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

August 9, 2019

Speedily Rebuild The Temple

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Rebuilding The Temple, Healing Our People."

Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) is on Shabbat this year, so we conduct the day of mourning and fast on Sunday. The destruction of the Temple and our subsequents exiles from the Holy Land are deeply traumatic periods of Jewish history. Needless to say, this is a very sad and scary time of year. However, we are living in the time of redemption, when after 2,000 years, the Jewish people have been blessed to be returned to their biblical homeland, Israel. Next up is the rebuilding of the Temple VERY SOON, please G-d.

Let us hope and pray that we are deserving of Hashem’s blessings and mercy, and that sadness will be completely turned into joy, the world will be healed, and peace will prevail.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 4, 2019

Open Your Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Open Your Eyes to Hashem."


G-d has a plan and a reason for everything–not only for them, but for all of us. We are all on a journey, and even if we don’t always readily see G-d, it’s part of our core faith that He is always there, He is guiding us, and that everything is for the best. Yet despite our best efforts to have faith, at times, we may feel that we don’t know what we’re doing here–why we’re at this place, at this time, or even how we got here–we may actually feel a little lost. Maybe we just can rattle off a list of “Well I did this and then that and then this other thing happened.” But exactly how we got to where we are, regardless of our best laid plans, is often a mystery to us as human beings. As I often tell students and colleagues in the planning discipline of enterprise architecture, “Man plans, and G-d laughs.”

While we may think we are going about fulfilling our plans and accomplishing our life dreams, the truth is that everything ultimately comes from G-d. He gives you the strength, the health, the family and friends as support, the talent, the opportunity, and the right thoughts in your head and the right words in your mouth to do what you do. Of course, we must do our part and the hard work to find and fulfill our mission in life and to overcome the challenges we face, but we are flesh and blood and in the bigger realm of things, messengers of G-d in fulfilling his bigger plan for all of us. If we open our eyes, we realize that wherever we end up and whatever happens to us is by His merciful decree.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 1, 2019

Being Jewish and Proud

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Being Jewish and Proud."
With roughly 15 million Jews in a world of 7.7 billion people, we make up less than .2% of the world population. However, despite our small size, we’ve been recognized with over 20% of the Nobel Prizes for contributions to the sciences, medicine, literature, economics, and peace. Most Jews tend to believe not only in a strong core religious education, but in higher education and lifelong learning, and others excel even when starting out and innovating from their garages. From Abraham and Moses to Einstein and Freud, and even to today’s Jews leading the Technology revolution–such as Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg–the Jewish contribution is truly unparalleled.

Until Mashiach, there will always be some people that hate on us and want to destroy us–perhaps and unfortunately, that’s just who they are. But we choose not be anyone else but Jews, because that’s who we are–and there is every reason to be ourselves, maintain our faith of thousands of years, continue to make awesome contributions that benefit mankind, and be forever proud to be a Jew.

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 20, 2019

Children's Voices and Scars

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Children's Voices and Scars."

Unfortunately, we are living in a time when many people are "destroyed" from various forms of abuse: physical, verbal, and emotional. This frequently occurs to those that are more vulnerable in society (e.g. exploited children). It is especially tragic that children--those that are still innocent and defenseless--are made to suffer at the hands of those that are bigger, stronger, and authority figures in their lives (teachers, clergy, etc.).

At the most basic level, we need to:
  • Listen (carefully), empathize, and be supportive.
  • Don't be dismissive, make assumptions, or jump to conclusions.
  • Yes, everyone deserves a fair hearing and for the facts to be known.
  • No, we can't as a community run from this uncomfortable issue any longer!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 15, 2019

OMG, What A Beautiful Song

And Even In Hiding
By Yaakov Shwekey & Kobi Peretz
Even though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
Because you are with me
Even behind the difficult things you are going through
I stand...I stand...I stand
Even in the place which is hidden, within that which is hidden
Surely, the blessed Hashem is found there too 

My heart and soul are uplifted by this beautiful song. ;-)
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July 13, 2019

I Pray For The Day

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Pray For The Day."

While I am a staunch supporter for the security of Israel, I pray for the day (a miracle) when Jews and Arabs can be brothers again--shoulder to shoulder--that embrace and help each other, rather than enemies "at each others' throats."

In my mind and heart, there has got to come a time when the hatred and violence ends, and when instead peace can and will prevail. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2019

Shabbat Shalom Baby!

Shabbat Shalom Baby!

(Source Graphic: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from Miami Neo-Pop Artist, Mr. Babes)

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June 22, 2019

Four Types of Desire

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Want What I Want."

There are four types of greed/jealousy:
  • I want what I’m missing
  • I want what I had
  • I want what you have
  • I want you to not have what you have

We can be slaves to our egos, emotions, and desires, or we can seek to control them and be better than mere animals. We have a soul, a conscience, and the Torah, so the choice should be clear even if not always easy.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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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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