Showing posts with label Brotherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brotherhood. Show all posts

May 23, 2021

The Stranger and The Enemy


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "The Stranger and The Enemy."
In summary, with regards to Israel, we must follow two important commandments that guide our relationships with the outside world. First, there is the imperative to love our neighbor and the stranger. Second is the dictum to wholly defend ourselves from our enemies who seek our destruction. While on the surface these may pose a contradiction, in reality, they do not, because if our neighbors and the strangers among us are willing to live in genuine peace with us then we gladly and actively will extend the olive branch in peace and brotherhood. But if unfortunately, our neighbors are bent on our genocide then we must fight them.
Love and peace is always what we want from the bottom of our hearts, but war is a necessity that is sometimes thrust upon us by our enemies and that we must absolutely, with G-d’s help, win.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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April 30, 2021

Mount Meron and Hating The "Baseless"

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Mount Meron and Hating The 'Baseless.'"

We are all reeling from the devastating deaths of 45 Jews on Lag B'Omer at Mount Meron (and many others critically injured) from a stampede during the bonfire celebration near the grave of the holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Last night, we were glued to the new as the body count kept going up. I couldn't help thinking to myself that this is something that happens in the masses of people that gather in India or Saudi Arabia, not in the tiny State of Israel. But lo' and behold, tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime. Life is completely tenuous!
So can we draw conclusions that in those days there was baseless hate and so too in our times. I think, while we don't know G-d's ways, certainly from experience and observation, we do know that there is not only baseless hate, but also plenty of "hate the baseless".  And what I mean by that is that one type of Jew thinks they are better than another whose beliefs, faith, and observance we denigrate and deem baseless, without support and they without real merit...We are forever driven towards a "Better than thou" attitude and lifestyle. To the religious catcalls of "get out of our neighborhood slut" or the throwing of Shabbat rocks at passing cars. This all has got to stop!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 14, 2021

Preparing for The Third Temple

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Preparing for the Third Temple."
In essence, the Jewish Temples have been not only physically buried over, but also the site has been historically Islamicized despite the Temple Mount’s intrinsic holiness to all three major religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). In short, this is a very sensitive issue that is likely anchored in facets of intolerance and religious rivalry, as well as pretenses of superiority and dominance, rather than ultimately on the shared connection we have through both our genetic and spiritual lineage as Abraham’s decedents.
We absolutely want to have a peaceful and productive coexistence with all people, but just as Israel has risen from the Valley of Dry Bones, so too the day is coming soon when the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in shinning glory and we can worship G-d just as we did in times before. What will be special about the 3rd Temple is that it will not only be for the Jewish people, but for all the world’s people to come together harmoniously to recognize and worship the one true and faithful G-d of us all.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 25, 2021

Teach Me To Fish


This photo is perfect with the quote: 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

Please G-d, we should all learn to fish and pay it forward to others to teach them as well.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 20, 2021

The Power of Love

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Power of Love."

When we act up and fight with each other, then in the end, we will really only end up hurting ourselves.
Tomorrow can be better than today and yesterday, if we learn to live in peace and brotherhood with each other, and understand that hurting another is really only hurting ourselves in the end. G-d’s holiness dwells among us only when we stop the silly bickering and infighting, and love each other, and Him, with all our heart and soul.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 4, 2021

Children (and Fruit) of G-d


Interesting quote I heard on diversity:

It might be apples and oranges, but it's all fruit!

The way towards mutual respect, teamwork, brotherhood, and peace:

- Recognize that our similarities are much greater than our differences. 

And ultimately, we are all children (and fruit) of G-d.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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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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August 13, 2020

Let Them Eat Cake

Do we see and hear when people are hurting?

Do we pay attention or look away?

Do we even care?

Do we do anything about it?

As queen Marie-Antoinette said when told that her people were starving and had no bread, what did she say? 

Let them eat cake!  

Pray that we are better than that.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 6, 2020

We Are Comm-unity!

I saw this painted on a storefront window. 
Community, United We Stand. 

With all the polarization these days, is this still true?

Unity is literally built into Comm-unity.

Divided, we tear each other apart. 

Instead, we could accomplish so much together.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 21, 2020

Short Man Tall Man, What Do You Say

This was a comical picture.

Almost like from Dr. Seuss.

Short man and tall man.

Actually a whole step taller.

Guy on the left, little stubby legs.

One on the right, long long legs.

When you're on a ladder, I guess it doesn't matter.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 3, 2020

Still Fighting For Our Rights

This picture about sums where we are in having to protest the same things we've been fighting for since the beginning of time:
I can not believe I still have to protest this crap!!

Just went you thought humanity (at least Western civilization) had mostly evolved past all the discrimination, biases, bigotry, prejudice, and racisms.

We arrive in time only to find out that HATE is still brewing in our societies and people's evil hearts. 

What a shame--that we misinterpret what divides us as taking precedence over what unites us!

What a pity--that we misjudge people by the color of their skin, their race, their religion, etc. instead of by the worthiness of their deeds. 

What a disgrace--that we mistreat our fellow man simply because they are different from us and in the most superficial of ways. 

With all our scientific advances and technological progress, we are still in stone ages of the evolution of our humanity.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 20, 2020

The Times of Mashiach

Truly, we are living in the times of Maschiach. 

Someone contacted me with a friend request on Facebook, and his profile included that he is a:
Torah-Observant Gentile

Wow! 

It's truly like we say in the Aleinu prayer every day:
All Mankind shall invoke Your Name, to turn to You all the wicked of the earth.  They will recognize and know--all the inhabitants of the world---that every knee should bend to You...The L-rd will be King over the entire earth; on that day the L-rd will be One and His Name One.
We are on the way and I hope we all get to see and cross over the finish line soon. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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January 13, 2020

Roosters or Homelessness?

So I had to drive into downtown Washington D.C. 

Along the way, I saw this colorful artistic rooster. 

I appreciate this quick pick-me-up from this. 

Yet, all around the streets were homeless people. 

One was literally collapsed on a narrow island between the opposing lanes of traffic.

Some horrible-looking food, rags of clothes, and two bottles of liquor lay next to him and one of his arm hang almost into the moving traffic. 

This was just one of many that I saw in abject poverty and desperation. 

So I really feel conflicted looking at this colorful rooster. 

What good is it when the people are homeless, sick, and starving? ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 21, 2019

Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 

But they are not all the same.


It's NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it's what is inside people's hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. ;-)


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 11, 2019

Family and Friends

So I heard this interesting saying yesterday, which goes like this:
Better is a neighbor that is near than a brother that is far off.

I looked it up and saw that it is actually from Proverbs 27:10.

Thinking about it a little, I understand that obviously people that are close by can more easily be there and help one another than someone else who is far away. 

At the same time, I always learned growing up that:
Blood is thicker than water.
Family is family, and friends are friends.  Family is forever, but friends can come and go. 

Yet you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. 

There are some friends that go back decades to childhood and they are almost like family. 

Also, there are sometimes family that are disassociated or even "black sheep" of the family. 

I guess in the end what's most important is how we feel about each other, treat each other, and are there for each other.  

Whatever the designation--family or friends--we need each other.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 8, 2019

Who's In Charge Here?

This was a funny photo...

Sign around the ape says:
Laugh now, but one day, we'll be in charge

I guess you never know who will be in charge. 
  • Be nice to everyone. 
  • Never burn bridges.

All of life is a circle--and everything and everybody goes around and around.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 13, 2019

I Pray For The Day

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Pray For The Day."

While I am a staunch supporter for the security of Israel, I pray for the day (a miracle) when Jews and Arabs can be brothers again--shoulder to shoulder--that embrace and help each other, rather than enemies "at each others' throats."

In my mind and heart, there has got to come a time when the hatred and violence ends, and when instead peace can and will prevail. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 28, 2019

Rocking Mimouna @Magen David Synagogue




I learnt last night that Mimouna comes from the word "Emunah" which means faith. 

The Mimouna is the celebration at the end of Passover. 

It is a custom from the Jews who lived in Morocco who celebrated hand-in-hand with their Arab neighbors in peace and harmony

This celebration of faith, friendship, and peace has now become standard in Jewish communities far and wide. 

In the light of the anti-Semitic instances yesterday with the vilr caricature in the garbage New York Times and the Shooting at the Chabad synagogue in San Diego (exactly 6 months after the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue), I say:

Let us have faith in the one true G-d that he will redeem his loving people of all religions and utterly punish the haters and anti-Semites for the evil they are. 

(Source Video and Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 24, 2019

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.” 

Let's just say it wasn't easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.  

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it's maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate. 

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari'a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change--I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the "old" historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways. 

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!  

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it's all the women's fault). 

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from. 

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people. 

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 21, 2019

@MLK Celebration



(Source Videos: Andy Blumenthal
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