Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts

October 1, 2019

The Founding Of Zionism

Key Person Year Published Work Main Idea
Avraham Mapu 1853 The Love of Zion Longing of Jewish people for their ancestral homeland
Moses Hess 1862 Rome and Jerusalem Europe's welcome to Jews is tenuous, and Jews should seek return to homeland
Leon Pinsker 1882 Auto-Emancipation Jews are not accepted in European host countries, and are urged to seek national rebirth
Nathan Birnbaum 1890 Self-Emancipation Coined the term Zionism referring to a movement to re-create a national Jewish home in Israel
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1892
El Hatzipor      (To The Bird)
Poem on longing for return to Zion
Chaim Nachman Bialik 1898 Mikra'ei Zion (Assemblies of Zion) Poem of hope and expectation of return to Zion
Theodor Herzl 1896 The Jewish State Jewish State will usher an end to rabid anti-Semitism everywhere
Theodor Herzl 1897 Launched Zionism as political movement and convened first Zionist Congress
Theodor Herzl 1902 Altneuland Envisions idyllic future Jewish state
Ze'ev Jabotinsky 1923 Samson Nazorei Ideal of active, courageous, Jewish warrior

I am reading the book Israel: "A Concise History of a Nation Reborn" by Daniel Gordis.

I've prepared this summary of the founding of Zionism, which I have briefly summarized above.

Hope this is helpful to those interested in the origins of the founding of the modern State of Israel. 

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2019

Diamonds Under Pressure

So someone reminded me about stress and pressure in life. 

They said:
Pressure makes diamonds.

Diamonds are of the most beautiful and precious items in the world that we give to our loved ones as a symbol of our tremendous love for them. 

Diamonds are crystals made of pure carbon that formed under high temperature and extreme pressure. 

People too are often under extreme pressure in life from all sorts of demands and challenges whether it be work, family, threats, or illness.  

But just like from pressure comes diamonds, so too can pressure make us from rough and imperfect human beings into smooth, polished, and spectacular people. 

Rather than crack under pressure, we need to cope with it and let it strengthen us and shape us to be the gems we can be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 21, 2019

@MLK Celebration



(Source Videos: Andy Blumenthal
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November 4, 2018

Problems Are Earthly

This was a saying that I really liked. 
"G-d is greater than you problem"

- Problems may seem like the end.

But G-d is the root of all BEGINNINGS!

- Problems may be overwhelming. 

But G-d is your HEAVENLY FATHER AND MOTHER!

- Problems may be big.

But G-d is INFINITE!

- Problems may be tough.

But G-d is ALL POWERFUL!

- Problems may be challenging.

But G-d has all the ANSWERS!

- Don't let your problems get you down. 

See the bigger picture. 

Know you are not alone in the universe. 

Have faith that everything is in G-d's hands and will be alright. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 3, 2018

Appreciate The Good

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Seeing the Good in Life."
After synagogue services today, we sat at the Kiddish with a lovely couple, and the lady took the opportunity to go around the table and ask each person: “What good thing happened to you this week?” I really appreciated the idea of focusing on the good and the miracles we live through every day rather than the bad things. It was interesting though that people seemed to have trouble saying something really positive from their week. In truth, they seemed more enveloped in the problems of the times rather than the opportunities that each day brings.
But truly, there are so many good things that we can appreciate each and every day, and that inspires faith and hope for many more good things to come. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 30, 2018

Beautiful Flowers

I just wanted to share these beautiful flowers. 

The colors and shapes are so amazing. 

It's like you can see G-d's amazing hand in creating these so intricately, delicately and with so much brilliance. 

There is comfort in His work and the life He has given.

I am grateful for each day to serve His purpose. 

Hope you enjoy the gorgeous flowers. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 21, 2018

Awesome "Am Echad" by Ari Goldwag



When I am for myself
And you are not with me
What am I when I am separate?
For I am a Jew
I do not go alone
Just with you, my friend, hand in hand
One nation, one song
Come my brother and give me your hand
And we will rejoice and dance together
As one person, with one heart
I don't want want to be alone,
Just forever brothers sitting together
To be a family
Is the secret of joy
For everything is better together
And we sing
All Israel are friends
We won't give up on anyone
If we can successfully love
And sing 'how pleasant..'
The Moshiach will come soon
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September 23, 2018

And On That Day...

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, All Will Know G-d

In the true story that I recount, a little Ethiopian girl tells me:
There is no reason to fight because we all believe in G-d and that He created us.

Similar to what Zechariah prophesized (14:9)
The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

I hope you enjoy this piece on faith, unity, and hope for the future. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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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! ;-)
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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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June 29, 2018

What A Beautiful Song - To Forgive and to Forget



With gratitude to my beautiful daughter, Minna Blumenthal, for sharing this song by Idan Raichel with me. 

Shabbat Shalom!

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February 20, 2018

Mikva = Tikva

I thought this was a really special Jewish clock I saw in the store yesterday. 

It promotes holiness and sanctity in the family.
Mikva (Jewish ritual bath) = Tikva (hope) 
Rebirth and renewal (from the immersion in the holy water).
Build your family in sanctity!
Purity leads to sanctity.

The Jewish laws of refraining from sexual relations during Nidda (a women's menstruation) and of immersing in the mikvah at the end of the cycle and before the husband and wife coming back together physically are cornerstones of acting with self-control and a couple dedicating themselves to Hashem first.

The family is the core of raising and educating our children and of the makeup of the community and ultimately of serving G-d in everything we do. 

Self-control (with sexual purity, kosher food, Sabbath time, etc.) is what separates us from animals and how we emulate being more like the angels. 

It is also a way for a husband and wife to elevate their love and show respect for each other as human beings and not just physical beings.  

I never saw a clock that reminds us of these holy concepts and laws like this. 

Also at the top it says another well-known Jewish quote about managing our time wisely:
"The day is short and the task is great."

Another good reminder to maximize the use of our time every day here on Earth and to make the most out of every moment. 

If we dedicate ourselves to serving G-d, raising our families, being productive professionally and personally, and acting with integrity and sanctity always--this is a good life! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 9, 2018

The Bright Side

My daughter, Minna Blumenthal, received this beautiful and hopeful message online, and I want to thank her for sharing it with me.

In turn, I am paying it forward to you all, and hope that you enjoy it's meaning, which is really quite profound and inspiring. 

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.
She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.
He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.
Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'
This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.
Life is a gift.
Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to Almighty G-d for a companion.
Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who died too young.
Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but they're barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one Maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank G-d you're alive and still around.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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January 24, 2018

If G-d Is With Me

I love this photo and caption that I saw on Facebook. 

Basically it translates from Hebrew as:
"If G-d is with me
Who can stand against me."

And it's a picture of someone walking through the split sea like in the exodus from Egypt. 

G-d can truly make miracles. 

What G-d decrees no man can stand against it. 

We need to merit G-d's standing with us. 

You have to do right, speak right, and have the right intentions. 

Only G-d can judge whether we are there!

But how amazing things can be for us if we look to the Heavens and merit G-d being with us.

Then no man can stand against us! ;-)

(Source photo: Tali-Cohen Saban)
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January 8, 2018

Yearning For Redemption


Just an impression from my recent trip to Israel. 

There is such a yearning for people to do good and to merit the coming of Mashiach (Messiah) towards the ultimate redemption for mankind. 

It's on every street corner and light post.  

Whether it's eyes gazed on the righteousness of Rabbi Nachman or The Rebbe--as we used to sing as kids in NCSY:
"We want Mashiach now!"

Whether Mashiach is an actual person or a spiritual revelation in the world leading to redemption--it represents an unprecedented enlightenment, holiness and a spiritual healing, and love and peace for mankind. 

While we strive to earn our daily bread, it's nice to have a part of us that also seeks a greater good and achieving betterment for the world. 

Any small or big things we can do in our lives to contribute to Tikkun Olam ("fixing the world"), it's purposeful, hopeful, and uplifting to try. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 6, 2017

Learning To Save For A Rainy Day

This was so funny coming across this big bright red piggy bank in a thrift store. 

What a blast from the past!

I remember having one of these as a child. 

My parents taught me to put my allowance in to save for the future. 

When it accumulated $10, the metal door on the bottom would open and we could put the money in the bank.

It was like a game to try to get to the magic amount and get the register to pop open.

In those days, the bank had little books for your checking and savings accounts, and when you deposited the money, you'd get a line printed with the deposit and new balance printed in the dot matrix print of yesteryear. 

Again, these were all good lessons about savings and seeing the benefits in the toy register or in your bank book.

Maybe these were things that initially inspired me to get my bachelors degree in accounting.  

The discipline of numbers was great, but it was never as exciting as the promise and hope of ever new technology, but that's what added up at the time to me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 10, 2017

Face The Fear

I have to give my wife credit. 

She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 

Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.

At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 

As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn't get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 

Oh shit, what do I do now?

Turn this way..no good. 

Turn that way...no good.

Retreat...not an option.

So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:
"Just look away."
But I can't look away...I can't ignore a problem...my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 

I go back to my wife, and she says to me:
"Face the fear, and walk through it."
And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 

She was right--there is no use being fearful or worrying--I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 

That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 

Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and "walk through it!" 

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. 

Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it's just a test. 

And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 

It's a test, but I can pass it with G-d's help, and everything will be alright. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 7, 2017

Flower 4 Monday

Just wanted to share this beautiful flower that I came across on the hiking trail yesterday. 

I have never seen a flower with pedals of pink and white candy stripes like this. 

Like a candy cane or perhaps the outfits that volunteers helping people at some hospitals wear. 

It also has these yellow buds in the center, which add to it's eloquence.

What magnificent creations that G-d has bestowed on us to enjoy. 

Hope this is a little something to cheer up your Monday and make you even more productive this week. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 26, 2017

Faces of The Metro and The Times





Do these people look happy and fulfilled or are they looking more vacant, exhausted, and miserable to you?

Is it the Metro? 
Is it Washington, D.C.? 
Is it their work? 
Is it family issues? 
Is it the economy?
Is it health problems?

For a superpower country with supposed incredible wealth, might, and freedom to enjoy it all--what the heck is going on.

Should we blame the politics and fighting? 
Should we blame the fake news optics?
Should we blame our gnawing adversaries (Axis of Evil Russia, Iran, North Korea...)?
Should we blame materialism and consumerism (and a corresponding lack of spirituality and values in our lives)? 

We have the greatest advances in history--revolutionizing energy, transportation, healthcare, communications, and more--so much to advance our well-being, to savor, and seemingly endless more to come. 

Why aren't people smiling?
Why aren't people jumping for joy more? 
Why aren't people even awake with eyes open to enjoy the life's journey?

There should be great hope in the future--with fruitful life there is hope and with hope there is excitement and joy--but without hope all is meaningless and lost.  

What is going on out there--psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, clergy?

We are trying to do everything right.

So where are we going wrong-wrong-wrong? ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 21, 2017

Time Travel Is Real

Sure, we can travel space...from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.

But can we also travel time?

Yes, and we regularly do!

Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time--remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future. 

Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future. 

Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless. 

In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time--that is the soul of the matter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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