Showing posts with label Heaven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heaven. Show all posts

July 15, 2019

Butterfly + Flower






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

May 17, 2019

A Good Father

I know it's not Father's Day yet, but I had a beautiful dream about my dad the other day that I wanted to share. 

In my dream, I was looking at this ledger.

And at the top of the ledger, it said:
"A Good Father"

I understand that good didn't mean like good vs. great, but rather like good vs. evil in this universe. 

Beneath it, there were lists and lists of signatures of people who knew my dad. 

Their signatures were an attestation that he was not only a good dad, but a good and righteous person. 

I remember in the dream his presence was there with me as I looked at the ledger. 

Then there was an astoundingly bright light that I was basking in.

Now I could feel I was in the presence of the Master of the Universe. 

I looked up to the center and most intense part of the light, and lifted my arms upward in complete supplication to it...towards G-d.

And I felt myself crying out to G-d, and as I cried out louder and more intensely, I was transported back--whooshed through a tunnel at light speed...to awaken from this incredible dream.

Unlike most dreams, this one I remembered and it stuck with me even days later now. 

My dad was truly a great father and a great man!

I am grateful to Hashem for letting me see him this week, and I miss him greatly. ;-)

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

September 9, 2018

Lessons In Teshuvah - Near-Death Experience


Great Video on the incredible Near Death Experience (NDE) of Rabbi Alon Anava. 

What he experiences, sees, and is told can change lives forever. 

What a perfect learning right before Rosh Hashanah. 

Teshuvah, Tefillah, U'Tzedekah.

Shannah Tova! ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 25, 2018

An 80-Year-Old's Life Philosophy

So today an 80-year-old Algerian man sat our table for the Kiddush lunch after synagogue services. 

And he talked quite a bit about his life philosophy and told me I was a good listener. :)

1) TRUE LOVE IS LIKE AN ORANGE:
A man and women that are meant to be together are like two sides of an orange.  With his hands, he showed us putting the two sides together, twisting, and he goes, "You see it just clicks!"

2) WHEN LOVE IS NOT TRUE ITS LIKE TWO BIRDS IN A CAGE:
When a man and woman are not soulmates, maybe they just are meant to be together for a time to have children or make a home temporarily. But then, the birds need to leave the cage, and be free!

3) BURIED TOGETHER:
"When people are soulmates, they are buried together, next to each other. Otherwise, one is buried in Greece and the other in Hawaii, and it makes no difference because they are going their own ways in Heaven."

4) 80 HERE AND 20 HERE
He pointed to his belly and said, "I'm 80 here." And then pointed to his groin area, and said, "But I'm 20 here!"

5) WOMEN ONLY UNDER 40:
While he is 80, he claims to be robust in the bedroom, and "will never be with a woman over 40...not a day over!"  He said, "It's like an old Cadillac!" Moreover, he said, if a woman is "not perfect" and has a scar like from having her appendix out, "forget it!"

6) WRITING, PLAYING GUITAR, AND DANCING:
He said, "I like to write, play guitar and dance." And with his arms, he makes some swoops like he is on the dance floor having a good time. 

7) PEOPLE ARE LIKE CANDLES:
People are like candles.  The body is like the wax that burns down, but the soul is the flame that always rises up.  In the end, the soul ascends to heaven just like the flame. 

8) INFINITELY STUPID:
He pointed to the yarmulke on top of his head and said:  "You know what that means?  This means that there is no limit to how stupid some people can be!"  

8) YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK:
I asked what he did for a living, and he said "Real estate, Jewelry, and even fashion salons."  I said, "Wow, you're very fortunate!"  He said, "No, in life, you make your own luck!"

10) RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT:
"You respect me, and I respect you. But frankly, I don't care if you respect me or not. You can do what you want, and so will I!" I said, "Ok, see you next week and we'll talk again."  He said, "Maybe I will or maybe I won't talk to you ever again."

Like his philosophy or not, I never saw an 80-year-old with so much energy, life, and personality. Honestly, there are a lot of people half his age, who act more dead than alive. It was incredible to see this ageless person and hear what that's like. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal 
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 18, 2018

Rain From Heaven

Took this photo yesterday in the courtyard during a thunderstorm.

It is the first time that I was actually able to see the rain almost in a slow motion.

They weren't drops, but literally streaks of water zipping down from the sky.

The feeling was so pure and refreshing to clean the air and the ground. 

To replenish our reservoirs, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

To nourish the fruit of the Earth and make it grow. 

We use up and make dirty, but G-d replenishes and makes clean! ;-)

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

June 3, 2018

The Blessings and The Curses

L-rd, Bless your loving children. 

And do swift justice to the wicked that seek their destruction. 

Bless those that stand guard at your heavenly and earthly gates. 

Curse those evil ones that make a mockery of your lofty kingship. 

Bless the humble and faithful to you and your laws.

Curse those that stand in arrogance and spread hate and vileness before you. 

Bless those that bless you and seek to do good. 

Curse those that curse you and do harm to your creations. 

Bless the righteous people with all that is good. 

Curse the wicked and tear them asunder so that they are utterly destroyed. 

L-rd, please hear your lowly servant and bring the ultimate redemption to your people. 

And verily discomfort, smite and throw to the depths of punishment and exile the cursed wicked. 

None can stand before you in their shame and disgrace. 

Do it for your name's sake; do it for your children's sake, do it for your justice's sake, do it to make things right in your beautiful and perfect world. ;-)

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

May 3, 2018

The Nicest Blossoms Ever



So I almost never do this. 

Posting about the same thing twice in a short period. 

But this is an exception. 

The Cherry Blossoms this year are the nicest I have ever seen them. 

Hopefully, this is a sign of blessings from G-d.

The world is blossoming and hopefully so is our fortune. 

May G-d have mercy on the good people. ;-)

(Source Photo: 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

January 28, 2018

The Devil Wolf Attack

So I had one of the scariest dreams that I've ever experienced--and it is a true story from just last evening. 

It was so completely real, I can't even tell you.

There was a devil wolf that attacked me from the the back and literally jumped on me. 

It's claws were wrapped around my neck and I could tell that with any movement whatsoever, they would immediately slice and sever my arteries completely.

His huge jaws were at the backside of my head, it's hot breath searing my flesh, and his sharp gnawing teeth were ready at any moment to snap into my neck. 

His full weight, incredible strength, and evil presence were heavy on me and ripping into my back and shoulders. 

It was clear how close I was to the very end of it all. 

The pure evil of this devil wolf being and the ferociousness of the attack was the most fearsome that I could ever imagine. 

What happened next I will never tell anyone, except that I am alive to tell the story.

But this experience of undeniable and terrible evil so close and foreboding has left me a different person forever. 

There are forces of true evil out there--for sure--and we must never let our guard down for a second. 

But as Rabbi Nachman says, it is a narrow bridge, but with the good of G-d, we must never fear at all. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Efraim Stochter)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 15, 2018

Suicide Back To Go

So I spoke to someone who tried to commit suicide.

This is what they told me:

"When you try to commit suicide, there is no light; there is no Heaven; there is only darkness."

Basically, even though they were desperate and tried to kill themselves, their experience was not one of finding relief, but rather of going to Hell!

So while I really don't know anything, this is what I imagine happens when you try to commit suicide. 

Yes, there is no light--there is only darkness. 

Yes, there is no Heaven.

But I don't believe you go to Hell for being desperate, depressed, alone, and feeling like you have no other way out. 

Instead, what I believe is that you "Go back to GO and you do not collect $200."

In other words, you have to start the Game of Life all over again. 

Since you didn't complete your tests, trials, challenges, and mission...you go back to the beginning. 

You have to relive your life and go through it all over again. 

Who is to say, whether it is a better life or not. 

Presumably, whatever lessons you were supposed to learn the first time around, you still have to complete those lessons. 

So I would think you have to relive a lot of the same. 

I don't know about you, but one of the things I hate worst when things go wrong is to have to go back and redo what I've already done. 

It seems so fruitless, such a waste of time and effort. 

How is that for frustrating--working just to redo what you already did. 

Perhaps that is quite the measured "punishment" for those who end their life prematurely--before G-d says it's time. 

While we frequently say things about wishing to be young again or do it all over again--I think rarely does someone mean having to go thru the same pain points again. 

I assume it's nice to live again, but it's got to be a value-add life--not just a do-over!

So in my mind, while someone on the edge may not have a real choice in what they are doing and in making a decision to take their life--it's probably not a purely rational moment in time--I do think that in so taking their life, they are not doing themselves any favors in the end. 

Because, suicide isn't game over, but rather the game begins all over--from the beginning again. ;-)

(Note: I am not talking about assisted suicide here for someone who is at the end of life and in absolute pain and suffering and it is truly time to go--I am sure that is perfectly okay). 

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

December 18, 2017

Shower Us With Peace

Oh L-rd, we pray that you shower your people with an abundant and complete peace. 

A peace of mind, spirit, and body.

A peace that permeates every aspect of our being and knows no limits to time and space. 

May You grant us a complete saving and healing. 

As threats loom large on the horizon, we look to the Heavens to ask for your merciful saving grace. 

Enemies rise against us, and only you can reach down and lift us up.

We stand in your presence, naked and humbled.

As the winds blow and clouds gather, only you can protect and save. 

While some men look arrogantly at their own strength and smarts, these are nothing to the Master of the Universe.

G-d uproots the wicked and plants his faithful children in their stead. 

Peace is the ultimate blessing, and only G-d can grant it. ;-)

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

November 4, 2017

5-Minute Intervals




This was sunrise at 5-minute intervals. 

All I can think is how glorious G-d is and how marvelous his creation.

- The light of the L-rd chases the darkness away.

- The might of the L-rd brings forth a new day. 

- The right hand of the L-rd shows us all the correct way. 

How are your works so majestic indeed. 

All we can do is gaze with eyes wide.

Truly the perfection of the L-rd is shown in his creation. 

We are blessed to see and experience it.

Every day is a miracle that we have in this world.

Even with pain and sorrow, our soul clings to this life. 

Until such time that our Maker calls us home to Him once more. 

Then we gasp our last breath and enter his Heavenly abode. 


For this world is just a corridor to the true world that is to come. 

And so just imagine what that must be like to be even closer to G-d and his endless loving majesty. ;-)

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

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)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 16, 2017

The Ultimate Rejection (Not)

Ok, folks.

This picture is not the message you want to get before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year and time of judgment). 

We want to see the long hand of G-d come down with love, caring, forgiveness, and blessings!

A flick of the Almighty index finger, definitely not what we want to see or get.  

Worse would be getting the middle finger, of course. 

But I definitely don't think G-d does that! 

Talking about rejection with a big R. 

To all my family and friends, a most happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year!  ;-)

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

July 19, 2017

Touched By An Angel

So the other night I dreamed.

And in the dream, an angel came to me and was over me as I lay down. 

The angel had it's finger pointing at my head in the right temple area. 

The finger was all white and while I could feel it having a solid state, it was able to pass in a non-solid state, transparently through the surface and slightly into my head. 

I felt pressure applied there and almost like a healing feeling.

The angel was pure white--like a holy marble, but not like marble. 

It was majestic, slender, and tall.

It had white feathery wings that were taller than it's body. 

It's face was like an adult, but also like a child--it was both. 

Its feet were like a smooth and solid arch, and did not have toes.

The angel hovered over my upper body, head area, and was looking at me and touching my right temple--with care and love. 

It was absolutely clear to me that the angel visiting me was my dear, dear father. 

Although, I woke with a slight headache, I felt happy and at great peace by his visit.

The experience was caring, loving, holy and I was uplifted by it. 

With his unbelievably pure and giving heart, it was beautiful to see my father as an angel--this was him all along. ;-)

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

December 19, 2016

Flying Sneaks

We can all fly.

Not necessarily through the air.

But through life and ultimately in death, we can fight and take flight and soar. 

It is our attitude and determination to overcome the hardest of hardships that we face. 

We feel the pain for the situations where we fell, failed, and lost control over outcomes. 

People who told us what they thought we are and where we can go...our ego busted, our shame written all over us, our regret and fear over what we did or should've done differently.

We can't go back.

We can only go forward.

We can learn, and we can grow.

We can compartmentalize the problems and hurt. 

We can pick up the pieces wiser than before and more determined to succeed.

Wings are not just for angels, but also for sneakers and for souls. 

I want to fly all around the world, and more so into the heavens to see my Heavenly father and be reunited for eternity with my family and loved ones.

Fly free and wide.

Fly high and unobstructed by poverty, illness, abuse, and loneliness. 

Fly and soar beyond anything we could ever have imagined. ;-)

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

October 17, 2016

From Cocoa Trees To Honey Pizza








Had a chance to take in the United States Botanic Garden. 

Loved going in the greenhouse. 

The air was fresh and the flowers beautiful. 

The 2nd to last photo is a cocoa tree, which I had never seen before. 

It was incredible to me that those pods hold the amazing stuff that gives us chocolate. 

G-d's creations are so amazing. 

Also, we went for dinner and my daughter had this amazing pizza with cheese, figs, spinach, and honey. 

I couldn't have the dough because of my Paleo diet, but I just tasted the toppings, and it was literally like heaven. 

I was glad that the taste didn't show up on the scale this morning. 

To me the wonderment is how our senses can literally indulge in so many wonderful things almost like the Garden of Eden. 

Thank you G-d for giving us life and the ability to enjoy your amazing creations. ;-)

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

October 10, 2016

Visiting My Parents

We went to visit my parent's graves yesterday. 

Now, between the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is customary to visit and remember our blessed loved ones. 

We went to spend time with them, tell them how much we miss and love them, and how hard it is without them. 

I was so moved by how beautiful my daughters spoke out loud to my parents in heaven--their words and tears were so full of sincerity for how they miss and love their dear Oma and Opa. 

They could articulate what was so hard for me to say, but which weighs so heavy always on my heart. 

We sat on the ground at the base of their headstone feeling their presence and hearing their words in memory and through my wife who has a special ability to somehow reach them.

My wife told me how she could see my mother literally dancing in heaven, and my dad always worrying about us and looking out for and telling us to be more religious...always, more religious. 

I wiped the dust off that had settled on the stone over the last months, and wished that I could somehow magically, with whatever spiritual energy I could muster, raise them up and bring them back to us.

The thought of years or decades of going on and not being able to see and speak with them again, in person, is forever impossible for me to imagine. 

The loss of my parents over the last few years has left an emptiness in my heart and keeps me asking myself, will I really be able to see them and be reunited with them again some day in heaven. 

My daughter reassured me that energy, including our personal energy, never disappears, it only transforms, and my wife said that she could feel that they were okay and happy!

I recounted the joke my dad used to tell about not wanting to be buried at the edge of the cemetery, because that's where the water runs down, and he didn't want to get rheumatism. 

I know how much they loved us and I could feel it sitting at their graves with the warmth of the sun over us and the cool breeze blowing against us. 

I will live out my days, trying my best to emulate in my own way my father, who was a servant to the L-rd in all that he did, and who taught us strict right from wrong, and as my mother who took care of us no matter what challenges or suffering were faced. 

Finally, we asked for their forgiveness for any wrongs we committed and for their blessing for what is to come. 

I am grateful to them and G-d for every blessed moment with my family and to experience the beauty and learning of the world, until it is my turn to be gathered to my family and the L-rd in the after. ;-)

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

June 2, 2016

Should You MYOB?

Great Salt And Pepper comic in the Wall Street Journal today.

"What makes you think the meaning of life is any of your business."

Man goes to mountain. 

Man seeks to know the meaning of his existence. 

Mountain tells man to mind your own business.

I guess it's just not that easy. 

No one will just tell us how each of us is to make our difference in this world. 

Of course, there is faith and religious teachings to guide us.

But each and every one of us must find our path to G-d and our mission to his world. 

In doing that we struggle through life's trials and tribulations. 

It is painful at times, but we change and grow especially when the pain of what we are doing wrong becomes greater than the pleasure we gain from it. 

The meaning is in the journey and in the destination we seek. 

Our paths are not straight, but winding and hilly and not without obstacles--but it is a trek not only to the mountain, but to the very heavens itself. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 9, 2016

It's Got To Be

So I read a book review the other day that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. 

The book was by an atheist who had 2 near-death experiences. 

And while for other people, they see the light at the end of the tunnel--and are reunited with family loved ones and are in bliss from being with the Heavenly Father...

This guy saw nothing but blackness and said it was empty and nothingness. 

And he was dead serious about it. 

He said there is nothing after we die, absolutely nothing. 

Now, while I have always believed in life after death and even in reincarnation if we still have more growing and learning to do, I had heard others say contrary beliefs in the past.

One guy in synagogue when I was a young adult used to say, "When you die, you're as dead as a dead dog!"

Lovely thought (not), but I never took any of that seriously. 

Yet, this guy's book somehow got to me on a deep level. 

Maybe because I lost my beloved parents over the last 2+ years and am still deeply mourning them, and the only thing that can possibly console me about that is the notion that I will one day be reunited with them and see them again. 

So the opposing idea that it's really over--that I will never see them again--experience their love and laughter again--is beyond my comprehension--it literally blows my mind in a bad bad way. 

Also, I said to my wife, if this atheist is by any chance right (not about G-d) but about there being no afterworld, then what is the purpose to anything we do--who cares?

Without G-d, without Divine will and justice, and a world-to-come, there really is nothing but darkness and not just after we die, but now too--because it would all be purposeless. 

No, I cannot believe that!

The atheist saw nothing afterwards, because he believes in nothing--it's a measure for a measure. 

For those who believe that there is more, much more--there really is. 

It has to be that way...for anything to make sense. 

For us to try so hard. 

For us to go on.

For us to have a purpose.

For there to be justice.

For there to be us. 

My dad used to tell me that "No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us what's there."

So it really is the ultimate mystery of life...but I choose to believe in life now and in life later. 

The miracles of my own life and those around me show me again and again that there is design, there is order, there is a plan, there is a purpose and I will find mine. ;-)

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