Showing posts with label Holy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy. Show all posts

November 5, 2019

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:
There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 
The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples' hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 2, 2019

Jerusalem Center of The World

I love this map by Heinrich Bunting, a German Protestant pastor and cartographer. 

This beautiful artist and thoughtful map was published in 1581.

It shows the 3 continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa as 3 leaves of a clovers with Jerusalem at the center. 

Jerusalem, Israel is the focus, nexus and crossroad between these 3 worlds of Western, Asian, and African civilizations. 

Israel is so multi-cultural and holy to the 3 major monotheistic religions of the world (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism).  

Light, healing, peace, and prosperity should emanate from Jerusalem to the whole world and G-d should bless us from his heavenly abode.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Wikipedia)
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December 5, 2018

Stained Glass Majesty

There is something about stained glass which is so beautiful and amazing. 

It's not only artistic and colorful, but also it's a magical combination of opaqueness and translucence.

It provides cover and privacy from the outside world, yet it plays with the light that comes in through it to give a wonderful effect to any room.

If I could, I would make every room in every building with stained glass. 

I would bask in the light and the color. 

It would feel warm and holy--the light of G-d on me. 

It's as if G-d and His holy host are streaming in from the Heavens, and surrounding me all about. 

I feel lifted up in space and time stops, all is safe and wonderful in the world. 

Beautiful and holy spiritual energy celebrating, dancing, and singing all around me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 3, 2018

Good People And Bad

So what is one of the hardest lessons in life to learn?

There are really good and holy people out there, but there are also truly bad and evil ones. 

It's not such a difficult concept, except if you just don't think that way. 

I think some of us just want to believe that at the heart of it all, people are fundamentally good--or at the very least they struggle in order to fight off the evil impulse.

They are created by G-d.

They have parents and families.

They have challenges and disappointments. 

They have a good soul. 

Or do they?

Perhaps like everything in life--G-d created everything and it's opposite.

- There is life and death.

- There is light and dark. 

- There is cold and hot.

- There is land and water. 

- There is male and female. 

- There is pleasure and pain.

- There is work and rest. 

- There is holy and profane.

Everything has it's counterpart.

- In this respect then, there are good people and there are bad.

Not that there aren't people who are both--they do some good things and some bad.

Just like with everything, you can have greys or mixtures--some of this AND some of that. 

But still, G-d created everything and its opposite.

- Again, there is heaven and hell. 

And yes, there are some people that are perhaps truly good and others that are very bad.

The really good ones--they are holy, they give, they love, they inspire. 

The really bad ones--they are vicious devil wolves. 

That doesn't mean anyone is completely perfect or imperfect, but as with everything, there are people as there are inanimate objects that function at the extremes. 

Most of us don't live in the extreme, yet we do see those that we know are examples of each:

We recognize the best and these are people with a heart of gold and a soul that shines light, love, and gives to others.

Similarly, the worst ones are with a heart that is selfish and greedy and a soul that is dark, hateful. and violent.

We don't like to think of the extremes.

They either are too perfect or too frighteningly evil, but yet they do exist and we know it just as we know life and death, light and dark, cold and hot, land and water, male and female, pleasure and pain, work and rest, holy and profane, and even the destinations of heaven and hell. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 14, 2018

Beyond Money

Okay, I don't impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.

Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this...

A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 

They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would've imagined that they should give it back to us. 

When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn't stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 

They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a "Kiddush Hashem" (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d's name in the world). 

Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don't reflect it. 

In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 

Yes, some people are bad--do bad--and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 

So to see the good in people--extra good--it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 7, 2018

Power of Speech

I loved this magnet on this wonderful old Jewish ladies refrigerator who lives in our community.
"If you have nothing good to say...
Say nothing."
I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too. 

It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.

I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim's books.

And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:

- Not to hurt anyone.

- Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)

- But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good. 

Kind words.

Gentle words.

Complimentary words.

Words of love and caring. 

Holy words. 

The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good. 

The old saying of "The pen is mightier than the sword," can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general. 

Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it's full of love and caring for others. 

Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 26, 2017

@The Great Kotel in Jerusalem


So we made it to the Kotel in Jerusalem yesterday.

What an amazing experience.

It's been too many years.

Definitely, one of the top moments of my life.

As we entered the old city and walked through the narrow ways toward the Western Wall of the Temple, my heart and breathing was racing and I could feel the spiritualness getting closer and closer. 

When we finally arrived at the Holy Wall, I was just completely overwhelmed and saying over and over, OMG!

We took some photos, and then immediately when to pray at the wall. 

I think I got lost in prayer and didn't realize how long I had been standing and clutching the Holy Wall of G-d's ancient Temple. 

I truly believe that our prayers ascend to Heaven at this special spot of G-d's earthly abode. 

I wanted to fall to my knees, but stopped myself repeatedly as this is not generally the Jewish custom. 

But in my mind, my body, and soul was prostrated completely before G-d Almighty.

I put myself in His hands.

We can only do our best, and the rest is all in His control.

We can try to make the best decisions we can, but the real guidance in life comes from Him and His will for us. 

We learned in Yeshiva, not to ask in prayer for specific things in life to happen for us, but rather to ask G-d to do what is right in His eternal mind for us. 

This is right...submit to the King of Kings and let Him show us the way for us.

What are the right words to say to G-d?

At the end, thank you and please continue to help us, your children. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 16, 2017

Beautiful Innocent Child Angel

So wonderful news is that one of my daughters is getting married, please G-d, at the end of the month.

Today, we had a celebration in synagogue called an Aufruf, where the groom is called to the Torah and makes the blessing and then we all throw candies (we chose bags of chocolates).

After the services, we had a kiddush luncheon and it was really nice to see everyone from the community sharing in this wonderful Simcha with us. 

But something happened towards the end of the services that had a really big impact on me...in fact, I can't stop thinking about it--I need to write it down. 

As services concluded and we were leaving the sanctuary, this beautiful innocent little girl came right up to my daughter--sort of out of nowhere and without her parents--and wished her Mazel Tov. 

There was something about her and the way she did it with such sincerity--I literally couldn't have been more touched. 

It was almost like this child was some sort of angel--I mean it!

The child's eyes and facial expression had an innocence like I have never quite seen before. 

All I could do was marvel at this child and how she came up all by herself with this incredible pureness of heart that I can't fully explain to wish the bride and groom well. 

Then I found my words to say thank you and wish her that in a "few" years she would be getting happily married too, G-d willing. 

I think I will always remember the piecing innocent eyes of this child and how she was like an angel visiting us on this special occasion today. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 22, 2017

613 Everywhere

So many times, I have written about the holy mystical number of 613 (the number of commandments in the Torah) and variations/transpositions on these numbers (316, 163, etc.).

My wife and I continue to see 613 all the time and everywhere!

Prices, receipts, license plates, accounts balances, stock price changes, lottery winnings, bar codes, time of day, wait times, schedules, number of email, rows in a spreadsheet, road numbers, social media views, etc. etc. etc.

- I have questioned myself over and over whether I am seeing it because I am sensitized to it or simply even looking for it at this point. 

The answer is a definite no!

Here's a recent example, of the change in the stock price for Teva Pharmaceuticals (above)--it's exactly -.0613!

But this isn't a one time event or a fluke.  

As we all know stock prices fluctuate every moment on the marketplace. Yet, when I check at completely different and random times, it is up or down by a variation of 613!

Other times, I'll check multiple stocks... and they will simultaneously be moving or priced at variations again of 613--at the exact same moment, I repeat, different stocks priced at the exact same moment.  

Here's another non-financial example:

I did a post a few weeks ago on the critical importance of emergency preparedness. 

Look at how many views it got on LinkedIn...exactly 163!

This happens everywhere and all the time!

Here's a third example:
A license plate. 

Here's a fourth example:

Can you see the code on the package...613!

A fifth example:
A tracking code on a shipment. 

A sixth example: 
A bar code on a bottle of Life Water.

A seventh example:
A label on some spinach!

An eighth example:
A construction site.

An ninth example:
A public solicitation for the Department of Energy.

A tenth example:
The winning pot for Powerball. 

Hey, I am not superstitious and I am not OCD--seriously. 

But this happens all the time.

I cannot help but think that G-d is sending us an important message.

From a personal level, my wife and I have both tried to take the messages seriously and to continue to improve our lives--albeit we know, we are far from perfect human beings. 

However, we also feel compelled to share this message more broadly.

There is a lot going on in the world, and could this mean something bigger and more consequential to a lot more people?

Please, please, please, G-d have mercy on your children...we are but flesh and blood...and we desire to do good. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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June 13, 2017

Today Is 6/13

So today is 6/13.

Yes, check your calendar. 

It only comes once a year. 

613 is the mystical and holy number of commandments in the Torah. 

For more than 2 years (this is not a short-term phenomenon), my family and even some friends have been seeing an inexplicable number of 613 everywhere. 

Here is one from a stock I follow from the other week: Twitter was up exactly 6.13%...and I don't follow that many stocks. 

Just yesterday, another stock (that been doing terribly...it's a startup!) is down an enormous 61.3% since I started following it. 

And yet another major stock--of the largest company in Israel and the largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world--Teva--is down 16.03 year-to-date.

Nearly every day, we see an endless barrage of license plates, roads, train and plane schedules and physical or URL addresses, get purchase receipts or invoice totals, see number of posts, views, likes, or emails, and even the other day almost booked a hotel with the address....that's right and only 613!

I am a rational person...maybe almost to the extreme, and what I initially laughed off as a lark or someone's OCD thing, is beyond any reasonable explanation that I can fathom at this point.

I am left with faith that there is truly some message being sent from the One Above...the question is what is the meaning of the message?

I continue to hope and pray that the message is one of blessings and redemption for mankind...I hope you will join me in this prayer. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 13, 2017

Know Before Whom You Stand

So this was one of those amazing types of photos--like a one in a million. 

It was taken in Synagogue in front of the aron (ark) where the Holy Torahs are kept.

On Sabbath and holidays, after services, devout people often go up to the doors of the ark to say a personal and silent prayer of devotion getting up close to the Torahs (G-d's sacred words to us). 

What you'll see here is that someone is dressed (for Purim) as Superwoman. 

The juxtaposition of Superwoman to the Holy ark is accentuated by the words above the ark, which translated from the Hebrew states:

"Know before whom you stand."

A cautionary note and reminder that before the ark, we are literally standing before the presence of G-d (and to conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and propriety)

So in this picture, we have Superwoman standing before G-d, the most super of them all!

When I think of how minuscule we as human beings are before our Maker, it is magnified for me that even the most super of human beings infinitely pales when standing in front of the majesty and omnipotence of our L-rd. 

Superman and Superwoman prostrate yourselves before Hashem, even as we all must do. ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with compliments to Monique for the photo)
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February 4, 2017

The Miraculous Mezuzah

So there is a Jewish commandment to put a mezuzah on your doorposts. 

Reminiscent of ancient times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d told the Israelites to put the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doorpost.

When they did this and the Angel of Death killed the firstborn in each home of the taskmaster Egyptians--he passed over the doorposts of the Israelites that had the blood on it as commanded by G-d.

So too these days, the Mezuzah has the holy prayer of the Shema Yisrael on it:
"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One".
And it is believed to be a symbol of G-d's divine protection for the home. 

This week in Synagogue, Rabbi Haim Ovadia told some miraculous stories about the Mezuzah from when he was the Rabbi in Bogota, Columbia.

He told of how the cartels would raid the buildings where the people in the community lived.  The cops would be told not to respond to the calls for help for at least an hour.  But what was a miracle was that apartments with the mezuzahs were not harmed. Later, the people found out that the cartels, thank G-d left them alone, because they didn't know what a mezuzah was and thought it was some sort of fancy alarm system!

Another story, was the boss who put mezuzahs on the offices at work, and what happened? The profitability of the business went up.  When they looked at why this happened, they realized that the boss would stop at the mezuzah to recite the Shema, and the workers thought the boss was there paying more attention to them and so productivity went way up. 

Finally, the last one was really funny.  They couldn't easily get mezuzahs in Bogota, so when they heard someone was coming from a trip to Israel, they asked him to bring 5 mezuzahs for the home. When it arrived, they opened it up, but lo and behold, the parchment with the prayer inside was missing from them.  When they asked what happened to it--the person said, I already know how to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost with 2 nails and a hammer, so what do I need the instructions inside it for!

G-d is glorious and the holiness that he bestows on us with his commandments is amazing. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 11, 2016

613 Faith Redux

So between Nov 2015 to June 2016, we were all seeing the mystical number of 613, the number of commandments in the holy Torah. 

Then on June 12, 2016, there was a terror attack in Orlando, which killed 49 people and wounded 53 others. 

We read about this all over the front page of USA Today on 6.13.16  (the date spells 613 in BOTH directions!) 


Then all of a sudden we stopped seeing 613--completely stopped. 

That is until 2 weeks ago.

When out of nowhere we all simultaneously and independently started to see 613 again. 

On clocks, license plates, order numbers, treadmills, everywhere. 

Yesterday, I saw 613 displayed brightly on a warning cone (above) in the roadway!

And today again, an order number received "randomly" for a purchase online ends in 613! 


In Judaism, we are taught that nothing in life is random...everything comes from G-d. 

All I can say is that it is scary to see this--it feels like some sort of warning or message--and we need to have renewed faith in G-d, turn to him, and ask for his mercy. 

In the ongoing war of good over evil, I think it's certainly a time for extra repentance, prayer, charity, and lots of good deeds. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 3, 2016

613 Stock Market

Someone challenged today about the number 613 (mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah).

They said, "I would argue that you can pick any 3 digit number and get the same results."

They went on asking that it be "No variations in sequence, no breaks between numbers, no mathematics."

So here is perhaps an answer from Heaven--check out the closing change down in the S&P 500 today: Exactly 6.13!

You're turn. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to CNBC)

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June 2, 2016

613 Lottery

On the way into the office today, this was the sign for the lottery jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball.

251 and 110. 

Combine the numbers and yes, it is exactly 613 again!

Mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah.

Please G-d for blessings. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2016

613 Synagogue

So look what I noticed about the wonderful Magen David synagogue. 

1+5=6
    1=1
1+2=3

Mystical, holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah). 

May Hashem bless us in his mercy. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 24, 2016

Heading Down The 613

So today another amazing mystical and holy 613 (commandments in the Torah).

This one is a country road between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How apropos to be on the 613 road!

Tomorrow, in my next post, I hope to show you where this road is personally taking us now.

But wherever 613 leads that is where I want to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: With gratitude to my dearest sister, Roz Blumenthal)
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May 17, 2016

613 The Perfect Trip

So the sightings continue today of the mystical and holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah).

Check out the cost of this vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park.

It's not $599 or $699 like you would usually see these things advertised for. 

Instead the family adventure starts at $613!!!

Too many times now, too frequent, and in too many different places to be just random or chance. 

Someone is trying to tell us something.

Hopefully, it is a sign for blessings for mankind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Ellen Weiner)
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May 2, 2016

613 From Elevator To Seaweed


So as you know, we are experiencing 613 (mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah) all over the place.

This last week, we got on the elevator to go to the 13th floor, and immediately, the next guy gets on and presses for the 6th floor. 

613 is brightly lite up on the elevator console and we turn to each other and are like, "What the...?" (No one else got on/off and no other floors were pressed while we were on it.)

Next my wife is looking on Amazon for some roasted seaweed as part of our lovely diet plan.

Guess how many reviews are on the product...613.

Yes, while each individual occurrence can be explained away or coughed up to chance--is it really possible for so many of these to be happening virtually daily. 

Any statisticians out there? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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