Showing posts with label Mitzvot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitzvot. Show all posts

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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May 23, 2020

The 11th Commandment

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The 11th Commandment."
How many times do I hear about fellow Jews trying to "out-frum" (i.e. be holier than thou) other Jews: whether it's in terms of Kashrut, Shabbat or even who stayed up the latest for the Passover Seder. Recently, when it came to coronavirus, I was more than a little shocked to read that someone actually attributed the disease to it being a punishment from G-d because women's skirts are not being worn long enough. While certainly it's good to be introspective and there is a strong concept of reward and punishment in Judaism, there is something about us Jews where we tend to want to go a little more and a little farther. In some cases, we are doing "hiddur mitzvah" (beautification of the Mitzvah) which is praiseworthy, but in other cases, we may be adding unnecessary "chumras" (i.e. stringencies) than can backfire religiously. My unequivocal preference is to follow my father's teaching to me of the Rambam's "Shvil Ha'zahav" (i.e. the golden path) and not go too far to the left or to the right, but keep a healthy middle of the road approach to life.

In the end, the number of commandments are what they are, and with 613 throughout the Torah, there is enough to keep us all busy going what is right with G-d and our fellow man. While we may like to overachieve in our careers, our education, and our pedigrees, it is not necessary to try to outdo each other religiously. Religion is a matter between us and Hashem and G-d knows what is in our hearts and counts up all our deeds according to His holy Torah with nothing added and nothing subtracted.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 12, 2019

What’s Your Fantasy Synagogue

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "What's Your Fantasy Synagogue."
We all go to synagogues that we like in some ways and don’t like in others, but have you ever thought about what your fantasy synagogue would be like if you could make one?Last Shabbat, we were invited for lunch by some wonderful friends who had been sports writers, and the topic of fantasy football came up, where people compete for coming up with the best team by picking their own players and forming their ideal team. I said, half jokingly, wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same thing with synagogues and pick the best aspects of each and make an ideal house of worship for ourselves where we could pray, learn, grow, and experience holiness and community. 
In the article, I detail "the best of the best" when it comes to synagogues and the ultimate ideal synagogue is of course, in the coming of the Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Temple. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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March 23, 2019

Purim In Israel, Chabad Style

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Purim in Israel, Chabad Style."
We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night. We are going down Ben Yehudah Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading. Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates. He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shul (#770 of course). Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.

Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad--they understand faith, ritual, and people's hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 15, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 

So fresh and delicious. 

Plenty for all. 

G-d's blessing for a restful Shabbos.

Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)
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November 25, 2018

Who Is More Religious?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Being Super Duper Kosher."
Of course, I am sure many good people are trying to do the right thing and genuinely practice to be better servants of Hashem. However, this should never become an excuse to use religious practices to misguidedly “compete”–hurt or shame–and somehow “one up” their neighbor’s religiosity or status as fellow Jews. That would be to erroneously think that G-d can’t see all His children as good and deserving in their own ways, even though the creator can certainly see what is in the heart and in the doings of all of us.

Hope this resonates with many of you who are kosher but feel unfairly (mis)judged by all the latest variations these days. ;-)

(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 29, 2016

613 Calories

So today I tested out a hypothesis about seeing 613. 

I tried to do it intentionally. 

I was getting my activity, and lo and behold, I see that I am at 612 calories burned so far. 

Oh, how cool--I can capture 613 in a another second or two. 

And I continue my activity looking intently at the Apple Watch monitor. 

Okay, 613 now!

No, now!

How about now? 

But it doesn't come. 

I am waiting for it.

It can't come on my terms.

Next thing I know, the calorie counter jumps from 612 to 616.

I can't believe it. 

I couldn't capture the 613 when wanted to. 

Every other time so far has been--we'll it's just been. 

And maybe that's the whole point. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2016

613 Synagogue

So look what I noticed about the wonderful Magen David synagogue. 

1+5=6
    1=1
1+2=3

Mystical, holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah). 

May Hashem bless us in his mercy. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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May 24, 2016

Heading Down The 613

So today another amazing mystical and holy 613 (commandments in the Torah).

This one is a country road between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How apropos to be on the 613 road!

Tomorrow, in my next post, I hope to show you where this road is personally taking us now.

But wherever 613 leads that is where I want to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: With gratitude to my dearest sister, Roz Blumenthal)
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May 17, 2016

613 The Perfect Trip

So the sightings continue today of the mystical and holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah).

Check out the cost of this vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park.

It's not $599 or $699 like you would usually see these things advertised for. 

Instead the family adventure starts at $613!!!

Too many times now, too frequent, and in too many different places to be just random or chance. 

Someone is trying to tell us something.

Hopefully, it is a sign for blessings for mankind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Ellen Weiner)
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