Showing posts with label Judaism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judaism. Show all posts

June 10, 2019

Why Only Two, Daddy?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Why Only Two Daddy?"
The father goes on to explain that these are the commandments that G-d gave to the Jews (when they were redeemed from slavery in Egypt). He enumerates just two examples: keeping the Shabbat and honoring your mother and father. The son asks, 'What are the other commandments?' The father hesitates either not knowing any of the other commandments or simply unable to remember any more of them on the spot. And all of a sudden, the little boy starts wailing to his father: 'Daddy, why do you know only two, why?'

Knowing the Torah and commandments is not only for ourselves to do what's rights, but also to pass on the torch to the next generation. It's not always easy to be good examples, but it's the challenge we all face. ;-)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 8, 2019

G-d Counts On Us

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "G-d Counts On Us."
Israel with just over 6.5 million Jews could not simply defeat the surrounding Arabs numbering over 400 million by sheer military might alone–the pure numbers just don’t bear that out–and that’s why any sane person knows that the miraculous hand of G-d is at work here, and that we are living in the times of Mashiach.

With G-d, numbers alone don't tell the whole story--even while He counts us, more importantly, He counts on us to be good people in the ongoing battle of good over evil. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 5, 2019

Swimming In Florida

In lovely Florida.

Hit the swimming pool.

About to do my laps.

I got my gear and ready to rock and roll.

Please G-d, we'll spend the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (commemorating when we got the Torah) together here as a family.

What more can I ask.

Happy and grateful. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)
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June 2, 2019

Kosher Cheeseburger, Finally

So I've never had a cheeseburger. 

I keep kosher. 

And we don't mix milk and meat together.

Tough watching all the fast food commercials from McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, and more. 

So lo' and behold, my surprise when they introduced the kosher cheeseburger.

It uses the Impossible Burger made from plants--and it's advertised as having more protein, less fat, no cholesterol, and fewer calories than meat. 

So we got two bags of food from Goldberg's bagels. 

One bag had breakfast with bagels and egg salad. 

The other bag had the kosher cheeseburgers for lunch (after the morning's activity)

We ate the egg salad bagels and they were good. 

But we were really looking forward to the cheeseburgers. 

Finally, after all these years of waiting...

But what happens, Dossy threw out the garbage from breakfast and...

She accidentally threw out the Impossible Burgers with it. 

So when we got back to the car, salivating for the cheeseburgers...

We look in the front, in the back, in the compartments--and nothing!

It's gone!  It's all gone!

No freakin cheeseburger for me. 

Not then, not now, and I'm afraid not ever.  :-(

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 19, 2019

@IsraelFest By Andy Blumenthal



Singing competition @IsraelFest. 

A little of Yom Ha'atzmuet and Eurovision combined. 

(Source Videos:  Andy Blumenthal)
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May 16, 2019

Longest Hair

This woman had the longest hair I have ever seen. 

No, not to the shoulders, not to the mid-back, not even to the tush. 

This went almost all the way to the floor. 

It reminded me more of a maim on a horse than of the typical hairdo of a person. 

Anyway, this must be nasty to take care and keep clean. 

Also, can't imagine having that much hair pulling on my head all the time.  

In Judaism, we say that hair is the crown of a person and it is something that especially women keep modestly when married.

So while hair is nice and beautiful, you can definitely have too much of even a good thing.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 8, 2019

Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) @JCC Rockville

Memorial for the 23,741 fallen soldiers and 3,150 victims of terror. 

Brave, strong, and dedicated to the survival of Israel. 

May their memory be a blessing!

Also a beautiful video my daughter, Minna sent to me. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2019

Barking And Biting

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, "We Must Take Every Bark Seriously."


Sometimes, when they bark, they don’t bite. But other times, the bark is the prelude to the bite. I don’t think you can judge intentions by the bark, and I am certain you need to always be ready for the bite. Dogs and people are not really that different. Over millennia of history, Jews have been threatened and persecuted–barked at and bitten, and they have not been mutually exclusive.

The Jewish people are few in number and with a small but miraculous and wonderful country--we know that rabid dogs that bark against us, also can bite ferociously, and we must take every threat seriously for our very survival. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 21, 2019

And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph."


As we commemorate Passover, we remember that:
In Egypt, the Jews rose to the highest ranks, with Joseph being second only to the Pharaoh, and “Israel settled in the land of Egypt in the region of Goshen; they acquired property in it and they were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” (Genesis 47:27) But then: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8) Similarly, in Europe, the Jews had risen to the highest ranks of society, they were free and prospered. They prospered and thrived religiously, and built synagogues and yeshivas to worship and learn in. Moreover, the Jews thought they were Germans (and other European nationalities), like everyone else, and that they were fundamentally safe. That is, until there arose a “new king,” Adolf Hitler (may his name be cursed forever), “who knew not Joseph.”
What will happen in America that we all love--will the pendulum swing once again to hate and anti-Semitism, where there comes a new king that does not know Joseph? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 19, 2019

Novel Passover Haggadah


Thought this was a pretty cool Passover Haggadah. 

Shaped like a wine bottle!

Sort of sets the stage for the four cups of wine at the Seder. 

I found this Haggadah in Israel, and I'm glad I got a few of them.  

Wishing everyone a joyous Passover and Easter holiday! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 15, 2019

The Passover Menorah

It's Passover this week, not Chanukah. 

So what's with the menorah?

Well my friend, John Akkus (of Akkus Silver Touch), made this beautiful piece for me. 

I love the fine handiwork of copper, brass, crystals, Jewish symbols (Stars of David) and bold colors of this amazing menorah. 

John sells his art at the annual Suglarloaf Festivals in the Spring. 

I am so glad I found this wonderful menorah--it is beautiful all year long (through Chanukah and Passover). 

Thank you John and nice job!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 14, 2019

The Mitzvah of Vaccination

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Mitzvah of Vaccination."
According to the CDC, "Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps, or rubella"...for yourself, your families, your community, and for all the other innocent people out there who want to be and stay healthy, please get vaccinated; do your part as a good citizen and Jew.

Getting vaccinated–it is a mitzvah and please G-d, for all, a L’Chaim!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 11, 2019

Israel 4th Nation To Reach the Moon Surface - Mazel Tov!


What an unbelievable achievement for Israel. 

Even without a soft landing, Israel is the 4th country in the world to reach the moon surface.

The Moon Club of Just Four:
USA - The Most Powerful
Russia - The Largest by Landmass
China - The Largest by Number of People
Israel - The Holy Land!

Mazel Tov on this truly great accomplishment.

We are all so proud of you!  ;-)
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March 23, 2019

Purim In Israel, Chabad Style

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Purim in Israel, Chabad Style."
We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night. We are going down Ben Yehudah Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading. Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates. He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shul (#770 of course). Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.

Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad--they understand faith, ritual, and people's hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 24, 2019

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.” 

Let's just say it wasn't easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.  

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it's maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate. 

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari'a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change--I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the "old" historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways. 

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!  

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it's all the women's fault). 

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from. 

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people. 

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 23, 2019

Fire Alarm, Now What?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Shabbat Menucha." 
Friday night–the start of the Shabbat–oh, thank G-d we made it (and TGIF). Usually such a wonderful time to catch up on some extra sleep from the whole week of work. But last night it’s different…the fire alarm suddenly comes alive and the voice over the loud speaker tells everyone to exit the building immediately. It is 1:00 AM in the morning.

Carrying a head cold, medicated, and sleepless, this is what happened to me.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 15, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 

So fresh and delicious. 

Plenty for all. 

G-d's blessing for a restful Shabbos.

Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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February 9, 2019

Choosing Good Over Vice

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called "Choosing Good Over Vice."
But yet, if everyone would just act out on each other based on their unbridled wants and desires, oy vey what a truly terrible world that would be...From uncontrolled desires for food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, honor, money, power, sex, and more–it seems like everyone has their little secret fetish. Whether it's coming from their head, their heart, or down below...the key questions is how much can they control themselves.

However, inside us, our soul, like the Ten Commandments in the Holy Ark, guide us so that we aren't just animals chasing game or tail, but are human beings trying to become angels.

(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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January 1, 2019

Miracles of Charity and Faith

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Conviction of One's Faith."
What better way to welcome in the New Year of 2019 then with some inspirational true stories about amazing people and their faith in G-d and doing what's right. Recently, I saw firsthand from some special people, the miracles that happen when one is charitable and sticks to ones beliefs. 

As my father always taught me about G-d and doing what's right: "Stick to your convictions!" ;-)

(Source Photo of this amazing Tzedakah (charity) box in Israel: Minna Blumenthal)
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