Showing posts with label Divine Providence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Divine Providence. Show all posts

February 26, 2021

It’s Never About Luck

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "It’s Never About Luck."

Today is Purim, when we celebrate the Jewish victory over the evil Haman and his conspiracy to annihilate the Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman drew a lottery to determine what he thought was a fortuitous day, the 13th of Adar, to murder the Jewish people and pursued this plot through a decree by King Achashverosh. But as we know, G-d made miracles through Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai, and Haman and his ten sons ended hanging by the noose that he built for Mordechai. 

This has been my personal experience as well, as I can see both now and in 20/20 hindsight that there is a definite Divine method and not just a world of random chance and madness.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 13, 2021

A Reason For Everything

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Reason For Everything."

Reincarnation actually makes so much sense, especially when you see that G-d can and does bring people back to the world when they still have life lessons to learn and growth to be achieved. It’s part of our preparation and our soul’s purification process to go back to Hashem.
Obviously, we are not G-d, and don’t have the time and event perspective of Hashem who was, is, and will be. However, if we understand that G-d has a plan, everything is connected, and there is a reason for everything, then we can go through life inspired to do the right thing ourselves even when we are challenged by our circumstances.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 19, 2020

I Know He Exists

                             

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Know He Exists."

G-d, who is infinitely compassionate, did the most compassionate thing, which was to create us and give us the ability to be compassionate on others. The way we bring Hashem to reside with us is to transform the world (tikkun olam) “to make it a place that G-d can call home.” We do this by performing acts of loving kindness, making the mundane holy, and manifesting G-d’s divine providence. In essence, it’s not enough for us to know G-d exists, but we need to be a light unto the nations to reveal G-d’s unity, sanctity, and ongoing relationship with his creations to everyone in the world.

Like the story of the priest from the Holocaust, we don’t believe G-d exists, but rather, we know He exists. And when we perform our mission in this world by doing good deeds and manifesting G-d’s oneness and divine providence then we make this a place where G-d wants to reside with us in this world as well as in the world to come.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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December 12, 2020

Teach Your Children Well

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teach Your Children Well."

I am grateful to write that I had my first grandchild, a wonderful baby boy, thank G-d. Now, as with all children, comes the next very exciting part which is, please G-d, to raise and teach him to live a good life of Torah, family, hopes and dreams.

We teach our children, even as we learn along the way ourselves. Two critical things we have from Hashem to help us on this journey: we have the Torah as our holy guidebook, and we have our soul and conscience as our inner voice exhorting us, right from wrong. These are the tools that we go forward with to try and perfect ourselves and the world, and to teach our children to do the same.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 2, 2020

Sukkot: A Time of Divine Protection

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Sukkot: A Time of Divine Protection."

Sukkot is the Jewish Festival of Shelter and of Ingathering.  

In these challenging times of coronavirus and before this eventful election, more than usual, we need G-d’s blessings to shelter and protect us, and to bless both the United States of America and the State of Israel that they should be safe for all of us and that the “ingathering” be not only of the harvest, but of all the exiles from the four corners of the earth to G-d’s Promised Land for the final redemption.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 23, 2020

Nice Country Hats

Men and women of many religions cover their hair for modesty.

On display were some nice, colorful, country-style hats for women.   

Head coverings in church, mosque or synagogue, are a way to express modesty and humbleness before G-d. 

Also, we cover our hair/head, more generally, to remember that G-d is above us, watching and guiding us always. 

Modest, humble, and G-d fearinga hat is a potent symbol of faith.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 30, 2020

Every Little Thing

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Every Little Thing." 


Every little thing that Hashem provides for us is truly a big deal. It’s so easy to become complacent, arrogant, and overconfident in all that we have today. But if we just remember that without every little thing we have, we could be in some big, big trouble tomorrow.

Our bodies, minds, and spirit can be strong, but without the ingredients we need to survive, we are all just dust and ashes. Before the High Holidays, when we ask Hashem to forgive us, and we try to make amends, and pray for a good New Year, now is a great time to appreciate every little thing!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 8, 2020

Why The Happiness of Purim?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Why The Happiness of Purim?"

In a world that is constructed of the story of Purim, everything looks like it's based on mere happenstance and there seems to be no G-d involved—this is a world of randomness and meaninglessness. Whatever happens, just happens by nature or luck, and what can be more meaningless and depressing than that! Thus, the Rabbis had to decree all the laws for the happiness of Purim, because happiness is not innate to a story that is seemingly happenstance and devoid of G-d. That is the big difference between Purim, where Hashem is hidden, and Passover or Hanukah, where Hashem revealed Himself and made incredible miracles—the 10 plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea or the one day of oil that lasted for eight days.

On Purim, we celebrate our deliverance from the evil Haman and the king's decree to kill all the Jews, but also we are overflowing with Joy remembering that G-d is always with us—in good times and G-d forbid in the bad times--we are not afraid of anything (another indecisive election, the stock market downturn, our enemies, Coronavirus, etc.) knowing that He loves us and cares for us, and will deliver us in the old days and in the new. May the final deliverance soon be completed with the arrival of the Mashiach—and the hidden will become revealed like on Purim and the joy will be forever increased. Amen.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 15, 2020

G-d Hears Your Prayers

My son-in-law reminded me of a beautiful Jewish saying about prayer:
Even if a sharp sword rests upon a person's neck, he should not refrain from praying for mercy. 

One can still hope for mercy from the Almighty even at death's door. 

This is truly beautiful and uplifting--we can approach G-d anytime, and as long as we are alive, there is always hope.

The saving from G-d is like "the blink of an eye." ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 7, 2019

Faith Chases Out The Fear

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Faith Chases Out The Fear."
It’s interesting that faith and fear are incompatible and they cannot coexist. Where one is, the other is not. Just like the light chases away the darkness, so too does faith expel fear from our lives. When we believe that G-d is in charge of everything that happens, and that he loves us and ultimately wants what is good of us then what is there for us to fear?

No matter in what danger we find ourselves and no matter how scared we feel, we are not alone. The Master of the Universe is watching over us, waiting for us to raise our eyes to the heavens in faith, and to take a stand and do what’s right. If we do, then G-d will manifest himself to us and indeed “will carry, and will deliver” us.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 22, 2019

Israel and The Golan Heights

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Great Day On The Golan Heights."
Between 1948 and 1967, the Golan was used by Syria to indiscriminately shell and harass Israeli villages in the Galilee, including in April 1967 at which time Israel shot down six Syrian MIG fighter planes as a warning to Syria. Finally, after twenty years of these continuing attacks by Syria on Israel from the Golan, did Syria finally lose the Golan to Israel in the ensuing 1967 War. Contrary to those who say that recognizing Israel’s control of the Golan endorses the forceful taking of land from other countries, the monumental shift in American policy on Purim this week actually provides critical deterrence against war by recognizing the potential consequences to those like Syria that unjustly wage war and lose.

Thank you to President Trump for setting the record straight with respect to Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and for supporting Israel's right to peace and security.  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 27, 2019

Dog Eyes and Knows

Something very cute about this dog and how he's looking. 

Almost seems like there is a person inside there.

See the twinkle and knowing in his eye. 

Makes me wonder whether dogs (and other animals) were once people who have been reincarnated.

Is a dog and a person soul both the same (or how are they different)?

I am sure that there is divine justice (or Comedy) in coming back and in so many different ways and forms. 

This dog knows something for sure. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 3, 2019

In The Blink Of An Eye

Please see my new article in The Times Of Israel called, "In The Blink Of An Eye." 
It all seems to happen in the blink of an eye. Those moments when your life or those of a loved one hang in the balance. It can go either way--you can end up on the road to success or potentially in the morgue. 
In those pivotal split seconds--your life can go this way or that. Do you recognize who is pushing on the scales of justice and are you ready on where to go from there? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 23, 2018

Until My Last Breath

The Shema Yisrael.
Hear O' Israel. The L-rd our G-d. The L-rd is one.

The most sacred and fundamental of prayers in Judaism. 

Declaring our monotheistic belief and faith in the One Above who has created and sustains us daily. 

These are words we call out from the depths of our heart and soul--in joy, in suffering, in life, and ultimately as we leave this world.

No one can take this from us. 

Only G-d decrees who shall live and who shall die...who shall be exalted and who shall be made low. 
Hear O' Israel.
The L-rd our G-d.
The L-rd is one. 
Everything is life is given true perspective by this.

People may rise against us and situations may look dire.

But in the realm of G-d, these are all fleeting like the dust that blows in the wind. 

So too shall G-d remove our troubles and bring us comfort. 

It is a test; it is all a test--remember, Hear O' Israel--and pass it with flying colors. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 24, 2017

G-d Holds All The Keys

So what is there to fear in this world. 

Whatever happens, happens. 

And G-d is the master over it all. 

He holds all the keys. 

G-d opens doors. 

When we are being challenged, look toward the Heavens. 

There is a door there somewhere. 

What can ANY man do to us?

When G-d reigns over ALL men.

In G-d, there is salvation and mercy. 

G-d will watch over His people.

And He will bless them in peace! ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2017

Love For Every Reason

So in synagogue, there was a bat-mitzvah today.

And the 12-year old girl spoke to the congregation. 

She quoted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and said:


"If you can hate for no reason, 
then why not love for no reason."

This seemed like a very smart idea to me--we have a choice between hate and love, so why not choose love!

Later at the luncheon after services, I sat and made a new friend with this very nice person who happened to be an Evangelical Christian preacher. 

I asked about his faith and learned more about the Evangelical belief in the strict words of the Old Testament/Torah. 

This wonderful man had taught in a Jewish school in South America, been to the Holy Land, was friends with our Rabbi, and spoke so highly of the Jewish People, Israel, and his faith in G-d. 

I asked about the differences from his perspective between the different sects of Christianity, and he told me a bit of the history of the movements.

But what was also really interesting was that in contrast to the Evangelical's strong support for Israel, he explained that there still to this day was some anti-Semitic remnants in the Catholic Church, even though the Pope, himself, has called it "wrong and unjust"

I asked why some still then blame the Jews for the murder of Jesus (who was Jewish himself), when it was the Romans that actually tortured and killed him and also, why the historical animus to the Jews if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and this was his divine mission?

He explained that it was wrong and unfair, and that it was misguided scapegoat thinking that "someone had to take the blame."

He then went on to tell me about this great shirt that he liked that had a chart of all the various nation empires of the world that had risen against the Jewish people (from the Egyptians to the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Nazi's) and next to each one it said, GONE!  And then it said, Iran with a TBD--Yep! 

And even Venezuela's, hateful Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said, "I want to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts, damn you State of Israel," and then by 2013 he was dead from stomach (gut) cancer!

So from their day until ours, the One G-d of Hosts continues to looks after Israel and manages the destiny of man--and this is evident throughout the Bible and the prophecies. 

I was so impressed how he was emphatic about the strong Judeo-Christian shared values, beliefs, and faith and that this was the true future for Christianity.

It was understood from the conversation that in all religions, we share more in love of G-d and of each other, and in doing good then in hate, bias, bigotry, and discrimination...and together, we can make it a better world. 

Together, love can conquer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Twitter)
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December 25, 2014

The Power Of One, Many, And G-d

I took this photo at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. 

I like how they took the pictures of the professors, administrators, and students and wallpapered it outside on the facade of the building. 

It says, "I am the voice of innovative education and civic engagement for the 21st century."

It's a cool idea showing the individuals and the power they have to make a difference as well as the aggregate of the photos, as a group, displaying that we are somehow all in it together. 

We can't just rely on others, and we can't take it all on ourselves...progress is a shared responsibility. 

We do our part and contribute to the greater group--it takes a variety of talents to get things done, so we leverage everyones strengths for the good of the team. 

- Education is one part.  

- Experience is another.  

- Engagement is a third

And all these ingredients only come together with divine providence and the good fortune from the Almighty.

This last one is the secret sauce as they say. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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