Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egypt. Show all posts

April 19, 2019

Novel Passover Haggadah


Thought this was a pretty cool Passover Haggadah. 

Shaped like a wine bottle!

Sort of sets the stage for the four cups of wine at the Seder. 

I found this Haggadah in Israel, and I'm glad I got a few of them.  

Wishing everyone a joyous Passover and Easter holiday! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 31, 2018

Iran Had Better Look To The Haggadah

On Passover, we recite the Haggadah to remember how G-d redeemed us from being slaves in Egypt. 

At the Seder, many also recite the Hatikvah--the Israeli National Anthem--to remember that our suffering and redemption didn't end almost 3,500 years ago in the Exodus from Egypt, but has continued to this very day post Holocaust with the establishment of the modern-day State of Israel. 

One thing that I will tell you is that if Slavery in Egypt and all the anti-Semitism, Inquisitions, Pogroms, Expulsions, and the Holocaust taught us anything is that:

- One, our faith in G-d Almighty and his love and promised redemption for us will never cease, and 

- Two, that we will never, ever, go like sheep to the slaughter again.

Already in 1981 and 2007, with the help of Hashem, Israel rid the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons of destruction from the hands of tyrannical Middle Eastern dictatorships in both Iraq and Syria. 

And I would venture to say that neither of these enemies were as completely hateful, ruthless, and vowed to Israel's destruction as Iran is today. 

In the Haggadah we recall the eternal fight of good over evil:
"For not only one enemy has tried to destroy us, but in every generation, nations have tried to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, always saves us from their hands."

As sure as we celebrate Passover today, I am confident that G-d will once again make a tremendous miracle and save us from the hands of the maniacal mullahs in Iran who pose an existential threat to the Israelites today. 

Israel's Operation Babylon and Operation Orchard in Iraq and Syria were successful actions in and of themselves, but they were also practice runs for what is yet to come to the spinning centrifuges in Axis of Evil, Iran. 

G-d's promise to Abraham to bless the Israelites and give them the Holy Land--whether by the ten plagues in Egypt or the Allied victory over Adolf Hitler--redemption will soon be coming again delivered compliments of the heroic Israeli Defense Forces.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 10, 2017

Tunnel From Egyptian Bondage

On Passover, we celebrate G-d's redemption of the Israelites and the great miracles he wrought in bringing them from slavery to freedom, giving them the sacred Torah, and taking them to the Holy Land of Israel. 

His mercy and kindness endures forever!

While many people think that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the desert...

Little do most people know that there is also this miracle tunnel that many Israelites took when G-d took them out of Egyptian bondage and exile. 

It connected them from Egypt and straight to the IRT subway train, which took them to the shuttle that then got them to John F. Kennedy International Airport and on to El Al planes to the State of Israel.

In G-d's world, there is no limitations of time and space...and He literally brought them on wings on eagles to live in Israel and worship at his holy Temple in Jerusalem. 

For 3,500 years, the Israelite Jewish people have inhabited the land of Israel--from their days and until ours, may Judah be saved and may Israel dwell securely, and let us bless and thank G-d, and say Amen!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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May 3, 2016

Cat Knob

So I just love this cat door knob. 

Carved in wood and a special tinge of African Egyptian art. 

Dark wood cat knob on light wood doors--looks warming and pretty classy. 

From the white glue in the background, it looks like it fallen off a few times, perhaps. 

But either way so cute--one of these on each on the French Doors. 

It's a nice home decor and style--and the big cat eyes are so handsome. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 9, 2016

10 Commandments, 10 Plagues--What's The Connection?

-- Click on the image to read in large graphic --

___________________________________________________________

It occurred to me while listening to the Rabbi's speech at Magen David Synagogue today that there is nothing random in the Torah (Bible).

Since this weeks's Torah reading in Exodus was about the ten plagues in Egypt, I realized that this must be connected to the later ten commandments in a subsequent reading. 

This table explains how the commandments to the Jews (and all mankind) and the plagues on the Egyptians are connected one for one.

(Source Table: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 10, 2015

Just Frogs



What's with the frog infatuation--especially associated with ice cream and frozen yogurt (SweetFrog, Frogg's Ice Cream, Frosty Frog, etc.)?

According to Save The Frogs, some interesting facts:

- There are over 6,300 species of frogs and toads (a close, warty relative of the frog). 

- They range from just 9 mm to over 30 mm and 6.6 lbs, and can live from a few years to as many as 30-years (ol' frog river uncaring with the flow of the Mississippi). 

- Frogs are amphibians developing in their larval state in water as herbivores, but as adults living on land as carnivores (flies anyone).

- Toads tend to have poisonous secretions as does the Poison Dart Frog (maybe the princess should not be kissing that frog).

- Australian Stony Creek Frogs build nests for their eggs just like birds (got to protect those youngins). 

- Wood frogs adapt to the freezing cold by stopping their breathing, blood flow, and heartbeat (now that's extreme hibernation).

- Similarly, Burrowing Frogs survive hot, dry climates by slowing their metabolism and shedding their skin into a protective mosture-retaining cocoon, and others can live underground for as many as 10 months and surface in mass when the rains come (like the 2nd plague in Egypt).

- Pesticides, fertilizers, and parasites have been increasing deformities in frogs such as missing limbs or having 6 legs (making jumping on 3 legs a bitch and jumping on 6 an unfair advantage). 

Frogs are a great illustration of how to "adopt or die" with the emphasis on living and thriving forward--not so sure though about frog-flavored ice cream. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 25, 2015

Is This A Genuine Partner For WMD Peace?


Everyone was speculating why Iran was building a 202 meter long life-size replica of a Nimitz Class U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.

Well today (as we are hear of "progress" with Iranian nuclear talks), we got our answer, as the Iranian military took the opportunity and blew the mock U.S. aircraft carrier to smithereens!


The commander of Iran's Navy stated: "The Americans, and the entire world, knows that the American Navy is one of our targets and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship."


At the same time, Iran is mulling over the purchase of a powerful anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.


So now Iran is going toward an agreement for a possible lifting of western financial sanctions and a 10-year nuke capability, and we are trusting them that it is for peaceful purposes?


Many of our major Middle East allies are concerned including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and more, and so much so that an Iranian nuke capability may "spark a nuclear arms race."


Hmm...why the desperation for a deal with "Axis of Evil," Iran amidst ongoing hostility and threats from Iran towards "The Great Satan," America, and all the express concerns of our longtime friends and allies? 


Now we won't just have deadly terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to contend with across the region, but also a nuclear armed Iran--amidst regular threats to sink the U.S. Navy and annihilate Israel (and just 70 years after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jewish men, women, and children!).  


What have we learned about appeasement of dangerous foes and the unimaginable risks to millions of innocent lives around the world? ;-)

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February 22, 2015

Strange Leggings

Took this photo in the mall of this very strange looking pair of leggings. 

Sort of an ancient Egyptian style complete with princess, gold, and a cast of phony "G-ds"--sun, falcon, tiger, and more.  

Not sure who would actually wear these, but all the power to them. 

They are made so you "Walk like An Egyptian"--Go Bangles!

Can you hear me sing it?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 2, 2014

Exodus Hollywood Style 2014


Very excited about the new Exodus movie coming next month. 

Looks high budget action and with great special effects.

Hopefully, not a disappointment like Noah (2014 film)--I don't think it will be. 

Good wins over evil--well, we all know that already from the Bible!

According to the Passover Haggadah, we are supposed to retell every year, from generation to generation, our story of going from the cruel enslavement by evil dictators to the redemption by the merciful Almighty G-d.

It's timeless and our history!  ;-)

(Note: Movie name is Exodus G-ds and Kings, but there is only one G-d.)
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November 3, 2013

12 Years A Slave, But Not Anybody's Property

I saw the movie "12 Years A Slave."

I have seen other movies on slavery, such as Amistad and Glory, but none were as potent and realistic as this was. 


I came out with my head full of feelings of pain and injustice, as if I had just lived through those 12 years as a slave myself. 


I literally felt sick to my stomach and the room felt as if it was spinning and I could hardly breathe. 


My wife said to me, "You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel bad."


And I responded to her, "I feel bad that they (the slave owners and traders) weren't human."


I cannot tell the story of Solomon Northup or of the horrors of slavery any better than the movie in fact did. 


But what I can convey is my shear disgust for how anybody could enslave and mistreat others the way the Black people and others throughout history were. 


As a Jewish person, my own people have a history of 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and this took on a whole new meaning. 


As great actors as Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner were, The movie, The Ten Commandments, did not show the depths of Hell of slavery as much as the breadth of Heaven of redemption. 


And while the Pyramids of Egypt were built not with massively powered Caterpillar earth movers and construction equipment, but with the flesh and blood of my people under the whip of servitude 3,500 years ago, similarly the Capitol of the United States and The White House were built with Black people in chains and hung by the noose. 


In the movie today, the plantation owners said they could do what they wanted to the slaves and without fear of retribution or sin, because the slaves were their property. 


What is unbelievable is that anyone can believe that anybody can be the property of anyone other than G-d, the Master of the Universe, him/herself. 


The slave trader in the movie, tearing apart a family and selling the mother and her children separately, when questioned on his ability to commit such atrocity, says matter-of-factly,"my sentimentality extends the length of a coin."


For a buck, what will a person not do?


In history, we have seen individuals and whole societies cheat, steal, rape, enslave, torture, murder, and commit every treachery and treason...for a buck or even just because they could. 


What is the lesson for all of us?


People can do great good in this world, but unfettered by faith, conscience, reason, or fear of justice, they can do great, great evil--and for that we can never let our guard down.

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October 19, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut


It is the first and foremost duty of every nation to protect its people and safeguard the values upon which it stands.

Therefore, as I watch the news unfold every day, I am left incredulous at some of our actions that seem to defy this basic notion.

Maybe, I am not seeing the bigger picture, but…

A dozen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks by “fundamentalists,” “extremists,” and our declared “War on Terrorism,” we, by our actions, seem to be supporting (tacitly and at times more overtly) those very same extremists that seek our destruction.

Here are some examples:

1) IRAN – Relations thaw and we begin reconciliation with arch enemy Iran (the #1 world sponsor of terrorism) and consider removing sanctions and even considering to allow nuclear capability to remain Iran leaving long time allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE scratching their heads, and Iranians still shouting “Death to America!”

2) SYRIA – We ostensibly support and arms rebels in Syria, yet these rebels fighting Assad (who is no great character himself and allegedly uses chemical weapons on his own people) are aligned with large elements of extremists to include designated terror organization Hezbollah fighting in the thousands in Syria, as well as arch-enemy Al Qaeda!

3) EGYPT - The Egyptian military overthrows Morsi and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood (aligned with designated terrorist organization Hamas) and the military resumes protection of non-Muslims, including the Christian community, yet we penalize Egypt and withhold military aid to those who just reestablished secular government.

4) IRAQ – We overthrow the Sunni-government of Saddam Hussein, a counterweight (albeit a ruthless dictator) to Iran’s fundamentalist Shiite leadership, and thereby create a virtual greater Shiite Kingdom in the Middle East, and then we pull out our military abandoning gains that were hard fought with the blood of our military men and women and gold from our national treasury.

5) LIBYA – We provide scant support for the overthrow of terrorist dictator Gaddafi, and when fundamentalists attack and kill our Ambassador and others in Benghazi, our military response is muted and the attackers continue to roam free, rather than be speedily tracked down “dead or alive.”

We are a principled nation based on democracy, diversity, and human rights, and we have led the world in greatness towards those ideals.

We can win the peace through the righteousness of our cause, but as with Hitler, there is no placating avowed enemies of the ideals of freedom.

Why abandon longtime friends and allies, and coddle terrorists and those that seek the destruction of our nation and way of life?

"All that is needed for the forces of evil to Triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Eneas De Troya)

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August 20, 2013

Choosing Between Democracy and Freedom

This is a photo I took in the Metro in Washington D.C. 

It is an advertisement for a cessation of hostilities in Syria where estimates are over 100,000 people killed in civil war, so far. 

Now in Egypt, you have about 1,000 killed in the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood and violence continues there as well. 

What is really confusing is that in both cases you have terrorists and extremists fighting more secular societies--yet, we do not unequivocally support the secularists in their battle again Jihadists.

At the same time, we went to war for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight a "war on terror" and to this day it continues with somewhat regular drone attacks. 

While I understand that as a Democracy we need to support fair and free elections, does this mean we have to buttress up fundamentalists, extremists, and terrorists--just because they got voted in. 

Sometimes, people don't know or understand what they are voting for until its too late, which seems to be what happened in Egypt when the people elected the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Similarly, the Nazi party in Germany in the 1930's won many seats in the Reichstag, and we know the ten of millions murdered and the destruction that this led to. 

Democracy, does not mean good always prevails, but when evil is rightfully elected what are we to do--simply support free elections or support good over evil? 

Perhaps, the notion of good and evil is a little simplistic (especially when neither side may be very good), but the idea is the same, are we fighting for free elections or the better candidate in terms of overall freedom, human rights, and world peace.

Can we really afford to straddle the fence here?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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