there are some people that are focused on faith, family, and community--they are mothers and fathers, religious students and clergy, community organizers and organizers of charitable events and giving. 

The problems is that people need multiple facets of their lives--yes, they need playfulness, interests, activities, hobbies, and fun and joyous times; at the same time, they need intellectual curiosity, professional contribution and achievement, and the wherewithal to be responsible and pay the bills; and very importantly, they need  social, spiritual, and emotional fulfillment from family, friends, giving, and faith. 

When a person stands on only one of these legs, like many seem to--they are on wobbly ground and are likely to fall hard and fast.  

Even on two legs, something is missing in their lives--they are standing tall, but not strong and stable. 

On all three legs, a person can be grounded and able to not just stand for themselves, but able to bear weight like on a stool, and they are can play music and sing and smile, knowing that they have a genuine quality of life that few ever really achieve. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 10, 2018

Synagogue, To Laugh And To Cry

So I am learning that synagogue is more than a place to worship G-d. 

It is a place of and for the people to express their full range of emotions. 

Frankly, I think it is a place for people to laugh and to cry. 

Rarely, a week goes by when not one or both of these emotions/actions happen. 

Yes, we cry out to G-d in supplication and also are joyous in his holy majesty and presence. 

But more than that, as a community, we come together to share of our week and ourselves with each other. 

One one hand, we laugh with each other at the funny and ridiculous things that happen to us and at the joy we feel for the blessings that G-d bestows on us daily. 

On the other, we cry on each other's shoulders at the pain and loss that we (G-d forbid) at times must face and endure in the face of illness, evil, and tragedy.

Just today, both things happened in the synagogue and my heart was at one time uplifted with gladness and then at another greatly saddened with the hurt shared--occurrences of each in just a short span of time. 

Yes, we laugh and we cry together--alone, it is at once empty and at the other unbearable. 

We need to support each other; there is no other way that is not extreme madness. 

Put your arms around another to embrace them in great happiness and to let them cry mightily on your shoulder. 

Sharing with each other at our houses of worship--that is how we show G-d that we are bound to Him and to each others' souls--all children of G-d trying to make it together to the next service. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 28, 2018

Happy Purim @ Magen David 2018




























(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

February 10, 2018

Among All The Apples

This was an interesting photo moment at Whole Foods--this Valentine's Day huggy bear sitting among all the apples. 

Sort of how I felt after synagogue today and at other times. 

I've learned the importance as my father had so often tried to teach me of going to synagogue.

Yes, the prayer and service to Hashem.

But also the community. 

We all need people. 

None of us is an island. 

At synagogue, aside from the opportunity to speak and be close with G-d, I appreciate the hearty calls of "Shabbat Shalom," the embracing handshakes, hugs and occasional kisses, the chance to see and kiss the holy Torah, and being among friends.

Like the apples, we're all sort of the same, yet unique, and we stand together. 

As apples, we all have our glowing and shiny outsides, a sweet inner core, and also plenty of juicy meat. 

People too put on their best clothes, shoes, and do themselves to look their best going to synagogue, and inside they are there to express their goodness with G-d and the community.

Also though, you hear plenty of the heartbreaking stories about what is happening to them as families and individuals. 

Sure, there are the lovely smachot (happy occasions) in their and our lives to celebrate, but there is also plenty of adversity and challenges faced daily. 

One member passed away this week, another is getting cancer treatments, and someone got hit by a car crossing the street and is in the hospital with literally 79 screws holding their ribs together!

Then there are those out looking for work, others suffering from bad marriages or getting divorced, someone with a sick child that needs lifelong care, and someone who even got robbed this week.

Yes, shiny on the outside and with the sweetness of souls and hearts, and yet everyone has their baskets of challenges to deal with. 

For someone like me, I literally feel it inside for people--it's like I can almost imagine what it must be like to be in their shoes. 

Obviously, I can't--no one really can--but I imagine myself and ask myself OMG what in the world would I do--and of course, I have no real idea. 

Synagogue is I guess the most perfect place to experience all this--since we are before G-d, asking for his blessings and mercy, and with others, we bond to who are all in the same boat paddling and trying to survive and live a full and meaningful life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 6, 2018

The Traveling Chassidim


We went to Havdalah with the Traveling Chassidim at Aish HaTorah in Rockville. 

It was so wonderful and spiritually uplifting. 

At around mark 11:00, I get to wear the shtreimel hat and I get to drop the shtreimel hat (that was funny)!

These Chassidim from Monsey and Brooklyn were so wonderful. 

They leave their communities and homes to come out for Shabbat to other Jewish communities around the country and do beautiful outreach. 

So giving, loving, and caring with their whole families. 

The music, song, and joy they bring are beyond words. 

The Traveling Chassidim are wonderful and they make a terrific Havdalah at the end of the Shabbat. ;-)


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark