Showing posts with label Friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friends. Show all posts

September 13, 2020

Purple Thingamajig


You can dance if you want to. 

Even if you're a purple thingamajig. 

You can leave your friends behind. 

Cause your friends don't dance, and if they don't dance.

Then they're no friends of mine. 

Dance purple thingamajig, dance! ;-)

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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July 16, 2020

Missing Florida Vacations

So many months into Covid now, and probably so many more to go unfortunately.

Just missing getting out and down to Florida for a little vacation.

The palm trees.  The sun.  The beach.  A little fun. 

This isn't forever, right?

Hopefully, let's pray, Covid will be over and we can live again in freedom and without fear of contagion every moment of every day, day, day.  ;-)

(Credit Photo of artwork: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 16, 2020

Just One Punch

This figurine is pretty funny to me.

It reminds of a childhood friend who was a fighter type.

Whenever somebody got on his nerves, he would bellow out in his machismo way:
I kill your whole family with one punch!

Honestly, it wasn't all that scary a threat even as it echoed.

But it was comical when everyone else would mimic the saying at the slightest annoyance.

Kids are people too, wakadoo wakadoo!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 13, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 26, 2019

A Song of Saul and David


Great song: David and Shaul from Ehud Banay's third album, ”The Third/Hashlishi”

The song is about the "bipolar" feelings of King Saul toward David (then the next king of Israel). 

Here are the lyrics:

כולם מזמן הלכו לישון

רק שאול ער, קודר
מרים לדוד טלפון

A late-night hour
Everyone is long gone to sleep
Only Shaul is awake, cheerless
He calls David up over the phone

אולי תקפוץ אלי, יא דוד
נפשי אגם שחור
תביא איתך את הגיטרה
כי באצבעותיך אור

Maybe you should stop by, Ya David
My soul is a black lake
Bring the guitar with you
For you have light in your fingers

דוד בא מיד רגוע,
מתיישב ומכוון
את המלאכה היטב יודע
עוצם עיניים, מנגן

David comes right away and he is calm
Sit down and tunes (the guitar)
The job he well knows
Closes his eyes, he plays

עשר אצבעות לדוד
קצה כל אצבע - קרן אור
כשהוא פורט על המיתר
הזמן זורם לו לאחור

Ten fingers David has
The tip of each one - a ray of light 
When he port on the string
The time is flowing backwards

שאול מבפנים קרוע
קרבות בתוך בטנו
אוהב-שונא, ומקנא
מכור לחברו

Shaul is torn inside
Battles in his stomach he has
Love-hate, and jealous he is
Addicted to his friend

דבר מה אפל נופל
השד חוזר להשתולל
סכין נזרקת באוויר
פתאום יש בין השנים קיר

Something dark falls
The demon is back to a rage
A knife is thrown in the air
Suddenly there is a wall between the two

דוד מתחמק משאול
אבל שאול לא מוותר
דוד שוכח וסולח
כששאול מתקשר
David is avoiding Shaul
But Shaul is not giving up
David forget and forgives
When Shaul call up
בוא שוב לנגן לי דוד
קח אותי לכוכבים
בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים
Come again to play to me David
Take me to the stars
Come again to play tonight
A song of longing

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה...

Come again and play tonight..

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים...
Come again and play tonight..
A song of longing..

(Kudos to my Ulpan teacher, Rivka D. for sending me the video and to Izchak, my wonderful son-in-law, for providing the Hebrew/English lyrics)

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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)
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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)
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September 11, 2019

Family and Friends

So I heard this interesting saying yesterday, which goes like this:
Better is a neighbor that is near than a brother that is far off.

I looked it up and saw that it is actually from Proverbs 27:10.

Thinking about it a little, I understand that obviously people that are close by can more easily be there and help one another than someone else who is far away. 

At the same time, I always learned growing up that:
Blood is thicker than water.
Family is family, and friends are friends.  Family is forever, but friends can come and go. 

Yet you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. 

There are some friends that go back decades to childhood and they are almost like family. 

Also, there are sometimes family that are disassociated or even "black sheep" of the family. 

I guess in the end what's most important is how we feel about each other, treat each other, and are there for each other.  

Whatever the designation--family or friends--we need each other.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 2, 2019

What's Your Relationship?

This week I learned about the Three Levels of Relationships.

Level 3: Family/Friends
The highest form of a relationship where you are being authentic (i.e. yourself), you share deeply about yourself (thoughts, feelings, desires, mistakes, etc,) and you are vulnerable. 

Level 2: Professionals
The middle level of relationships in which you are seeking to build trust and respect, you share some information (i.e. appropriate), and you expose yourself a little to the other person. 

Level 1: Acquaintances
The most elementary of relationships that is superficial in nature, there is little personal sharing of information (i.e. mostly when you are asked a question and you feel comfortable answering it), and you remain guarded. 

This is a good way to assess your relationships--is it a level 1, 2, or 3 and are you behaving appropriately within that, so that you trust, communicate, and collaborate effectively.  ;-)

(Graphic Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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November 19, 2018

Happy Friendsgiving

So I learned a new holiday terms today. 

Of course, you know about Thanksgiving--when we celebrate with our family all the wonderful things in life that G-d has blessed us with. 

Well now there is "Friendsgiving."

This typically occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and is enjoyed with friends (instead of family). 

We are still grateful, but we just are thankful with a different set of significant others in our lives. 

To me there is nothing like my family--as my father taught me:
Blood is thicker than water. 

But friends are important in our lives as well, and good and true friends are so hard to come by--so we should celebrate them and with them whenever possible too. 

Finally, I choose this flower, "Bird of Paradise" for this blog, because I love it and it is something wonderful from G-d that I am grateful for. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving to All!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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July 8, 2018

Every Time I Go Mexico

Beautiful guitar band @Lake Needwood today.

First, we went for a nice kayak boat ride around the lake.

Then I couldn't help stopping and listening to this relaxing and peaceful music. 

These guys were great--I'd pay to listen to them. 

Just a bunch of friends getting together to play beautiful music.

This is life as it should be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 24, 2018

Longing For The Slow and Happy Bungalow Days

So I used to hear from my wife about when she was young and went to the bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains.

And today, I heard from a wonderful young Ukrainian woman whose family does the equivalent in the mountains there in the summer. 

When I listen to the stories, it sounds so good to get away with your family and friends for the summer to the countryside. 

Just live simply in a cabin, stay up late by the campfire singing songs, get up lazily in the morning, and during the day play sports, go fishing, and swim in the lake. 

I can't imagine talking 3 months a year and actually being able to do this...so natural, so carefree, so back to living!

Yes as kids, we went to camp, but it's not the same as living communally like this in such freedom and fun. 

Honestly, listening to the stories about this, left me amazingly jealous!

Perhaps, it's a lesson about life these days...we're adults, we're responsible, we have to earn a living and take care of the bills and all of life's responsibilities. 

But maybe, just maybe, there is something--a lot--to be said for letting loose a little, and just being with your loved ones, and living, really living again. 

Why do we have to wait until we're old...too old to work anymore...and maybe too old to appreciate life as life was meant to be.  

We can't run from our responsibilities but isn't it worth looking for ways in life to enjoy more than a long weekend or a week vacation.

Life is too short to let it get away from us. 

Balancing the contributions of our hard labor with the enjoyment of family, friends, and fun...those are the memories that last a lifetime and beyond. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 22, 2018

Everyone Deserves A Day of Rest and Happiness

So someone I know came over to this country and literally has to work 7 days a week for months at a time!

They don't want or need to work that much, but their employer insists that's the way it is. 

On top of it, they don't even get overtime for all the unbelievable hours they have to put in. 

One day, this person actually just broke down in incredible tears, just asking to get a single day off. 

Finally, finally, finally--the employer gave in--for just a single day!

The person was so happy--one day of freedom; one day to enjoy; one day to regain their inner beauty and humanity. 

I was so happy for them!

Every person deserves at least one day off per week. 

Every single one of the major religions in the world that is anchored in the Bible--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--have a holy Sabbath as a day of rest.

There is a divine and ancient wisdom to this. 

People need a day to rejuvenate.

Everything is nature does.

Even the fields have to lay fallow every 7th year so the earth can revitalize and replenish itself. 

There is a natural cycle to things--peaks and valleys--and we need to have some rest and relaxation--to work for something and not for nothing. 

The joy on this person to just have a day off--it was so incredible and touching. 

It spoke light years to me about treating people right--just--humanly--with compassion--and doing good over evil in this world.

What does the employer need to wring an extra days work out of their employees for the rotten greed of money and profits?  

Better to care for your people, and they will be better off for it and thus to the needs of the business and its customers. 

Care for people--they are people. 

Love people--they are G-d's beautiful children. 

Treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Let everyone have a day of rest and something to look forward to--to enjoy, to have some happiness, to get time with their family and friends, to get back to themselves, to attain a deserved and proper peace of mind, body, and soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  
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June 16, 2018

Shabbat Risk

I haven't played Risk in years. 

But my daughter and her husband came for Shabbat, and we sat down and had a great game. 

We distributed the countries. 

Placed our enemies. 

And went to battle, army to army. 

By the time it was over, my daughter had conquered Europe, Africa, and North and South Americas.

It was so good to see her taking country after country from my son-in-law and me. 

My son-in-law joked that he had underestimated her. 

We had a good laugh and nice time just sitting down at the kitchen table and playing a board game. 

Afterward, we went down to the pool and relaxed in the deck chairs and then my wife and I took off our shoes and walked in the grass in the garden. 

I laid down on the beautiful green lawn and looked up watching some planes jet over in the clear blue sky. 

It was absolutely beautiful weather and a marvelous day today with my family. 

In the morning we went to Synagogue and the sit-down kiddush with our friends.

I am grateful to G-d for all this and for the peace of the wonderful Shabbat! 

Also, what more can a man ask for Father's Day. ;-)
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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)
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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)
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November 22, 2017

It's About The People

The older (not that old) that I get, the more I realize that life and success is all about the people. 

Whether it's our families, friends, and colleagues--it's how we treat people and the relationships we form that count--and that enable us to achieve success together!

Many people just count their money instead of counting their blessings of hearts and souls. 

But while we certainly need a certain amount of $$$ to live, we really need ❤ to thrive. 

Today, before the Thanksgiving holiday, I just took a little time to walk around and talk with people here, thank them for their good work and friendships, and wish them a good holiday. 

It was such a little thing, but honestly I felt so good doing it. 

I am thankful for so many things this year, including all the wonderful people in my life who do so much to make my life joyous and fulfilling, but I am also grateful to G-d for continuing to open my eyes to what and who(s) that really count. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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