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

February 26, 2021

It’s Never About Luck

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "It’s Never About Luck."

Today is Purim, when we celebrate the Jewish victory over the evil Haman and his conspiracy to annihilate the Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman drew a lottery to determine what he thought was a fortuitous day, the 13th of Adar, to murder the Jewish people and pursued this plot through a decree by King Achashverosh. But as we know, G-d made miracles through Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai, and Haman and his ten sons ended hanging by the noose that he built for Mordechai. 

This has been my personal experience as well, as I can see both now and in 20/20 hindsight that there is a definite Divine method and not just a world of random chance and madness.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 20, 2021

The Power of Love

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Power of Love."

When we act up and fight with each other, then in the end, we will really only end up hurting ourselves.
Tomorrow can be better than today and yesterday, if we learn to live in peace and brotherhood with each other, and understand that hurting another is really only hurting ourselves in the end. G-d’s holiness dwells among us only when we stop the silly bickering and infighting, and love each other, and Him, with all our heart and soul.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 13, 2021

A Reason For Everything

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Reason For Everything."

Reincarnation actually makes so much sense, especially when you see that G-d can and does bring people back to the world when they still have life lessons to learn and growth to be achieved. It’s part of our preparation and our soul’s purification process to go back to Hashem.
Obviously, we are not G-d, and don’t have the time and event perspective of Hashem who was, is, and will be. However, if we understand that G-d has a plan, everything is connected, and there is a reason for everything, then we can go through life inspired to do the right thing ourselves even when we are challenged by our circumstances.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 5, 2021

Success, Israeli Cuisine Style


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Success, "Israeli Cuisine Style."
This notion of success and failure in life makes you think about not only the imperative to be successful in our lives, but also to question what does that success even mean and look like? Is success really the goal or is the journey with its growing pains and lesson learned the real goal towards purifying our souls?

When we read the Ten Commandments, we are reminded of what the foundational elements of success in life actually are all about: How did we treat others (were we compassionate and giving)? Did we behave as Mensch’s in our lives? Did we try our best to do the “right thing” by our fellow man and by G-d? If you can answer in the positive to these latter questions then maybe you have achieved real success, regardless of what any culinary chef or life maven would tell you!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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December 24, 2020

The End of Times


I am looking for a good book on the Jewish view of the End of Times.

  • Who fights who?
  • What happens and how does the fighting finally end?
  • Who will live and who will die?
  • Who from the dead will be resurrected?
  • What occurs in practical terms when the Mashiach arrives?
  • What does G-d's revelation to the whole world look and feel like?
  • Where is Israel at each step in unfolding of the redemption?
  • How does the 3rd Temple actually get built?
  • Is world peace not only possible, but also enduring? 
Wow, would love to read a layman's book like this.  

Can anyone recommend anything really good?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 12, 2020

Teach Your Children Well

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teach Your Children Well."

I am grateful to write that I had my first grandchild, a wonderful baby boy, thank G-d. Now, as with all children, comes the next very exciting part which is, please G-d, to raise and teach him to live a good life of Torah, family, hopes and dreams.

We teach our children, even as we learn along the way ourselves. Two critical things we have from Hashem to help us on this journey: we have the Torah as our holy guidebook, and we have our soul and conscience as our inner voice exhorting us, right from wrong. These are the tools that we go forward with to try and perfect ourselves and the world, and to teach our children to do the same.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 10, 2020

My Wonderful Opa

Remembering my wonderful Opa (grandfather) at Chanukah time. 

He was the President of Congregation Ramath Orah on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in NYC. 

I used to be so proud of him standing up at the bimah (podium) and giving the Shabbat announcements every week and everything he did to care for the synagogue and community.

Also, I loved to go up and sit next to him by Ark where the holy Torahs are kept. 

He was an exceptional human being, as was his son, my father (and my father's siblings, my Uncle Sid and Aunt Ruth). 

Good to the core people!  People of faith and family!

I miss my Opa and Oma (grandmother) as well as my dear parents very much. 

Like the Chanukah Menorah, they were the light of my upbringing and set me on a path to go forward with my own family. 

Chanukah is a time of miracles and I feel that I have seen them not only in our history, but in our lives today!  ;-) 


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November 27, 2020

Shabbat Shalom Bowl and Cup Set

Cute bowl and cup set! 

They say Shabbat Shalom to all Y'all!

Quick funny anecdote from today: 

When I inquired with a friend about their Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. 

They, of course, said they ate too much!

But it was funny as hey said that, they made a big round (belly) sign with their arms. 

That image was worth a thousand turkeys. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)


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November 20, 2020

Modeh Ani - Thank you G-d

Beautiful song after the prayer, Modeh Ani that Jews say every morning immediately when we wake up. 
I give thanks to You, living and eternal King for you have restored my soul within me with mercy; Your faithfulness is great.

Thank you G-d for everything you do for us.

Your mercy endures forever!  

As Sholom Aleichem say: we should not know the taste of hunger.  ;-)

(Credit Video: Omer Adam עומר אדם)

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November 15, 2020

Humming The Hatikvah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Humming The Hatikvah."

But as I walk in the water, feeling both the softness and purity of the beautiful water as well as the buoyancy and resistance of it, I think to myself that no Jews should not be familiar and know The Israel national anthem. After 2,000 painful years in exile culminating in the concentration camps like Theresienstadt and The Six Million murdered Jews, we all must know that now G-d has kept his promise to our forefathers and returned us to The Holy Land.

Assuredly, we are living in the time of miracles, the redemption, and soon to be the coming of the Mashiach. Now is the time not just to hum The Hatikvah, but to bring every Jew back, including me and my family. It’s almost time to go home, where we will sing and dance, with hearts brimming over with Joy, before our L-rd, and once again go to worship at our holy Temple in Jerusalem. May it be His will! Amen.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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October 3, 2020

The Power of Life and Death

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Power of Life and Death."
It’s so important to develop mastery over the whole life sequence: think nice thoughts, speak kind words, do good deeds, and develop positive habits. This is one of the secrets to life itself.

Life is often in the hands of our tongue–one stupid word and it can mean your head, and one smart thing and it can be, with G-d’s help, your ride to the stars!

Indeed, controlling your words, like controlling your desires, temper, and so on is a constant challenge we all face throughout life. Yes, it’s easy to just let oneself go, but the consequences can be severe for shooting off your mouth, acting stupid, or getting angry. We can get better with patience, time, and practice. We can become better, stronger people. We can learn to guard not only our tongue, but our temperament and deeds, and live a better, and perhaps even a longer life for it. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)


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September 28, 2020

The Yom Kippur Bank Account

Please see my new article in The Time of Israel called, "The Yom Kippur Bank Account."
Instead of worrying about accumulating earthly and material treasures: money, houses, cars, exotic travel, and more, we would be well advised to pay attention to our Heavenly treasure that we should be accumulating. Whether tomorrow, when our judgement will be sealed on Yom Kippur or when we, G-d forbid, die and are called for an accounting before our Maker, we should have plenty in the spiritual bank to speak well for us.

However, even if we are a little blind to our own accounting, certainly, just like we don’t want to be physically poor or bankrupt in this world, we definitely don’t want to be coming spiritually empty at Yom Kippur or when we arrive in the world to come. Put in more than you take out! Much more if you can! That’s what every parent should teach their child about their bank or brokerage savings account, building healthy relationships with others, and most importantly, how to live our lives towards our Father in Heaven and the King of the Universe.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 25, 2020

Shabbat Shalom Cute People!

I'm a precious gemstone slab.

And I got two BIG eyes!

I see you and you're all very cute people. 

It's Friday, and I want to wish you all a Shabbat Shalom!

May you have a restful and peaceful Shabbat. 

And as we head into Yom Kippur on Monday, may we all be sealed in the Book of Life for a great year ahead for 5781!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 20, 2020

There Is No Zionism Without G-d

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "There Is No Zionism Without G-d."
For two thousand years, the Jewish people exiled from their land, widely dispersed, and inhumanly persecuted among the nations developed passivity and learned helplessness. They eagerly awaited, year after year, G-d’s salvation and redemption. As a tiny minority attempting to hold firm to their religious beliefs amongst the world’s powerful majorities, the Jews found themselves a convenient scapegoat, suffering landlessness and joblessness, taxation to the point of near-starvation, conscription of their Jewish children for military service of 25-years, forced conversion on pain of torture and death, horrible violent pogroms that sparred no one, and expulsions from country after country. During these times, the Jewish people learned passivity in the hope of not inflaming the hate and anger of the goyim that would make things “even worse!”

Certainly, there is no mitzvah to being passive and helpless, and this was undoubtedly in large measure a result of being homeless and suffering under the weight of relentless and brutal anti-Semitism for 2,000 years. Yet, as we each roll up our sleeves to actively work and fight for the modern State of Israel, our independence, and our right to practice our religion freely, we must do so with full knowledge and thanksgiving to G-d, our creator and sustainer! Whether King David against the giant Goliath, Samson against the mighty Philistines, or our modern-day strong and brave soldiers in the IDF defending the borders of Israel from historical enemies’ roundabout, they stand strong against all the natural odds, because G-d stands right there with them and us.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 4, 2020

Shabbat Shalom From DC Duck!

Shabbat Shalom from this DC Duck!

Shabbat is something to look forward to ALL week long. 

Time to stop everything. 

Look heavenward. 

And inward! 

Remember why we're here. 

Rest and rejuvenate for the next week.

Wash, rinse, repeat.  

Need to balance and get our lives right. 

It's what we do! ;-)

(Credit Graphic:  Andy Blumenthal)
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August 30, 2020

Every Little Thing

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Every Little Thing." 


Every little thing that Hashem provides for us is truly a big deal. It’s so easy to become complacent, arrogant, and overconfident in all that we have today. But if we just remember that without every little thing we have, we could be in some big, big trouble tomorrow.

Our bodies, minds, and spirit can be strong, but without the ingredients we need to survive, we are all just dust and ashes. Before the High Holidays, when we ask Hashem to forgive us, and we try to make amends, and pray for a good New Year, now is a great time to appreciate every little thing!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 24, 2020

90-10 Charity Rule

There is a commandment of giving at least 10% to charity.

In Genesis 14:20:
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

In Genesis 28:22
[Jacob says] And in all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you. 

In Leviticus 27:30:
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the L-rd, it is holy to the L-rd. 

In general, G-d lets you keep 90% and he commands that you give 10% to charity.

I understand that some righteous people even give 20% of their income to charity.

I learned from Rabbi Yaron Reuven that:
For those that are miserly and not charitable and don't tithe, G-d reverses the equation, and He takes back the 90% and lets you keep the 10%.

Very ingenious and where the punishment fits "the crime" so to say.

So what do you want the 90% or the 10%--it's your choice to give or have it given for you!  ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 15, 2020

Hear O' Israel


Hear O' Israel,

The L-rd is our G-d,

The L-rd is One!


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August 14, 2020

30,000 Chances To Get It Right

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "30,000 Chances To Get It Right."
Teshuvah (Repentance) is really not just a yearly process, it is a daily one. And 80 years is almost 30,000 days, with every day that we wake up, get up, and start up the process of another day again, we have the opportunity to get it right this day, this time around!

Every day that we awake and arise is a great opportunity to try again where we failed in prior days and we can potentially think holier thoughts, say kinder words, and treat each other better, more compassionately and righteously.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 29, 2020

Good One for Rosh Hashanah

It's Tisha B'Av tonight.

But this is a good one for Rosh Hashanah in 2 months. 

Got to contain the spray from the blowing of the shofar. 

It's a coronavirus time of year.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Facebook)
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