Showing posts with label Spirituality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spirituality. Show all posts

May 3, 2020

We Impact Each Other's Souls

Finishing Natan Sharansky's book Fear No Evil

And I rarely write twice on a book or movie, but this was so impactful. 

First on our souls, Sharansky writes:
The law of attraction, interconnection, and interdependence of human souls...there is a universal gravitational pull of souls, of the bond between them and influence of one soul on the other. 

Wow, Sharansky understood the deeper meaning of the soul and how they all emanate and are pieces from G-d and they are all connected to their source and each other, and what one person says or does impacts all the others (and thereby G-d himself). 

Literally, I experienced this the other day...when I personally made amends on something I felt that I had done wrong, and I could literally feel somehow righting a wrong in the universe and G-d, Himself, smiling down on me. 

It was the best feeling I think I have ever had in my life. 

Second on fear, Sharansky writes:

My inner freedom [is] more powerful than the external bondage...[and] fear of the L-rd...is a necessary prerequisite for man's achieving inner freedom, and is also the prerequisite for spiritual resolve, the fear of the L-rd is the only thing that can conquer human fear.

Wow again. Sharansky through his nine years of suffering and hardships in Soviet prisons and labor camps found his deep inner strength to resist the tyranny of the KGB worldly masters and overcame them with his finding his fear and faith in G-d and was able to overcome. 

These are two amazing heavenly lessons that Sharansky shares with us from enduring and overcoming his incredible worldly hardships.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this and am with G-d's help continuing to quench my thirst for this type of wisdom and true enlightenment.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 1, 2020

Shabbat Shalom and Stay Healthy!

Beautiful Shabbat is almost here again. 

A time for rest and rejuvenation. 

Each of us has to take care of and nourish our body, mind, and soul. 

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!

Please stay safe and healthy. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

February 12, 2020

Israel 2020: Day 3

Went to the Holy city of the Kabbalists today, Sefad.

Saw the beautiful 15th century Abuhav Synagogue, the Candle Factory, the artist colony, and the of course, the holy graves of the Tzadikim to pray.

It was a marvelously spiritually uplifting experience (as well as being up high in the mountains) and is an overall beautiful and unique city of ancient winding alleys and treasures at every turn. 

So grateful to have had this opportunity to visit there, thank you Hashem!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 7, 2020

A Cool Shabbat Shalom!

A very cool Shabbat Shalom to you!

Congratulations on another week of hard work and accomplishment. 

Now it's time for a day of spirituality, mindfulness, thanksgiving, and much needed rest and relaxation. 

Heal and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul.

A time for Hashem, self, family, and community. 

Shabbat is a true gift from G-d. ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 28, 2019

The Beauty of Tefillin

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Beauty of Tefillin."
Like the colorful coat that Jacob gave Joseph to wear, the mitzvah of tefillin that G-d gave us to wear is also filled with spiritual color and the love of Hashem. This is in no way intended as sacrilegious or as trying to change our holy mitzvot. Rather it is an artistic attempt to see the tefillin in a new way that perhaps excites and bring Jews back to this important mitzvah.

Over time, as I continued to learn and grow as a person and as a Jew, I found much of my way back to Yiddishkeit and to wearing my holy tefillin with love and Joy. To me they are forever colorful and full of spiritual energy that are uplifting to me as I pray with them on for Hashem’s everlasting mercy and blessings for all of us.

(Credit Image: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 27, 2019

Flowers and Well Wishes 4 Shabbat Shalom!


"When you keep the Sabbath day, the Sabbath day keeps you!"

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 26, 2019

Aish Kumzitz - Hanukah 2019





(Credit Videos: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 13, 2019

Shabbat Shalom!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 8, 2019

The Best of Jewish Nigunim


Shlomo Carlebach was a master of Jewish Nigunim (melodies).

With his music he could literally move one's soul to reach for G-d Almighty in the Heavens and on Earth. 

Thank you Eitan Katz for bringing this alive again.

I hope you can feel it as I do.

Hashem lives!
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 5, 2019

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:
There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 
The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples' hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

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) 
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 2, 2019

Jerusalem Center of The World

I love this map by Heinrich Bunting, a German Protestant pastor and cartographer. 

This beautiful artist and thoughtful map was published in 1581.

It shows the 3 continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa as 3 leaves of a clovers with Jerusalem at the center. 

Jerusalem, Israel is the focus, nexus and crossroad between these 3 worlds of Western, Asian, and African civilizations. 

Israel is so multi-cultural and holy to the 3 major monotheistic religions of the world (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism).  

Light, healing, peace, and prosperity should emanate from Jerusalem to the whole world and G-d should bless us from his heavenly abode.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Wikipedia)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 15, 2018

Reflections B4 Yom Kippur


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Reflections Before Yom Kippur."

"I get up in the middle of the night, and I’m still 3/4 asleep. My mouth feels dry, and I walk over to the mouthwash to refresh. I reach for the bottle, but I grab the image in the mirror..."

Hope you enjoy this true story and the parable for living our spiritual lives and not just reach for the ego image in the mirror.

May you be sealed for another year in the book of life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

July 23, 2018

Tisha B'Av @Kotel - Ushering In The Redemption


Last night, as Tisha B'Av (the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples in Jerusalem) was nearing conclusion, we watched these beautiful videos of:

1) The singing of Ani Ma'Amin at the Kotel yesterday in 2018. 
2) An amazing NCSY kumzitz, including at the beginning, the singing of Kol Berama Nishma/Rachel Mivakah at the Kotel a few years ago in 2015.

"A voice is heard in the Heavens, lamentati​on, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children;​ she refuseth to be comforted​ for her children,​ because they are not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded,​ saith the LORD; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own border. "

Both are so beautiful, and we imagined G-d looking down from the Heavens and being moved to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and bring his amazing presence closer to us once again on Earth. 

Oh let it be!  ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 2, 2018

How Do I Choose?

So I thought this was an interesting topic for the sermon on Shabbat by Ben Shemony. 

It was about how we are confronted in life with whether to follow our impulses or our values. 

I think there is a lot to this topic...

Some may see it as the little good angel standing over one shoulder and another bad angel standing over the other trying to convince us what to do when it's decision time.  

Others may be perpetually torn between temptations or pleasures of materialism and the flesh versus of pursuing what you know to be spiritually good and right in this world. 

Either way, as human beings, we are a complex make-up of both body and soul.

Do we give in to temptation and do what feels good--more money, more food, more clothes and jewelry, more houses, cars, and yachts, more vacations, more carnal pleasures from the proverbial "wine, women, and song" or do we pursue the path of spirituality, serving our maker, caring and giving and doing good for others and the world?  

It sounds simple, but our impulses tell us one thing and our values tell us another. 

Are we being selfish or selfless?

Perhaps, too much of anything is bad for us--even too much giving and selflessness--we need to care for ourselves too--we are mortal, we have needs, we have to nourish ourselves, and we need to live. 

But you can't be a glutton or a slave to your impulses--you can't take and not give, your can't indulge until you make yourself sick, or take at the expense of and harm to others.

Like all things in life, there is a need for balance.

Certainly our spirit should guide our animal. 

If and when our animal is dictating to our spirit then we are in real trouble. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 15, 2018

Making A Real Difference

I saw this sign posted at an organization's office. 

I thought it was a nice way to motivate people working there. 
"What people are saying:
You are making a difference."

Later in the sign, it says:
"The work you do is important."
Isn't this really what is critical to people--that what they do is important. 

Yes, we need to earn a living and pay our bills. 

And sure, we'd like something left over to save for a rainy day. 

But our lives are more than materialism. 

We are spiritual beings inside. 

At the pinnacle, we need to know that our lives mean something!

- That we are touching people's lives. 

- That we will be remembered for the good we did. 

- That our good deeds and words will live on. 

- That our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren (etc.) will carry the lessons and message forward. 

- That we've contributed in some meaningful way to the fight of good over evil in this world and the next. 

- That we've shown proper respect and worship to our L-rd/Maker/Sustainer. 

When we make a difference, it's about so much more than what money can buy. 

It's about our soul, our contribution, and even destiny.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 29, 2018

The 3 P's Do NOT Matter

So I heard Joel Osteen give a great speech. 

He said that it's not any of these things that make a person worthwhile:

1. Possessions
2. Performance
3. Popularity

But rather, it is a person's inner self and soul that determine their value. 

Each person is a son or daughter of G-d.

I agree that our personal worth is a matter of how we act as human beings in choosing right over wrong and good over evil; and it is not based on how much we have, how successful we have become, or how much we are liked. 

In the end, a person must return to their maker alone to answer for their actions.  

You can't take anything with you.

Materialism and vanity all fade away and only your spiritual inner self will pass over and live on.  

So how will you spend your time and attention--chasing vanity of vanities or doing good in all your words and deeds? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 27, 2018

The Most Precious and Beautiful Song

Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Earth.

Sing throughout all the Heavens.

Sing from the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the People.

Sing throughout all the Angelic Host.

Sing from the Animals, the Fish, and the Fowl.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Begining of Time.

Sing throughout the End of Time.

Sing in the Morning, the Noon, and the Night.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.



Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Mountains.

Sing throughout the rolling Valleys.

Sing in the Forests, the Cities, and the Seas.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from every Tree.

Sing throughout the sprawling blades of grass.

Sing from every drop of dew, pouring of rain, and howling of wind.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from each Word.

Sing throughout all your Deeds.

Sing in the Thinking, the Doing, and the Speaking.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from every beating Heartbeat.

Sing throughout all your Breaths.

Sing in your Comings, your Goings, and Wherever you are.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing with your Material wealth.

Sing throughout all your Spiritual awakenings.

Sing during your Journey, at your Milestones, and when you arrive at your Destination.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from your successes.

Sing throughout all your failures.

Sing during your tryings, your learnings, and your growing.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.

(Note 1: Incredibly, this is my first song and it came to me early on the Shabbat where we read the portion of the Torah when G-d miraculously led the Israelites through the split sea and they sang the "Shirah" (song) of thanksgiving to G-d for saving and redeeming them from slavery to freedom, and I didn't even know it was this Shabbat!)

(Note 2: I would love if someone can put this to music and make this into an amazing song to G-d.)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 14, 2018

Beyond Money

Okay, I don't impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.

Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this...

A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 

They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would've imagined that they should give it back to us. 

When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn't stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 

They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a "Kiddush Hashem" (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d's name in the world). 

Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don't reflect it. 

In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 

Yes, some people are bad--do bad--and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 

So to see the good in people--extra good--it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 8, 2018

Yearning For Redemption


Just an impression from my recent trip to Israel. 

There is such a yearning for people to do good and to merit the coming of Mashiach (Messiah) towards the ultimate redemption for mankind. 

It's on every street corner and light post.  

Whether it's eyes gazed on the righteousness of Rabbi Nachman or The Rebbe--as we used to sing as kids in NCSY:
"We want Mashiach now!"

Whether Mashiach is an actual person or a spiritual revelation in the world leading to redemption--it represents an unprecedented enlightenment, holiness and a spiritual healing, and love and peace for mankind. 

While we strive to earn our daily bread, it's nice to have a part of us that also seeks a greater good and achieving betterment for the world. 

Any small or big things we can do in our lives to contribute to Tikkun Olam ("fixing the world"), it's purposeful, hopeful, and uplifting to try. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark