Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

March 18, 2021

Appreciate Who You Have In Your Life


Thought this was a brilliant depiction of appreciating the invaluable people in our lives.

You don't know what you have until you don't have it anymore. 

Often, people become lazy in their relationships or they stop appreciating what/who they have--we end up taking them for granted, not paying them our loving attention or worse mistreating them.

But one day, those people won't necessarily be there for us anymore. 

That's when our eyes are opened to what we've done, but then it's too late to go back and undo the mistakes we made. 

One good friend told me that marriage is not like Hollywood; it's not all loving all the time:

"There are good days and bad, but it's better to have 5 even really bad days a month with your partner than 30 bad days a month by yourself, alone."

Don't wait until it's too late to love and care for your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. 

Eventually, the clock runs out and regret won't bring anyone back. 

(Source Photo: Millionaire Tutor via Facebook)


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March 7, 2021

The Beauty of Women

Great artistic depiction of the beauty of women. 

Simple yet elegant. 

Mysterious yet familiar. 

Intense yet tender and caring. 

Thoughtful yet expressive. 

Dark yet full of light. 

Natural yet sensual. 

Fantasy yet reality. 

A best friend, a partner, a lover.

Together a home.  ;-)

(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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November 22, 2020

There's Someone For Everyone

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "There's Someone For Everyone."
I'm sitting resting on Shabbat, minding my own business, and reading the Favorite Tales of Sholom Aleichem, but then my wife tells me a story circulating in the news that seemed like it could even be one better. At least my exaggerated version of it did as a tall tale in the making.

It starts like this: There is a woman who did not have a lot of luck with men...

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 10, 2020

@The Amish Experience


It was a fun time at The Amish Experience today in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania. 


One and a half hour bus tour of Amish country. 


45 Minute movie about Jacob, an Amish teen, trying to decide whether he wants to be in the outside world or in the Amish one.


And another hour of so tour of an Amish school house and home. 


Felt like I learned a lot about their culture (including no TV, internet, electricity [just batteries and solar], and education only through 8th grade). 


Honestly, it doesn't seem like they really have much a choice in whether to choose the church and become Amish or leave, because if they choose to leave they are shunned (i.e. excommunicated)!


So you either choose you family, church, community, and a wife (and there is no divorce) or you run off to G-d knows where completely alone and "divorced" from everything you know. 


The video is when we stopped at an Amish farm and I went in to the big barn with all the cows.  


After so much time on the bus, I needed to ham it up a little and have fun with:


"How now brown cow. It is so nice to eat you! You are beautiful animals.  And thank you Hashem for making you!" ;-)


(Credit Video: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)


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September 7, 2020

Wedding Speech for Minna and Nafi

Blessed are you, Hashem our G-d, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Let me express today my complete joy and thanksgiving to G-d for bringing us to this sacred time, when we join the handsome chasan, Naftali (Nafi) Meles to my beautiful daughter, Michelle (Minna) Blumenthal.

I was blessed with my wife Dossy to have two absolutely beautiful and incredible daughters, Minna and Rebecca. All three of these women are the loves of my life and the apples of my eyes. They are beautiful outside of countenance and most importantly, inside in their neshamas (souls).

Now as well I must thank the Almighty for blessing me with two amazing sons, both after my namesake. My Hebrew name is Abraham Naftali, and 3 years ago we were blessed to have Itzchak from Israel come into our lives and marry my daughter, Rebecca and become a son unto me. If you remember in the Torah, Itzchak was the son of Avraham and also he married Rivkah (Rebecca).

And again, today, Hashem has shown me his blessings and mercy and brought Naftali into our lives to marry our daughter, Minna. My middle name is Naftali and again, I welcome my namesake Naftali Meles into our family as my second son.

So truly I am blessed and have so much to be grateful for, bli ayin harah, with now 2 lovely daughters and 2 wonderful sons.

Both Minna and Nafi are the mezinkahs, Minna in our family, the Blumenthals, and Naftali in the Meles family—the last child of each of our families to be married off, so this is a great and truly joyous occasion.

I want to tell you a little about Minna and Nafi today.

Minna is an incredible young woman. She is a deeply religious person with a heart of gold, who always looks to do right by Hashem and others. Minna is also thank G-d celebrating the completion of her Master’s Degree in Communications just a few months ago, in June, from Georgetown University and she has been working for Homeland Security, since she was just 16 years old. She has brought us so much nachas and please G-d this is just the beginning for many more accomplishments in her life.

Nafi, who I have come to know this last year, is an incredible young man. Nafi is a wonderful Jew who learns weekly with a Torah partner, and is dedicated to making a wonderful Jewish home with Minna. Just last month Nafi completed a highly prestigious internship with the Department of Defense, and is moving forward, please G-d, with his career ambitions as a permanent government employee and rising star. As many of you know, Nafi is also an accomplished drummer and he comes to us in Rockville with drum set and all. I think eventually they’ll need a bigger apartment.

Minna and Nafi are joining together today to build with G-d help a bayit ne’aman B’Yisrael, a lasting house in Israel. They have a wonderful love and understanding for each other and with Hashem as the 3rd partner in their marriage, I am confident they will be very successful in building their home and family.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Meles family for having such a wonderful son as Nafi to share with Minna and us, and for joining our families together. I pray that Hashem will bless this beautiful loving couple with many, many years of health, joy, parnasa, and peace! And of course grandchildren for all of us! Amen!

I also want to thank each and every one of you for joining in our simcha today. Unfortunately Covid has limited the quantity of the attendees, but it allowed us to focus on the quality instead! Please G-d many more simchas with all of you in the future!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 6, 2020

My Special Socks Today

Mazel Tov to Minna And Nafi on their big wedding day today!

So grateful to Hashem and happy for them to start their new life together. 

May Hashem grant them all the blessings with much happiness, health, prosperity, peace, and a beautiful growing family. 

Special thank you to Minna for the beautiful socks for us to walk her down the aisle today. 

And yes, she will always be my little girl! 

With all my love,

Dad

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumethal)
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May 17, 2020

Singing Frankie The Fish + Happy Engagement Day


At the fish counter at Seven Mile Market in Baltimore, they had Frankie the Fish singing away.
Give me that fish...if it were you in that sandwich you wouldn't be laughing at all.

And most important today is I am singing because of a very happy day:

Thank you Hashem on the the engagement of Minna and Nafi! 

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 6, 2020

Build Others Up

I saw this in one of the student lounges at the local JCC.

It says:
"Don't Cut Down Others"

It's far better to build people up then to tear them down. 

Jut like with trees, it's better to plant a trillion trees than deforest the Amazon Rainforest. 

Trees are life and people are life. 

Be constructive and not destructive. 

Offer a nice word or compliment; provide an attentive and empathetic ear; give direction with some advice or guidance; lend a hand to someone in need; and in general, be a good influence. 

Unfortunately, too many people default to cutting down the old cherry tree! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 31, 2020

Hope You Had A Good "Veek"

So I was asked do you spell week with a "W" or a "V."

I guess sometimes it does sound like we say veek.

Someone else told me that they are divorced and that person is still a "dark force" in their life.

They said they have to pay child support but can't afford it. 
It's not like I still earn $55,000 like I used to.

But if they don't pay...
Well my ex will just refuse to let me see my son!

People have tough lives. 

So when you think about your week, hopefully in context, you can resolutely say that you had a good veek. 

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Photo: 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 11, 2019

Mother's Day Trump Mug

Mother's Day appreciation mug for my wife. 

I knew she would love it. 

- She's a great mom, terrific, beautiful, fantastic. 

- Other moms, total disasters, everyone agrees. 

Trump says it best.  

Happy Mother's Day! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 3, 2019

Relax, It's Just Sex

Just thought this was a really funny-sad display in the window of this store in Tel Aviv. 

It says:
Relex It's Just Sex
Forget that Relax is spelled wrong. 

But advertising for sexual items in such a casual way...like it's sex and what's the big deal.

Maybe I am old school, where sex actually meant a deep personal relationship and emotional intimacy. 

...Where you partner was also your spouse and best friend.

Now--unfortunately--it's just sex!

I think as a society that we have lost something here. 

...Something important. 

If it's just sex, and it's just with anyone, then what does that leave for us with that someone truly special in our lives? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 5, 2019

Why We Chase Love

Being a heart alone in this world is very lonely, indeed. 

Chasing another heart, so that we can pair together makes two less lonely hearts.

Two hearts that beat as one making beautiful music together. 

When the hearts are in harmony, we sway and are uplifted flying away into the heavens.  

And when the music is discordant, we are forced to retune and to grow wings that we never even knew we had. 

Hearts that complement each other, help us face the questions we often fear to ask ourselves. 

When these hearts meet, they touch so gently, and like silk they dance a perfect dance.  

What is meaningless alone is all of a sudden meaningful with another. 

What is too painful to bear by oneself is manageable when shared between two. 

And what is joyful is magnified in sweetness when there is someone else to enjoy it with. 

One heart chases another until they embrace that long blissful embrace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 12, 2018

Loneliness Is Death

There is a very important article in the Wall Street Journal today on the link of loneliness to death. 

Frightening loneliness statistics:

- One in 11 Americans over age 50 "lacks a spouse, partner, or living child."

- More than 1 in 4 baby boomers is divorced or never married.  

- 1 out of every 6 people lives alone. 

Research indicates that loneliness leads to early death. 

The impact of loneliness is equivalent to:

- Smoking 15 cigarettes a day

- Drinking 6 alcoholic beverages a day

Loneliness is worse for mortality than:

- Obesity 

- Physical activity

"The effect of isolation is extraordinarily powerful...we have to address loneliness," says the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Whether you are extroverted or introverted, we all need human interaction, sharing, caring, touch, and love.  

Truly, no man is an island!

Those that are stranded on loneliness island need to escape it and make their way back to human civilization.

Alone our lives are dull and stunted; but together, we have the inherent social dynamics to be able to experientially learn, grow, change and mature. 

Alone we die--together we live. 

It's not just power in numbers, it's life itself. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 15, 2018

Listen, Empathize, Give A Little

A colleague was talking to me about negotiating and working with others:

He said something I liked: 

Listen, empathize, and give a little. 

Yes, we each have our beliefs and positions on things.

But we don't live in a vacuum.

Other people have their own views, sensitivities, and wants. 

We have to get along so we can work together, and get things done. 

It starts by listening--not just hearing, but really listening to what the other person is saying. 

But that's not really enough. 

To really understand the other person, we have to try to empathize with what they are feeling--we need to try to walk in their shoes even if just for a moment. 

But that also isn't enough. 

We can't have it all our way--we need to give a little to get a little. 

No one can have everything and have a good relationship like that. 

We need to compromise--as long as it's not on things of integrity, conviction, or G-d. 

Everything else we have to listen, empathize, and give a little.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 19, 2018

Impact of Hyperwork on Family

I am seeing this all the time now... 

Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.

Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology. 

Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively--it's become a global obsession. 

On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.

On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Has morphed into:
Brother, can you spare some time?

Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills. 

But in the end, it's not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.  

I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours. 

As the old saying goes:
Money can't buy love.

But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond. 

Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities. 

It's easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids. 

These days, people say ridiculous things like:
I love going into the office to get away from home.  

But you can't run away from your problems at home--you need to work on them and solve them.

The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:
Arbeit Macht Frei  (or Work Sets You Free)

But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 20, 2018

Mikva = Tikva

I thought this was a really special Jewish clock I saw in the store yesterday. 

It promotes holiness and sanctity in the family.
Mikva (Jewish ritual bath) = Tikva (hope) 
Rebirth and renewal (from the immersion in the holy water).
Build your family in sanctity!
Purity leads to sanctity.

The Jewish laws of refraining from sexual relations during Nidda (a women's menstruation) and of immersing in the mikvah at the end of the cycle and before the husband and wife coming back together physically are cornerstones of acting with self-control and a couple dedicating themselves to Hashem first.

The family is the core of raising and educating our children and of the makeup of the community and ultimately of serving G-d in everything we do. 

Self-control (with sexual purity, kosher food, Sabbath time, etc.) is what separates us from animals and how we emulate being more like the angels. 

It is also a way for a husband and wife to elevate their love and show respect for each other as human beings and not just physical beings.  

I never saw a clock that reminds us of these holy concepts and laws like this. 

Also at the top it says another well-known Jewish quote about managing our time wisely:
"The day is short and the task is great."

Another good reminder to maximize the use of our time every day here on Earth and to make the most out of every moment. 

If we dedicate ourselves to serving G-d, raising our families, being productive professionally and personally, and acting with integrity and sanctity always--this is a good life! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 18, 2018

Together 4Ever

In elementary school, the children sing about love and romance. 

"The spades go.
Two lips together.
Twilight forever. 
Bring back my love to me."

When 2 people are together, it's as if the angels in heaven themselves are dancing and singing. 

Love seems to make everything in the world right again. 

Recently, an old person from my building lost his wife of over 60 years!

I see him around and while he continues to go about doing his everyday things, I can see that he misses his wife so much. 

He is broken, and his strength is gone. 

I remember my grandfather and father the same way when they lost my grandmother and mother, respectively. 

Completely devastating to them--their wives were their lives and what made them complete-- afterward, they were never really the same. 

Our companions are truly our other halves. 

When someone asked the old man from my building how he was doing late last week, he simply responded:
"I'm getting along the best that I can."

He said it was such sadness and loneliness for his wife who passed that his words literally cut right through me. 

People need each other--no one is an island--and especially loving couples who have been together for decades and decades--they are for each other and with each other, even if "together forever" is just a song that children sing...it is what we all ultimately wish for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day Fashion Wow!

Now, how perfect is this guy's suit?

I can't imagine who would make such a thing, but WOW!

This guy is a walking Mr. Charming. 

Forget the sales job in the jewelry store, I would put him right on the "The Bachelor" season whatever. 

Who isn't going to fall in love with this guy?  
"Matchmaker matchmaker make me a match.
Find me a find.
Catch me a catch."
Love wins over hate...

Happy Valentine's Day!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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