Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

September 7, 2020

Wedding Speech for Minna and Nafi

Blessed are you, Hashem our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Let me express today my complete joy and thanksgiving to G-d for bringing us to this sacred time, when we join the handsome chasan, Naftali (Nafi) Meles to my beautiful daughter, Michelle (Minna) Blumenthal.

I was blessed with my wife Dossy to have two absolutely beautiful and incredible daughters, Minna and Rebecca. All three of these women are the loves of my life and the apples of my eyes. They are beautiful outside of countenance and most importantly, inside in their neshamas (souls).

Now as well I must thank the Almighty for blessing me with two amazing sons, both after my namesake. My Hebrew name is Abraham Naftali, and 3 years ago we were blessed to have Itzchak from Israel come into our lives and marry my daughter, Rebecca and become a son unto me. If you remember in the Torah, Itzchak was the son of Avraham and also he married Rivkah (Rebecca).

And again, today, Hashem has shown me his blessings and mercy and brought Naftali into our lives to marry our daughter, Minna. My middle name is Naftali and again, I welcome my namesake Naftali Meles into our family as my second son.

So truly I am blessed and have so much to be grateful for, bli ayin harah, with now 2 lovely daughters and 2 wonderful sons.

Both Minna and Nafi are the mezinkahs, Minna in our family, the Blumenthals, and Naftali in the Meles family—the last child of each of our families to be married off, so this is a great and truly joyous occasion.

I want to tell you a little about Minna and Nafi today.

Minna is an incredible young woman. She is a deeply religious person with a heart of gold, who always looks to do right by Hashem and others. Minna is also thank G-d celebrating the completion of her Master’s Degree in Communications just a few months ago, in June, from Georgetown University and she has been working for Homeland Security, since she was just 16 years old. She has brought us so much nachas and please G-d this is just the beginning for many more accomplishments in her life.

Nafi, who I have come to know this last year, is an incredible young man. Nafi is a wonderful Jew who learns weekly with a Torah partner, and is dedicated to making a wonderful Jewish home with Minna. Just last month Nafi completed a highly prestigious internship with the Department of Defense, and is moving forward, please G-d, with his career ambitions as a permanent government employee and rising star. As many of you know, Nafi is also an accomplished drummer and he comes to us in Rockville with drum set and all. I think eventually they’ll need a bigger apartment.

Minna and Nafi are joining together today to build with G-d help a bayit ne’aman B’Yisrael, a lasting house in Israel. They have a wonderful love and understanding for each other and with Hashem as the 3rd partner in their marriage, I am confident they will be very successful in building their home and family.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Meles family for having such a wonderful son as Nafi to share with Minna and us, and for joining our families together. I pray that Hashem will bless this beautiful loving couple with many, many years of health, joy, parnasa, and peace! And of course grandchildren for all of us! Amen!

I also want to thank each and every one of you for joining in our simcha today. Unfortunately Covid has limited the quantity of the attendees, but it allowed us to focus on the quality instead! Please G-d many more simchas with all of you in the future!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 6, 2020

My Special Socks Today

Mazel Tov to Minna And Nafi on their big wedding day today!

So grateful to Hashem and happy for them to start their new life together. 

May Hashem grant them all the blessings with much happiness, health, prosperity, peace, and a beautiful growing family. 

Special thank you to Minna for the beautiful socks for us to walk her down the aisle today. 

And yes, she will always be my little girl! 

With all my love,

Dad

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumethal)
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July 30, 2020

Peace To All Mankind!

Today is Tisha B'Av.

It's a solemn day on the Jewish calendar when we commemorate so many terrible events that happened in our history.

We have to remember the lows, but also pray for G-d to bring us ever back to the highs.

Peace, health, prosperity, and happiness.

It all comes from the One Above! 

May G-d have mercy on us and bestow only blessings for good times to come. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 10, 2020

Yesterday a Dog, Today a Cat!

Shabbat Shalom from Ms. Cat. 

It only takes a day to change from a dog to cat. 

Downs and ups of life. 

Shabbat is the up, thank G-d!  ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 19, 2020

A Smooth Jazz Shabbat Shalom!

A Smooth Jazz Shabbat Shalom to all!

A little song.

A little dance. 

We're back in the groove. 

Thank G-d for Friday, because then comes Shabbat! ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 9, 2020

Girl With Rose

Beautiful art from a few years ago by my daughter, Rebecca. 

Peace, happiness, and life.  ;-)


(Credit Art: Rebecca Ochayon)

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May 1, 2020

Shabbat Shalom and Stay Healthy!

Beautiful Shabbat is almost here again. 

A time for rest and rejuvenation. 

Each of us has to take care of and nourish our body, mind, and soul. 

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!

Please stay safe and healthy. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: 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 11, 2020

Traveling Chasidim @AISH Greater Washington DC




(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal and Credit Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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January 2, 2020

'Uncut Gems' Cuts Deep

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Uncut Gems Cuts Deep."
Yesterday, we went to see the new Adam Sandler movie, Uncut Gems....Ratner's life is full of shlemazel of his own making. While he has a good wife, kids, and extended family (maybe with the exception of his loan shark uncle), a fancy-schmancy home in the suburbs with a newly renovated pool, his own jewelry business that even caters to some big-league sports players, and a shiksa girlfriend on the side (who seems to love him), Ratner is never satisfied or happy and is always pushing for more!

In the movie, Howard Ratner was driven by greed and made bad life choices, and to me, it was a shame that the he was portrayed as a Jew, which can feed the vicious cycle of discrimination and hatred that has often been anchored around money. With the vicious machete attack on Chanukah at a Rabbi's house in Monsey this week (after a slew of other anti-Semitic incidents, including an attack on a student for wearing a yalmulke on the NYC Subway to beatings and tire slashings of Jews in Brooklyn), we are reminded that there is once again a resurgence of prejudice and hate against Jews, but also that it's the light of Chanukah that "drives out the darkness," and that money and materialism are a mere shabby substitute to finding true security and success whether you work in the dense NYC Diamond District or live in the sprawling suburbs of America.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 27, 2019

Flowers and Well Wishes 4 Shabbat Shalom!


"When you keep the Sabbath day, the Sabbath day keeps you!"

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 15, 2019

The Best Jobs 2020 and Beyond

So I saw a smart video about which are the best jobs.

They are not the ones that just pay the most!

Here are the three criteria to look for in your next dream job (aside from the money):

1) Autonomy - Work that is self-directed provides satisfaction that jobs that are closely or micro-managed do not. 

2) Mastery - Jobs that allow you get better at them over time  (technical proficiency) provide a sense of mastery and self-respect. 

3) Purpose - When you have a deep sense of purpose and meaning from your work there is simply no greater motivator and satisfier than this. 

I'd also add that the best places to work are the ones with:
  •  The best bosses and the nicest people
  •  A solid balance for work and life

Overall, if we can reconnect the profit motive with the purpose motive then we have truly have the best jobs out there. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 13, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 27, 2019

What's It Worth To You?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "What's It Worth To You."
Certainly, passion for being your best, determination to succeed, and even some healthy competition are important factors in driving our own success as well as societal progress, but when keeping up with that scorecard against others becomes the essence of your own self-worth then things have gone too far and way off course.

We each have our mission, strengths, challenges, and so forth. It’s okay in life, if someone else has more of something (money, friends, honor, whatever). Everyone has their own “basket in life” as my father taught me, “and you wouldn’t want to change baskets with anyone else.”

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 4, 2019

What Makes Happy

So the same things don't seem to drive happiness for everyone. 

Some like big jobs and lots of power. 

Others are happier with more work-life balance. 

Some like to pursue lots of degrees and certifications.

Others like to learn on their own and through life experience. 

Some like to travel the world.

Others like a day in nature or at the museum. 

Some like big families and lots of people around them. 

Others like smaller families, close friends, intimacy, or even being more on their own. 

Some like lots of money. 

Other are happy with having what they need.

Some like to be tremendous athletes. 

Other like to just stay fit or maybe are more comfy as "couch potatoes."

Some like to be very religious and follow all the laws.

Others prefer mindfulness, a sense of spirituality and being a "good person."  

Some like lots of activities and to always do different things. 

Others are more comfortable with routine and incremental change. 

We all have basic needs, but we also have different values, priorities and comfort zones. 

Happiness isn't a yes or no answer, but what makes us feel on track and doing good. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 15, 2019

Transcending Suffering and Impermanence

There is a buddhist philosophy that life is all about loss and suffering. 

The Budha says:
Life is suffering.

Why? Because life is impermanence--whatever we gain, eventually, we must lose. 

- Riches, power, people, health, even our memories perhaps. 

In a sense, this is like the saying from "War of the Roses":
There is no winning, only degrees of losing. 

However, there is one exception to the impermanence and loss in life:

The only thing that is permanent is our good deeds, and with this we can achieve an everlasting good name for ourselves.

In Judaism, we teach:
A good name is better than fine oil.

Hence, this is the permanence that we strive for in life and in death.  

If we can attain a good name through purity of soul then in a sense, we can transcend life's suffering and impermanence.  

By becoming non-attached to all of life's temporary things, and instead focusing on perfecting ourselves, we can free ourselves from suffering and from this world, and then we can go on in everlasting-peace to the afterlife. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 23, 2018

@Tree Top Park, Davie, Florida



It's funny that just as I am expressing gratitude for the peace, mindfulness, and zen good feelings, a plane is loudly flying overhead in this Florida park.  

No winning even in nature anymore! ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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September 8, 2018

Prayer For Rosh Hashanah

Please see my new Times of Israel post with a heartfelt:

Prayer for Rosh Hashanah.

May it be truly a year of blessings. 

Wishing everyone a sweet and happy New Year!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 8, 2018

Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa

Thought this was a beautiful wall hanging in a local restaurant here. 

Three golden Hamsas!

Hamsa is symbolic for the protective hand of G-d. 

Three is a number for "chizuk"  (strengthening) that signifies something is firmly established. 

The three Hamsas together is a potent representation for G-d's protection, mazel (good fortune), happiness, health, prosperity, and peace. 

Oh G-d, we pray that you show us your endless divine mercy and bless us with all that is for the good. 

Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2018

Don't Worry--Be Happy!

Happy Friday everyone!

Yesterday, someone gave me a couple of these bright yellow smileys--one on the back of each of my hands. 

I was going around waving these happy faces all day.  

Of course, sitting in meetings was a little weird with these on, but then again, maybe that is part of setting a colorful and happy tone. 

It's funny how a little smile sticker can make the whole world seem right again. 

Maybe we can learn to live life, love life, and make the most of every single day. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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