Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World. Show all posts

July 3, 2019

Beautiful Tutim

Love these strawberries (i.e. Tutim) from Israel. 

(Hebrew classes are paying off...)

Large, red, and sweet to eat. 

They look so appealing and delicious. 

G-d's beautiful fruits (and vegetables).

What an amazing world He has created for us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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)
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March 22, 2018

Controlling The World, Really?

So, unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and hate out there. 

Often, I see, hear, or read lots of anti-Semitism. 

People don't like what I write in my blog, that I eat Kosher, Keep Shabbat, or that I wear a head covering or whatever. 

I get things like "Dirty Jew!"

Sometimes, "Get out! Go back to Israel!"

Or when I try to express myself, "Uh, the Jews control the world,"

The funny thing is if Jews control the world, why do I feel like I don't control anything!

I feel so small and insignificant in a way in the realm of G-d's great universe. 

Where I am but a speck of dust.

I see tall skyscrapers.

Huge mountain ranges. 

The deep oceans.

The rolling plains. 

The infinite stars in the sky. 

I see a world with hundreds of countries. 

And billions of people. 

And I see me, and I am just a person. 

And I see the Jewish people--a tiny minority.

One that has been subject of pogroms, inquisitions, exiles, destruction, and genocide--over and over again. 

I grew up pretty poor and watching my parents work so hard trying their best to support the family. 

I think Jews don't control the world. 

I certainly don't think I control even my day. 

The reality is only G-d is in control. 

And for that, I am most humble and grateful to the L-rd above. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 30, 2017

It's Like Saving The Whole World

I saw this sign hanging prominently in a large local Baltimore hospital here (and it comes from the Talmud): 

"He who saves one life...It is as if he saves a whole world."

For doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, what greater purpose or joy in life than to save other human lives!

Each person is truly a whole world unto themselves...their thoughts, feelings, and their contributions!

Who knows what one single act of kindness or generosity from someone can have--what impacts down the line to one or even billions of others. 

Today, I have a friend that is undergoing a major operation in this hospital. 

My thoughts and prayers are with him. 

This is his third hospitalization in the last few weeks and it's time for the doctors--with G-d's help--to save his life.

I actually had something similar to this friend many years ago, but the technology wasn't there yet to diagnose it, and I had to have emergency surgery where they went in "exploratory" to find out what the heck was going on.

And thank G-d that they did--they literally saved my life at the time or I wouldn't be writing to you all today. 

I feel so grateful to G-d for his mercy to us and for giving us modern medicine and technology and all the wonderful people who work tirelessly to help all the sick people and to help save their very lives.

I am wishing the best of luck to my friend to come through this with a full and merciful healing.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 12, 2015

Why Did G-d Create The World?

So we met the Rabbi at Starbucks for a coffee and conversation. 

We talked about such a wide variety of topics--the Ten Commandments, the laws of Shabbat, driverless cars and smartphones, women's minyan (prayer services), and even LGBT.

Not sure how this came up, but at one point the Rabbi turns to us and asks, "Why did G-d create the world?"

Taken a little off guard by this very big question, I blurted out, "To get to the other side!"

I thought he was going to fall off his chair, and then we all laughed. 

But then we started to discuss some of the traditional answers like G-d out his infinite love created us with a spark of himself.

In very mortal terms, I guess maybe it's not so fun to be G-d (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent) but be alone in the universe.

By creating us, His children, he gave the gift of life, learning, and growth for us to emulate the Divine. 

What about all the terrible suffering?

Perhaps just part of our tests, trials, and tribulations to ultimately grow our souls. 

Still it's a tough world. 

I wonder maybe "to get to the other side"--for us to get to Heaven--isn't such a bad answer after all (even if it comes from the chicken crossing the road joke). ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2015

All The Frogs From Egypt

So what happened to all the swarms of frogs from the Bible when in Exodus, G-d struck the Egyptians with the 2nd plague of frogs (reminds me of the children's song: "Frogs here! Frogs there! Frogs are jumping everywhere!")? 

I saw this sticker on a pole in downtown D.C. advertising for this Frog called the Rabb's Fringe Limbed Tree Frog, where there is just 1 left in the entire world. 


Talking about facing extinction!


And this interesting website called PhotoArk by National Geographic freelance photgrapher, Joel Sartore (noted at the bottom of the sticker) sells all sorts of amazing photos of endangered animal species to promote conservation. 


One of them has his "greatest hits" featured with 90 favorite images and sells for $225--what awesome creatures G-d has created.


I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal how since1970 the world's wildlife numbers have dropped by more than half (52%)--"in rivers, on land, and in the seas." 


That is crazy!


Surely, we need to preserve life and create a sustainable future--my G-d, what are we doing to world and these beautiful creatures? ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 9, 2015

See The World Through The Eyes Of Others

It's not only important what we think, but also what and how others see things. 

One the things, the folks that work with me frequently hear from me is "Let me put myself in the other person's shoes for a moment, and give you feedback on that."

We are what we are and not as our customers are, and while we may strive for excellence in customer service, our customers may have completely different notions of what that means.

For example, I may think a 24-hour turnaround on something is pretty good given everything on our plate, but when I imagine myself in the customer's shoes for a moment, I may change that expectation to "We need to get this done by noon today (or sooner)!"

People are different, our experiences, our cultures, our context and the way we interpret things. 

So when it comes to work or family or even social issues, being compassionate often means seeing the world through someone else's eyes. 

There was an interesting article in the New York Times called "Imaging The Lives Of Others" by psychologist, Paul Bloom. 

While he notes the importance to "behold the universe through the eyes of another," he also says how difficult this really is. 

If you haven't done something, how can you really imagine what it was like, let alone know what it was like for someone else to experience it?

Without the access to the particular significant life experience, the duration, the controls (so you can't just say stop like in an experiment), perhaps a person can never fully know what it's like. 

For example, if you haven't been through a devastating war, can you truly know what it's like to be in a foxhole and have the bullets whooshing by your head and the tanks rumbling over it?

Yes, we can imagine, but that is probably a far cry!

Yet, to really empathize with others, do right by them, and to make good leadership decisions, we most certainly need to at least try to see and experience the world the way others do. 

Thinking about the over 805 million hungry people in the world today, it is much more impactful to imagine myself hungry and starving, then just to say the mere fact that these poor people exist.

We can probably never know someone's else pain and suffering the way they do, but through our own experiences, extrapolation from them, and our imagination, we can at least try to elevate ourselves for a purely self-centric universe of one that is of billions (under one G-d), and who need our understanding, compassion, support, and help. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 29, 2012

G-d Doesn't Have a Blackberry

I saw this lovely and clever poem on Facebook posted by Yona Lunger, I assume a relative of the 11 year old girl who wrote this.

"Hashem" is the Jewish name for G-d. 

And he is truly the center of our real and virtual worlds.

None of it would exist without him.

G-d keeps us all moving forward technologically.

He is the greatest innovator of them all. 

Thank you G-d!

(Source Poem--Chana Pessy Lunger)

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