Showing posts with label Kabbalah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kabbalah. Show all posts

September 25, 2019

The Magical Letters Of Tishrei

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Magical Letters of Tishrei."
It is ingenious how the letters of the Aleph and Bet and Tishrei (the dates when Rosh Hashanah occurs) is exactly equivalent to the letters in the Hebrew word for Genesis (Bereshit), which is the event of creation that we celebrate on the Jewish New Year. 

Truly, this magical genius evident in the Torah can only be from one source and that is the one Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, Himself!

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a truly magical Rosh Hashanah and one that is filled G-d’s mercy and blessings for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 28, 2018

Breaking The Cycle Of Trauma

Thought these are some beautiful sentiments about breaking the cycle of trauma in our lives: 
"Hurt people hurt people. 
That's how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. 
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. 
Greet grimaces with smiles. 
Forgive and forget about finding fault. 
Love is the weapon of the future."
- Yehuda Berg, The Kabbalah Center

This is powerful--it should only be that we can have a complete healing, betterment, and a renewal of peace for all. 

One other thing that I heard that was so plain and simple, yet so smart was that:
Our job in this world is to do the most good that we can do!

Thank you to Minna Blumenthal for sharing all this.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 4, 2016

The Evil Stink Eye

So there is an important Jewish (and non-Jewish) concept of the evil eye (in hebrew, it's called an "Ayin Hara").

This is the idea that people who are jealous of you or simply don't like you, can wish bad (or evil to befall) on you. 

And the more people or the more merits these people have in life that cast this evil wish (in mystical terms, some may call it a spell), perhaps the stronger the potency of it on you. 

Superstition or real? This is a matter of what you believe in and maybe experiences you've had in life have taught you to beware of when others don't wish you well. 

This is why many righteous people try to avoid the limelight--they don't want others to focus on them and harbor bad feelings toward them. 

Better in a sense to remain more private and discrete than suffer the evil eye of others. 

If we understand that there are not only physical powers in the universe, but also spiritual and metaphysical ones, then we may choose to protect ourselves by shielding ourselves from the public eyes of jealousy and hate.

Others may choose to do extra charity, prayer, and good deeds in an effort to protect themselves from competitors and antagonists in life. 

It's funny, but when my wife sees someone she perceives giving another the evil eye, she calls it, "The stink eye!"

And truly, it does stink that people can be so mean and hateful to others, but unfortunately, not everyone in life is nice and good.

It takes all types, and that is why it's critical to avoid those evil glances, feelings, and thoughts of others.

Hurt can take many forms--words and deeds are the two that we recognize most often. 

However, we shouldn't discount the harm that thoughts and feelings can cause as well. 

The mind and spirit of humans can reach out and up to the Heavens, and so we must live our lives good to G-d as well to people, and Bli Ayin Hara (without the evil eye) for blessings and not for curses. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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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 25, 2016

Lag B'Omer Hillula @ Magen David






Beautiful praying, learning Torah, fundraising, and evening celebration at Magen David Sephardic Synagogue.

Lag B'Omer 2016

Thank you to the Rabbi, Samy, and all our friends for a wonderful evening. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 20, 2015

Look How Great Magen David Is

The Magen David is the Star or Shield of David.

It is the symbol of the Jewish people and of Israel (it is center on the Israeli Flag, the Degel Yisrael), and dates back at least a 1,000 years. 


Magen David Sephardic Congregation is also the name of our wonderful new synagogue in Maryland.


As the amazing picture above shows, the Magen David actually can represent every single letter (24) of the Hebrew alphabet. 


As such, Magen David truly represents what a Jewish synagogue is and should be:


1) INCLUSIVE -- As every Hebrew letter is found in the Star of David, so too the synagogue is a place where every Jew, no matter Ashkenaz or Sephardic, Chasidim or Misnagdim, Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform--everyone is welcome and part of the greater family and community. The synagogue is a place we go to connect with our fellow Jews, where we respect and care for each other--our brothers and sisters, and where we Kibitz, laugh, and share of our selves and our heritage together. 


2) HOLY -- The Magen David is holy as the religious symbol of the Jewish people and representing all the hebrew letters as in the Torah and the Ten Commandments. Some also believe in a Kabbalistic or mystical symbolism to the points of the star. Similarly, the synagogue is a place of holiness, and the Mikdash Me'at or small Temple (until the Holy Temple is rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem).  It is the place we go to sacrifice to G-d and a central place where we can do good deeds for our fellow man. 


3) PRAYER AND LEARNING -- The Magen David represents the Jewish people, who are known as a people of the book.  And the Magen David with all the Hebrew letters can represent all the Bible, prayer book, and wisdom of our sages. Prayer and learning is central to our faith and service to G-d. Similarly, the synagogue (and Yeshiva or Jewish school) is the center of our religion where we go daily and on Shabbat and holidays to Pray and learn Torah.  


Magen David is an absolutely beautiful and meaningful symbol for who we are and what our synagogue ought to be. ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to eshevbooks)

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May 18, 2014

Happy Hebrew Anniversary

Today, I found out from my sister-in-law, Cheryl, that my wife's favorite doll as a child was a Raggedy Ann doll that she always carried around with her. 

(I'm the last to find out these things...)

She wrote isn't is funny that Raggedy Ann married Andy?

She ended with, "Is it odd or is it G-d?"

I think it must be both that we survived each other. ;-)

Happy Hebrew Anniversary to my wife!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to mypreciousmomentspro.com)
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September 30, 2013

Saving Iraq's Jewish Scrolls


What a beautiful job by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 

In Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, our Special Forces looking for WMD instead discoverd thousands of ancient Jewish texts.

The texts dating from 1540 to 1970 taken from the Iraqi Jewish Community were sitting defiled in the basement of Saddam Hussein's Intelligence HQS molding and decomposing under 4 feet of water. 

The U.S. military and NARA rescued these texts and have painstakingly restored and preserved them through freezing, categorizing, condition assessment, stabilization, mold remediation, mending pages, washing, binding, and more. 

Pictures of the collection of texts from Iraq before and after preservation can be found here.

The collection includes:

- A Hebrew Bible from 1568

- A Babylonian Talmud from 1793

- A Zohar/Kabbalah from 1815

- A Haggadah from 1902

- 48 Torah scroll fragments

- And much more.

On October 11, NARA will unveil an exhibit in Washington, DC featuring 24 of the recovered items and the preservation effort.  

Hopefully, the collection of Jewish religious texts will ultimately be returned to the Jewish community from which it came, so that it can be held dear and sacred once again, and used properly in religious worship and never again held hostage or profaned. 

Thank you so much to both the Department of Defense and to the National Archives for saving and preserving these ancient, sacred Jewish religious texts. 

You did a beautiful mitzvah! ;-)
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