Showing posts with label Angel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angel. Show all posts

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)
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January 30, 2018

Take Off The Halo and Horn

Thought this was a learning moment. 

The halo and horn effects. 

This has to do with generalizing about people, things, places, or events. 

With the halo effect, if we like (are positive) about one or a few things about it, we may put a proverbial halo on it and treat or rate everything about it as great.

Similarly, with the horn effect, if we dislike (are negative) about one or a few things about it, we may put a proverbial horn on it and treat or rate everything about it as horrible. 

This means we're not really being objective or balanced in our assessment. 

Usually, it's not all just good or bad, black or white--but good AND bad, black AND white.  

And obviously, this can cause us to make bad decisions based on poor analysis and judgment. 

Therefore, the importance of taking a step back, looking holistically at all the facts, and evaluating things for what they really are, rather than making snap calls to judgment--and poor ones at that! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to darksouls1)
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December 16, 2017

Beautiful Innocent Child Angel

So wonderful news is that one of my daughters is getting married, please G-d, at the end of the month.

Today, we had a celebration in synagogue called an Aufruf, where the groom is called to the Torah and makes the blessing and then we all throw candies (we chose bags of chocolates).

After the services, we had a kiddush luncheon and it was really nice to see everyone from the community sharing in this wonderful Simcha with us. 

But something happened towards the end of the services that had a really big impact on me...in fact, I can't stop thinking about it--I need to write it down. 

As services concluded and we were leaving the sanctuary, this beautiful innocent little girl came right up to my daughter--sort of out of nowhere and without her parents--and wished her Mazel Tov. 

There was something about her and the way she did it with such sincerity--I literally couldn't have been more touched. 

It was almost like this child was some sort of angel--I mean it!

The child's eyes and facial expression had an innocence like I have never quite seen before. 

All I could do was marvel at this child and how she came up all by herself with this incredible pureness of heart that I can't fully explain to wish the bride and groom well. 

Then I found my words to say thank you and wish her that in a "few" years she would be getting happily married too, G-d willing. 

I think I will always remember the piecing innocent eyes of this child and how she was like an angel visiting us on this special occasion today. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 19, 2017

Touched By An Angel

So the other night I dreamed.

And in the dream, an angel came to me and was over me as I lay down. 

The angel had it's finger pointing at my head in the right temple area. 

The finger was all white and while I could feel it having a solid state, it was able to pass in a non-solid state, transparently through the surface and slightly into my head. 

I felt pressure applied there and almost like a healing feeling.

The angel was pure white--like a holy marble, but not like marble. 

It was majestic, slender, and tall.

It had white feathery wings that were taller than it's body. 

It's face was like an adult, but also like a child--it was both. 

Its feet were like a smooth and solid arch, and did not have toes.

The angel hovered over my upper body, head area, and was looking at me and touching my right temple--with care and love. 

It was absolutely clear to me that the angel visiting me was my dear, dear father. 

Although, I woke with a slight headache, I felt happy and at great peace by his visit.

The experience was caring, loving, holy and I was uplifted by it. 

With his unbelievably pure and giving heart, it was beautiful to see my father as an angel--this was him all along. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2017

A Curse That Is Really A Blessing

So here is an amazing true story from this week.

My wife was in Israel. 

She went to the Kotel (Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem) to pray. 

On the way, an old, poor man stopped her and asked for food. 

My wife gave him her sandwich. 

Then after walking another block, he stopped her again and gestured for assistance. 

This time, my wife gave him some money too.

After this, she asked him if he would bless our family.

And he did and also gave a special blessing to my elder daughter who had just recently gotten engaged. 

My wife also went to the Kotel and prayed for us and her. 

That same evening back in the States here, my daughter and her fiancee ended their engagement. 

At first, the breakup seemed like a big disappointment and that a terrible thing had happened--almost like a curse--but G-d works in mysterious ways. 

When we saw the reasons for the breakup, we realized fully that G-d had indeed heard the blessings of the old, poor man (maybe an angel) and the prayers of my wife.

We wish the young man all the best in his future, but we just saw clearly that this was not the right match. 

So what at first can seem like a curse is really a blessing in disguise. 

Truly, when you give charity, you're not only helping others, but it's really a blessing for you too. 

Thank you to the old, poor man in Jerusalem and to Hashem who heard my wife's prayers at the Kotel. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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March 7, 2017

Is Man An Angel Or Beast?

So is man an angel or a beast?

On one hand, we see small and great acts of love, kindness and generosity. 

People feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, donating clothes to the poverty-stricken, and standing up to defend those that are abused, discriminated against, and victimized.

Every day is an opportunity to be a gracious, heavenly angel!

At the same time, we are witness to horrible acts of hate, cruelty and inhumanity.

The strong preying off and committing gross acts of violence against the weak, the rich elitists taking from the poor lower-class, the powerful violating the human rights of the masses and ruling with a brutal iron fist. 

Every day is the possibility to act the vicious, lowly beast!

It's a choice as we stand here teetering on the world we are injected into. 

The angel and the beast fight within us. 

Our souls yearn to emulate the spirit of our Holy Creator, while our bodies look for raw physical and material satisfaction. 

It is truly a battle that rages within us, and can tear any or all of us apart. 

Yet, our mission is for good to overcome evil--in everyday small and large ways.  

To fight the urges that torment us and to rise, rise, with the wings of an angel to reach our potential and fulfill our destiny. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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July 31, 2015

A Being of Light

So last night, I dreamed about my beloved dad. 

He was in synagogue praying--something he did every day.


I was telling my dad that it was time to go.


But he didn't want to leave--synagogue was his favorite place to be close to G-d and his friends. 


My dad was in the front of the synagogue elevated on the steps before the Holy Ark (where the Torahs are kept).


I looked at my dad and somehow knew/felt that he was near death. 


I ran to him and threw my arms around him in an incredible completely loving hug--clutching on to him to stay with us, longer.


In this embrace, I could feel his total and undying love for me.


Now he no longer looked like my dad but like a being of light--such as I had never seen.


He had died, but was still somehow alive in another way. 


I miss my dad--he was a truly holy man (a Tzadik) and a loving husband, father, and grandfather, who would do anything for us. 


I wish I could sit and speak with him again, hold his hand, hear him sing when we came over, and see him smile. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Taltopia.com)

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