Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts

May 21, 2022

Measuring Success Like G-d

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Measuring Success Like G-d."
Never more than today are we living lives of total excess. This week, we saw a Mercedes-Benz 1995 car sell for a record-breaking $142 million. Last month in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, authorities seized a Russian oligarch’s $793 million mega yacht. And this last year, Morgan Stanley predicted that Elon Musk may eventually become the world’s first trillionaire.
In a world where marketing, sales, advertising, branding, and the media all seek to convince us that life is essentially about “things,” self-satisfaction, the next high, and happiness, we can easily forget how transient and valueless all that really is. Inside each of us though there is a deeper, true voice that seeks a life of real meaning, purpose and immortality, where faith, compassion, giving, and self-sacrifice is the true measure of our character and the ultimate gauge of life success.

(Source Photo: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/smiley-emoticon-greed-822993/)

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May 7, 2022

Playing The Odds

 

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Playing The Odds."

The stranger told me: Precisely fifty years ago, the doctor told me the exact same thing about having a one in a hundred chance of paralysis if they operated. So, what did I do? I went to see the Rabbi (Avigdor Miller) and ask his advice, and the Rabbi says to me: "A Jew doesn’t take odds like that!"

I thought to myself while Jews don’t take those wild odds (1 in a 100 of paralysis), why do they play the odds with their souls by pretending to be religious on the outside, but on the inside and away from human eyes doing evil? Surely, we all know that G-d sees everything and that a faithful judgment awaits us all. And it all made sense not to play the odds not only with our physical health, but also with our spiritual wellbeing.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 5, 2022

Anyone Missing A Leg?

That's some museum exhibit!

Wonder if the owner of the leg is on the other side of that wall? 

What was this artist thinking?  

Hopefully just to sensitize us to people's health, disabilities, and plights, so we can be more compassionate and caring people!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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December 31, 2021

The Power of Giving to Overcome Abuse

Please see my new article in The Time of Israel called "The Power of Giving to Overcome Abuse."

We can't outsmart G-d, and we can't take what isn't rightfully ours. In effect, the charity we must give, already belongs to G-d, and we can't keep it or invest it, because at the end of the day, G-d will have what is His. And with this realization, lying back down in bed, I sung the words from Proverbs many times to myself and smiled, thanking G-d for my children who teach their parents and for G-d enabling me to learn new lessons for my soul and how the blessings from G-d are ultimately realized.
In short, while sexual molesters (i.e. monsters) steal from the bodies of their victims and inflicts devastating harm to them physically, mentally, and emotionally, in stark contract are those who give charitably to others, giving of themselves in order to make others that are in need whole again in body, mind, and soul.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 6, 2021

Jewish Unity Is Strength

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Jewish Unity Is Strength."

It didn’t matter what race or nationality the person who had been hit by the car was, she was a human being in pain and who needed the help of others. We Jews need to remember that this is life in a nutshell. Life can change in split instance for better or G-d forbid, for worse. We need one another. No man is an island. We can’t afford to play holier than thou with anyone else. Only G-d can judge who is really “religious” and who is wanting.

It brought to my mind the irony that with the Jewish people, we are a small minority in the world, and yet we often disagree, fight, and can be intolerant and neglectful of one another despite facing anti-Semitism and other crises. This is far from the ideal of demonstrating love and acceptance, unifying ourselves together, and becoming as strong and effective as a “light unto nations” that we could and should be.

We can have our personal and communal ideals and standards, but at the same time have empathy for the journey that people are on. Therefore, we should strive to treat each other with kindness and tolerance and put aside the lofty and phony airs of personal judgement and exclusivity. Because in the end, no one knows who is laying next on the street waiting for that ambulance to come.

(Credit Painting: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 31, 2021

What’s Your Kindness

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "What's Your Kindness."

When we are happy, we are able to graciously and generously give to others, and when we give to others, we are able to be happy! All the other pursuits in life such as wealth, ego, good looks, and so on are nothing but vanities (like King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes), and in the end lead to nothing but loss and suffering. However, giving and the happiness and positive spiritual energy it creates endures.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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October 23, 2021

Love Your Family As The Stranger

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Love Your Family As The Stranger."

When it comes to strangers, it’s almost easier to put on a face, act all proper, and do what’s right because they aren’t our family, thus Avraham could run to help the strangers. Yet, when it comes to our own families, we don’t feel it necessary to keep up pretenses. We sometimes say and do things to family that we would likely never say to or do in front of strangers, like Avraham telling Hagar and Ishmael to get out! We may even betray and hurt the ones we love, like when Avraham said Sarah was his sister putting her at jeopardy with Avimelekh. Further, we “sacrifice” our children and spouses by putting our work (sometimes 24/7), social media, and our own brand and needs first, and don’t adequately pay attention to what’s really going on with our families, their needs, aspirations, and troubles; for example, Avraham was going to sacrifice Isaac, his and Sarah’s only child and “the son of her old age.” We take for granted and even advantage of our families, because we can. And some at the further bad end of the spectrum, “go home and kick the dog!” Yes, the pictures that everyone posts on Facebook and Instagram are what people want you to see and think about them (their personal brand): that everything’s all rosy and they have the perfect lives and families, but I venture to guess that often, it’s far from the reality of what goes on “behind closed doors.”
All of us need to pay attention and do what’s right not only when we want to look good in front of others, but knowing that even in our own homes, G-d is watching what we do and how we treat each other.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 22, 2021

G-d Doesn't Ask Us

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "G-d Doesn't Ask Us."

Truly, in whatever situations we find ourselves in life, and the pain and suffering that we may have to endure, we really don’t have a choice of our circumstance, but only in how we choose to respond to it. In life, G-d puts us right where he wants us and in situations that are personalized and best for us, whether it feels that way at the moment or not. G-d tries us, and we have to respond with the “right” thoughts, words, and deeds—always remaining a mensch and choosing holiness and righteousness, no matter how difficult it may be. That’s our ultimate challenge, to find holiness even in the depths of despair.
Everyone is confronted with levels of pain and suffering, as I heard said that: “there aren’t enough people for all the pain in the world!” The challenge is to resist hopelessness and the loss of one’s integrity, and nevertheless to choose to do good. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we have the opportunity to do teshuva and to try to influence G-d’s decree for us for the new year, but in the end, G-d is the ultimate Judge. He doesn’t ask us; He tells us what will be for us. Of course, we have the opportunity to answer G-d’s call to us and the responsibility to choose righteousness even in a distressed world and in trying times. In essence, the underlying test of it all is not only to survive the challenges we must face, but also to emerge from them as better people with purified souls.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 17, 2021

We Are All Disabled

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "We Are All Disabled."
And what happens to us after creation? Life happens, and people suffer from the happenstance and the often harsh “nurture” of this world. Whether from disease, accidents, or hurt inflicted on us from others — intentional or not — we all have “disabilities” and as difficult as it is to live with it, there is no shame in it!
Disabilities are an opportunity, however painful and humiliating for us to learn and grow and for others to be able to demonstrate love, compassion, and kindness to us...There is no running or hiding from disability, it is part of our mortal world. But from the scars and suffering of life, we must create healing. From disability, it is our job to turn it into ability, capability, and mobility!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 7, 2021

Remember To Always Be Kind

Nice sign on the electrical pole, reminding us to always:

Be 💗 Kind

What kind?

The kind that has compassion on others, cares and love them, and does what's right. 

That's really the only kind worth being! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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June 16, 2021

Go Ahead and Waste My Time

Thought this was a funny magnet:

Feel Free to Waste My Valuable Time

When you go to help desk, customer service representative, your boss, a friend or even family member, and they give you that sigh or that look that you are immensely bothersome. 

If only people had more compassion and respect for others and more of a true customer service and servant-leader mentality. 

Otherwise all you get is that ol' grumpy face and contemptuous attitude and you just want to crawl under a big heavy rock and never come out.  ;-)

(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 5, 2021

Success, Israeli Cuisine Style


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Success, "Israeli Cuisine Style."
This notion of success and failure in life makes you think about not only the imperative to be successful in our lives, but also to question what does that success even mean and look like? Is success really the goal or is the journey with its growing pains and lesson learned the real goal towards purifying our souls?

When we read the Ten Commandments, we are reminded of what the foundational elements of success in life actually are all about: How did we treat others (were we compassionate and giving)? Did we behave as Mensch’s in our lives? Did we try our best to do the “right thing” by our fellow man and by G-d? If you can answer in the positive to these latter questions then maybe you have achieved real success, regardless of what any culinary chef or life maven would tell you!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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January 12, 2021

A Birdhouse For Every Bird


It feels like there are almost more choices here for a birdhouse then variations in dwellings you can buy.

Even if it just a little paint; sometimes that can make all the difference. 

Frankly, it's not even that important how big or small, just as long as you have a decent roof over your head. 

In our crazy world, we can have a birdhouse for every bird, but still we don't have homes for every person. 

Homelessness and poverty, whatever your race, color, or identity is still a big problem. 

Birds live in birdhouses, but many people still live on the streets.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 18, 2020

That's Severe

I know in the olden days they would chop off people's hands for stealing. 

But this sign in a modern day store in America seemed just a little severe:
Shoplifters will be amputated

The worst part of it maybe is that they don't say what part of the shoplifter will be amputated. 

So much for compassion and helping the needy. 

L-rd have mercy! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 16, 2020

Take Me To Your Leader

Is there a leader in the house?

Anyone, anyone a leader here...

I need to find a leader.

Someone who I can look up to.

Who feels deeply, compassionately, and honestly cares about others. 

With faith and integrity, and who does the right thing, regardless. 

They inspire, rarely tire, and seek to make us all more than we otherwise are. 

Imbued with discerning insight and an ageless wisdom. 

Carrying forth a great vision, and a path and passion to get us there. 

They bring unity, and stand alongside each and every one of us. 

Never an autocrat, a bureaucrat, or a stinkin' rat. 

Just someone who is a genuine leader.  ;-)

(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 7, 2020

Stop Child Abuse!

Saw this on a bus in Florida.

It's an important message. 
Take Action. Stop Child Abuse.

Children are innocent! 

The adults who commit the abuse and trafficking are animals. 

If you see something, say something to the authorities.

You may just be saving a child's life.  

Protect our children...they are our future. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 31, 2020

Helping The Elderly

Thought this was an incredibly beautiful photo.

Someone playing ball with an elderly lady in a wheelchair! 

Too often, I think we forget or neglect the older, disabled, and disadvantaged population.

These were once the people who cared for us! 

As we grow older, life can get so much harder in terms of health, disability, finances, and even loneliness.

It is so important to show compassion, kindness, and care for the people who need us, and not to forget anyone along the journey of life!  ;-)
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