Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

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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July 22, 2019

I will Survive


G-d gives us strength. 

To battle ignorance, apathy, and evil. 

To educate, persuade, influence, and fight for what's right. 

With a thick skin of battle armor.

And sword and arrows of insight, cunning, and righteousness.

To stand firm even when you feel weakened. 

To find the words even when you are mocked. 

To see clearly and hear distinctly even when confounded. 

The soul and spirit of G-d guides you.

As you traverse a journey through life's winding tests and challenges. 

Fight heroically to repair that which is broken. 

Say resolutely, I will survive!  ;-)
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July 15, 2019

Butterfly + Flower






(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 9, 2019

Smell The Flowers

Beautiful flowers. 

G-d made them for us. 

Soft petals. 

Magnificent colors.

Fresh sweet smells. 

The sound of rustling in the wind. 

Absorbing the rays of sunshine.

Drinking the rain water. 

Planted in the soil of the earth. 

Magical flowers of life, love, and peace. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 25, 2019

Life = Growth

Thought this was an interesting photo at REI.

It says behind the cash registers:
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. - Eleanor Roosevelt

The  background has this serene river flow--along with some obvious whitewater. 

But in front of it, the cash register area is hopping crazy and messy.

It's a contradiction--not unlike life itself which is full of it's own ups and downs that challenge us routinely. 

Life is where we get the experience that shapes us and strengthens us, as long as it does not break us.  

Life = Growth

Why else would we be here?

G-d is the best teacher. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2019

Flowers and Bird

Just wanted to share this beautiful painting from Reuben in our synagogue.

I love the plethora of colorful flowers in the vase.  

The sweet bird with it.

The verdant green background. 

The unique etched wood frame. 

Very happy...and all the world is okay.  ;-)

(Source Photo of Reuben Art: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 30, 2018

Life Is Like A Sailboat

Planning is a critical aspect of making progress toward your goals.

As they say;
If you fail to plan, plan to fail. 

However, planning is subject to life--and life happens!

One colleague of mine compared it to a sailboat, and our dialogue went something like this:

You set out on a course. But the wind and ocean current takes you here and there. Even as you try to steer the boat with the sails and rudder, sometimes you land on Gilligan's Island!


Hence, life is like a sailboat.  ;-)

(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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August 25, 2018

An 80-Year-Old's Life Philosophy

So today an 80-year-old Algerian man sat our table for the Kiddush lunch after synagogue services. 

And he talked quite a bit about his life philosophy and told me I was a good listener. :)

1) TRUE LOVE IS LIKE AN ORANGE:
A man and women that are meant to be together are like two sides of an orange.  With his hands, he showed us putting the two sides together, twisting, and he goes, "You see it just clicks!"

2) WHEN LOVE IS NOT TRUE ITS LIKE TWO BIRDS IN A CAGE:
When a man and woman are not soulmates, maybe they just are meant to be together for a time to have children or make a home temporarily. But then, the birds need to leave the cage, and be free!

3) BURIED TOGETHER:
"When people are soulmates, they are buried together, next to each other. Otherwise, one is buried in Greece and the other in Hawaii, and it makes no difference because they are going their own ways in Heaven."

4) 80 HERE AND 20 HERE
He pointed to his belly and said, "I'm 80 here." And then pointed to his groin area, and said, "But I'm 20 here!"

5) WOMEN ONLY UNDER 40:
While he is 80, he claims to be robust in the bedroom, and "will never be with a woman over 40...not a day over!"  He said, "It's like an old Cadillac!" Moreover, he said, if a woman is "not perfect" and has a scar like from having her appendix out, "forget it!"

6) WRITING, PLAYING GUITAR, AND DANCING:
He said, "I like to write, play guitar and dance." And with his arms, he makes some swoops like he is on the dance floor having a good time. 

7) PEOPLE ARE LIKE CANDLES:
People are like candles.  The body is like the wax that burns down, but the soul is the flame that always rises up.  In the end, the soul ascends to heaven just like the flame. 

8) INFINITELY STUPID:
He pointed to the yarmulke on top of his head and said:  "You know what that means?  This means that there is no limit to how stupid some people can be!"  

8) YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK:
I asked what he did for a living, and he said "Real estate, Jewelry, and even fashion salons."  I said, "Wow, you're very fortunate!"  He said, "No, in life, you make your own luck!"

10) RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT:
"You respect me, and I respect you. But frankly, I don't care if you respect me or not. You can do what you want, and so will I!" I said, "Ok, see you next week and we'll talk again."  He said, "Maybe I will or maybe I won't talk to you ever again."

Like his philosophy or not, I never saw an 80-year-old with so much energy, life, and personality. Honestly, there are a lot of people half his age, who act more dead than alive. It was incredible to see this ageless person and hear what that's like. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal 
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July 18, 2018

Rain From Heaven

Took this photo yesterday in the courtyard during a thunderstorm.

It is the first time that I was actually able to see the rain almost in a slow motion.

They weren't drops, but literally streaks of water zipping down from the sky.

The feeling was so pure and refreshing to clean the air and the ground. 

To replenish our reservoirs, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

To nourish the fruit of the Earth and make it grow. 

We use up and make dirty, but G-d replenishes and makes clean! ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2018

Don't Worry--Be Happy!

Happy Friday everyone!

Yesterday, someone gave me a couple of these bright yellow smileys--one on the back of each of my hands. 

I was going around waving these happy faces all day.  

Of course, sitting in meetings was a little weird with these on, but then again, maybe that is part of setting a colorful and happy tone. 

It's funny how a little smile sticker can make the whole world seem right again. 

Maybe we can learn to live life, love life, and make the most of every single day. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 2, 2017

If I Could Be Anyone(s)

So someone asked me a very deep personal question.
"If you had $20 million dollars and could do whatever you want (be whoever you want), what would that be?"

I was on the spot a little and didn't have time to introspect the way I like to do, and I gave an answer that I really wasn't happy with...and it's been bothering me since. 

So sitting down now and really thinking about who I want to be--this is my real answer:

As a composite person, I want to have the:

- Lovingkindness of Mother Teresa

- Serenity of the Dalai Lama

- Spirituality of Moses

- Determination of Rocky

- Leadership of Rick Grimes

- Strength of Samson

- Agility of Bruce Lee

- Intellect of Sigmund Freud

- Understanding of Albert Einstein

- Ingenuity of Steve Jobs

- Inquisitiveness of Capt. James T. Kirk

- Bravery of those martyred in the Holocaust

- Heroism of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu

- Beauty of my wife and daughters

- The integrity of my dear father, Fred Blumenthal

What would I want to do--just simple things like:

- Cure Cancer, Parkinsons, ALS, etc.

- Eliminate poverty

- Herald in world peace

- Help/comfort those that are hurt and suffering

- Make people smile/happy

- Be a good person with integrity in all situations

I could probably go on and on, but generally this is what life means to me. 

Maybe today, I ain't the smartest or fastest or strongest, but I have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. 

If that isn't good enough, well at least I have a heart and a soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle 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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June 2, 2017

Butterflies, Birds, and Flowers





















(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal @Butterfly World)
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March 31, 2017

Shabbat Candle Holders with Gorgeous Flowers

These are our new Shabbat candlestick holders. 

So colorful, and full of nature and life, and it makes me happy. 

I just wanted to give a callout to Mira (Pinki) Krispil from Ashdod, Israel who makes this beautiful artwork. 

Her expertise is in using polymer clay and glass and making it very special. 

You can find her Mira's wonderful work on Etsy.

Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!
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March 11, 2017

Purim Prayer

Tonight is Purim and it's a holiday of joy and celebration. 

It commemorates when the Jews where saved from Destruction by the Persian Empire and the evil Haman as told in the Megillah Esther.

So on Purim, we dress up and make fun and it this vein of humor that I post this sign about religions of the world. 

- Taoism:  Sh*t happens.

- Buddhism: If sh*t happens, it really isn't sh*t.

- Hinduism: This sh*t has happened before.

- Islam: If sh*t happens, it is the will of Allah. 

- Catholicism: Sh*t happens because you deserve it.

- Protestantism: Work harder or sh*t will happen.

- Judaism: Why does this sh*t always happen to us?

It's funny how each religion of the world has a perspective on life. 

Are we all so really different?  

Maybe we have more in common than not.

The hope and prayer is that the true evil Hamans out there utterly perish, and that for all good and decent people--whatever your religion and perspective in this world--may we all get along as loving brothers and sisters, and let there be true peace for all of us! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to RamblingsDC)
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October 23, 2016

Awesome Drumbeat of Life


Just thought this was such an awesome drum. 

On the top of the drum was a painting of a drummer. 

And on the side was a picture of a beautiful lady dancing. 

It was so simple, yet so eloquently done.

There is something amazing when you can literally feel the art come so alive.

Almost like seeing and feeling the vision of the artist as if looking directly through his eyes.

Our experience her on earth is that of our soul moving and acting in a surreal physical world.

But in so interacting, we leave behind and impact this world with artifacts, and deeds to others, that last beyond ourselves and the moment. 

What a wonderful world G-d has placed us in to experience his wonders and to learn and grow.

I can feel the drumming of my heart and the dancing of my feet all along the way.

And even though I don't comprehend everything I am experiencing or the decisions that I must make, in it contains not only deep intrigue, but also genuine surprise and challenge, and ultimately meaning, every step  along the marvelous path of G-d's garden. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 17, 2016

From Cocoa Trees To Honey Pizza








Had a chance to take in the United States Botanic Garden. 

Loved going in the greenhouse. 

The air was fresh and the flowers beautiful. 

The 2nd to last photo is a cocoa tree, which I had never seen before. 

It was incredible to me that those pods hold the amazing stuff that gives us chocolate. 

G-d's creations are so amazing. 

Also, we went for dinner and my daughter had this amazing pizza with cheese, figs, spinach, and honey. 

I couldn't have the dough because of my Paleo diet, but I just tasted the toppings, and it was literally like heaven. 

I was glad that the taste didn't show up on the scale this morning. 

To me the wonderment is how our senses can literally indulge in so many wonderful things almost like the Garden of Eden. 

Thank you G-d for giving us life and the ability to enjoy your amazing creations. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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