Showing posts with label Yom Kippur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yom Kippur. Show all posts

October 13, 2019

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words."
When we see wrong and evil in this world, we have a duty to stand up and speak out with truth and integrity, to be a good influence and guide things for the better, and even to repair the world ("Tikkun Olam")...Words are perhaps a good start, but also, "words are cheap." The way to really judge someone is less by their words, and far more so by their actual deeds. Moreover, sometimes words aren't enough and we need to not just say something, but do something! As Edmund Burke stated, "The only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." It's great to speak out when we see wrong, but more than that we have to be willing, when necessary, to act out--to do something.

As Jews, we need to be ready, willing, and able to stand up for what is right in the never ending war of good over evil in this world--regardless of silver or lead, G-d forbid--with our words and with our deeds.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 10, 2019

Adding A Very Special Facebook Friend

So this was really strange what happened to me before Yom Kippur. 

My parents passed away 5-6 years ago already.

I always miss them so much!

Somehow, on Facebook, my dad's Facebook profile came up, which I was surprised to find. 

Looking at it, I saw under his friends was of course, my mom. 

I didn't even know my mom had a Facebook page (I don't think she ever really used it). 

But I was so curious, I clicked on her profile.  

I saw the prominent blue and white button to "Add Friend."

And I saw my hand reaching to press for that button. 

I so wanted to reach out and be able to be with, see, communicate with her again. 

Then I stopped myself realizing that the friend request, unfortunately, couldn't go to Heaven. 

If only it could...I would be so happy to press that button and have my mom hear from me again. ;-)

(Photo of my dear parents from Florida)
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October 6, 2019

Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier’s Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier's Eyes."
He said, just think about it: “You have the chance to say I’m sorry, I regret what I did, and I won’t do it again, and be forgiven — what a tremendous opportunity that is!” I had never really thought of repentance in this particular way…as an opportunity. Usually, it’s more of something that is uncomfortable, difficult, and that we really don’t want to have to do.

So with a few more days to go before Yom Kippur, let us thank G-d for the chance to make amends and do better in life, because this is an incredible opportunity and a true blessing, and one that we do not know will ever come again.


(Credit Photo: Gil Kremer, Israel Defense Forces)
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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)

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October 13, 2017

The Yom Kippur Diet Plan

So Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar is a 25-hour day of repentance, prayer, and fasting. 

This last Yom Kippur, someone mentioned to me that some people take the idea of fasting and apply it to dieting during the year by doing a 3-day fasting. 

Uh, that sounds pretty severe and maybe even a little dangerous. 

But it got me thinking that on Yom Kippur we fast for a day and then eat a meal, so why not do that daily for dieting. 

Just subsist on one main meal a day--basically limiting intake of food to a few hours in the evening. 

This made sense to me as a moderate way that I could stay focused and disciplined without any food for about 20 hours at a time, but still give myself something to look forward to with a proper, natural dinner--almost like a natural give and take that I believe I could live with (at least for a good while). 

I thought let me give this a try!

And I did. 

First without drinking or eating. 

Then I rethought this after a few days and getting parched, and said just drink zero-calorie drinks, but no food or caloric intake during the day until the meal at the end of the day. 

And I've been doing this now since Yom Kippur 2 weeks ago. 

I have actually lost almost 10 pounds in that time and feel great. 

It hasn't been hard--except for one day when the synagogue had a mega Bar Mitzvah kiddish/luncheon and I sat there and didn't have a thing!

But otherwise, I go to work and all my activities, including working out--sometimes twice a day--and without any food.

It seems to be working. 

While previously, I stayed completely off any carbs, and still gained weight--now, I allow myself to eat everything (kosher) at dinner and am losing!

I wonder if I am on to something with this new "Yom Kippur Diet."

I pray to Hashem that I've discovered something good and healthy here and am committed to seeing it through. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 29, 2017

Party With Cookies Like It's The End Of The Fiscal Year

It's funny, today the last business day of the fiscal year...

That means that this time of year is a lot of stress on a lot of people.

So what do they do?

Well, while a lot of people are reaching for the do-re-mi ($$$) to earn and to spend before the books close, others are reaching for the plain old (cookie) dough. 

This week for example, there was a big cookie party!

So much stress, so little time.

That seems to translate into cookie days, and carbohydrate weeks. 

This isn't just the end of the fiscal year, but a potentially fatty, dangerous time too. 

The timing is also weird because of the juxtaposition to Yom Kippur tomorrow which is a fasting day with NO food or water for 25 hours.

Better eat some more cookies now (or not). ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 22, 2015

Yom Kippur, When The Masks Come Off

This mask does not mean that Jews have horns--that is a crappy and evil stereotype, so cut it out. 

Masks are dress-up and pretend, like the way most people behave day-in and day-out. 

People imagine and feign to be what they would like to be or what they want others to believe they are. 

Like when someone is gearing up for a fight, they extend their arms, raise their voices, bob up and down to make themselves appear bigger and more formidable than they really are. 

It's a fake out--but perception is (often) reality. 

Similarly, people may wear clothes, drive cars, or live in big fancy homes that make them look well-to-do, but really it's a great act and all bought on extensive credit (ever hear of 0% down!). 

Others may dream of being seen as smart and the go-to guy for answers, the subject matter expert, or the generally wise person for advice and guidance, but are they really smarter than everyone else or do the degrees plastering the wall like wallpaper or titles like doctor, lawyer, accountant, entrepreneur, professor, and Rabbi simply often invoke credentials and an air rather than the smarts that should accompany them.

Even parents may pose for loving pictures with their children, seem to dote on them, and act the helicopter parents, but still when it comes to their own busy schedules, they have no real time or attention left for the little ones--because the parents put themselves first. 

It happens all the time, every which way, the authority figure who really abuses their authority rather than lives up to it. 

People are human, weak, fallible--and the show is often a lot better than the characters behind it. 

But that doesn't mean we stop trying to be inside what we know we really should be--more loving, caring, giving, and good people. 

This is the essence of Yom Kippur to me, the Day of Atonement--the day when we shed all our phony masks--and instead we bear out our sins, bend our heads with shame, are sorry for what we have done wrong, and commit to doing better in the future.

Yom Kippur is the day when all the masks are off--we cannot hide from G-d Almighty, the all seeing and all knowing.  

On Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgement we are inscribed, and on Yom Kippur the book is sealed. 

In Judgement, we may enter the court of heaven with heads still held up high, with the same act that we try to show every day, but on Yom Kippur we leave the court with our heads down and our hands humbly clasped, the sentence meted out for who we really are--based not on pretense, but on our underlying behavior.

A mask covers what is, when the mask is off we are left with who we are--naked before our maker, where all is revealed, and we must account for our actions--good, bad, or even just plain indifferent. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 1, 2014

Reflections On Our Journey



As we approach the holy Yom Kippur, the annual day of Judgement following the Jewish New Year, we realize how everything is in G-d's hands...

But we can repent, pray, and do good deeds to influence our journey and Hashem's decree. 

Thank you Bettty Monoker for sharing this wonderful, thought-provoking video at this reverent time of year. 
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September 13, 2013

For Yom Kippur



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