Showing posts with label Growth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Growth. Show all posts

January 16, 2022

A Trust Beyond Faith

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "A Trust Beyond Faith."

When we have faith in G-d, it generally means that we believe that He created us and that He is the Master of the Universe. However, faith does not necessarily imply trust. Trust in G-d means that we believe that He not only created us, but that He sustains us and that there is Divine Providence in this world. When we trust in G-d, we believe that G-d is close to us and has a personal relationship with each and every one of us, and actually to everything in the world.
We all need to leave our egos at the door! No matter how strong or smart that we think we are, even the little grass above us (or above our graves) is greater than us. Certainly, G-d Almighty who is our creator and our sustainer, all-knowing and all-powerful, He is over us and watches over us in better times as well as those that are perhaps more challenging, but always we trust, for the good!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 23, 2021

Strong and Knowledgeable

If you know your own strength and what you can do...

Then you also know what you can't do.

While our dreams and imagination can be "the sky's the limit,"

The reality is we are human and we have to learn, grow, and make progress incrementally.

Still it's a fight every day to get stronger as people and as souls. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 5, 2021

The Last Kiss Goodnight

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "The Last Kiss Goodnight."
Certainly, every human being has the desire to live and goes about fighting for life. It’s part of our genetic makeup and our very survival instinct. Yet, we all know that the cycle of life brings us from the beginnings of infancy to growth, the maturity of adulthood, then decline, old age and ultimately death itself. Truly, we all know the end from the very beginning, and with that we can achieve a greater awareness that what’s good in living isn’t the materialism and chasing the next “high,” but rather the ability to choose to do good and to be on a higher spiritual plane.
Life is choice and having control over how we respond to life’s circumstances. Death is simply observing and being. Therefore, even if we merit being in the Divine presence in the afterlife, we still can’t actively help anyone, like those we love, any longer. This is why we want to merit life where we can continue to work on ourselves and help others. Thus, despite all the pain and suffering associated with life, it is more than offset by the opportunity to learn, grow, and transform our very essence in a purification process of our souls.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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June 2, 2021

What Children Learn

Excellent poem by Dorothy Nolte:

What children experience at home is what they learn to become. 

Sure people can change their thinking and actions.

But any negative voices of the past may still echo in theirs heads. 

That is until people tell them "hush, be quiet!"

And they replace old voices and experiences with new thinking about themselves and what they are capable of positively doing with their lives and in their relationships with others. 

We all need to know what we value about ourselves and our lives and then make sure that we do those things. 

So at the end of days, we can answer for our lives in an affirmative way! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Etsy)


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May 17, 2021

How Hashem Was Found

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "How Hashem Was Found."
This disabled man was then charged with DUI and spent the next 8 1/2 years in prison. But the Rabbi of the prison helped him to find G-d in all this suffering and slowly he returned to his Jewish roots. Now, for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah to all the Jewish people, he was in synagogue, holding his prayer book and receiving the Ten Commandments with the rest of the congregants.

If this man who's body was crushed, leg lost, and who spent so many years in prison could find the good and his way back to Hashem, then there is hope for all of us who can learn, grow, and turn our lives around as well. G-d is there in the darkness and in the light, and we have to find Him and believe.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 21, 2021

Flower In Context

Pretty awesome painting of a flower, grass, sky!

(Credit Photo of painting: Andy Blumenthal)


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April 2, 2021

Climbing Up, Falling Down

Thought this was insightful.
All paths up are different.

All paths down are the same. 

Climbing up is challenges and we all have to find our determination, strength, and skill to make it up rung after rung on the ladder of life.

Falling down is when the sh*t hits the fan and the walls come crumbling down and we freefall into the abyss.

The key as we usually learn early in life when we take our first falls is to quickly get back up (on the horse). 

Life is never just smooth sailing.

It's not meant to be. 

You wouldn't learn or grow if it was. 

Be prepared for the occasional fall from grace, and get your tushy back in the saddle and ride again.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 26, 2021

It’s Never About Luck

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "It’s Never About Luck."

Today is Purim, when we celebrate the Jewish victory over the evil Haman and his conspiracy to annihilate the Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman drew a lottery to determine what he thought was a fortuitous day, the 13th of Adar, to murder the Jewish people and pursued this plot through a decree by King Achashverosh. But as we know, G-d made miracles through Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai, and Haman and his ten sons ended hanging by the noose that he built for Mordechai. 

This has been my personal experience as well, as I can see both now and in 20/20 hindsight that there is a definite Divine method and not just a world of random chance and madness.

(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 13, 2021

A Reason For Everything

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "A Reason For Everything."

Reincarnation actually makes so much sense, especially when you see that G-d can and does bring people back to the world when they still have life lessons to learn and growth to be achieved. It’s part of our preparation and our soul’s purification process to go back to Hashem.
Obviously, we are not G-d, and don’t have the time and event perspective of Hashem who was, is, and will be. However, if we understand that G-d has a plan, everything is connected, and there is a reason for everything, then we can go through life inspired to do the right thing ourselves even when we are challenged by our circumstances.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 11, 2021

Hmm, Different Is Necessary

So in my more mature years, I've come to terms with some important life lessons. 

One of these is that it's okay for us to be different; in fact, it's necessary! 

We each have our own personality, experiences, and journey in life.

What works or is right for me in my life, may not work for you or be right in yours, and vice versa. 

Celebrate the differences, because we are all here to learn and grow.

Let us each follow his/her own path as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. 

Now that makes a lot more sense then everyone do it my way!  ;-)

(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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December 12, 2020

Teach Your Children Well

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teach Your Children Well."

I am grateful to write that I had my first grandchild, a wonderful baby boy, thank G-d. Now, as with all children, comes the next very exciting part which is, please G-d, to raise and teach him to live a good life of Torah, family, hopes and dreams.

We teach our children, even as we learn along the way ourselves. Two critical things we have from Hashem to help us on this journey: we have the Torah as our holy guidebook, and we have our soul and conscience as our inner voice exhorting us, right from wrong. These are the tools that we go forward with to try and perfect ourselves and the world, and to teach our children to do the same.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

Beautiful sunflowers for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

(Credit Painting: Jane Wolf)


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October 24, 2020

The Elections: Perfecting Our Imperfections

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Elections: Perfecting Our Imperfections."

Clearly, from the President on down to each and every one of us, we can be certain that none of us is perfect. However, G-d put us here, precisely, to have the opportunity to repair our imperfections. In this earthly world, our soul is tested, and we thereby have the opportunity to come out stronger and better because of it. The challenges in this world provide the "purification by fire" that our souls need to elevate themselves from past mistakes or imperfections. In essence, G-d in his ultimate benevolence — of love, kindness, and giving — bestows on us, His children, the chance to learn and grow and to realize our potential!

In short, while our elections leave us a lot to be desired in terms of the candidates for the highest office of this great land, we can see from the presidential candidates on down to the citizens of this country and to those around the world that there is both shortcomings and the potential for becoming the people that G-d knows we can really be.

(Credit Graphic: 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 14, 2020

30,000 Chances To Get It Right

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "30,000 Chances To Get It Right."
Teshuvah (Repentance) is really not just a yearly process, it is a daily one. And 80 years is almost 30,000 days, with every day that we wake up, get up, and start up the process of another day again, we have the opportunity to get it right this day, this time around!

Every day that we awake and arise is a great opportunity to try again where we failed in prior days and we can potentially think holier thoughts, say kinder words, and treat each other better, more compassionately and righteously.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 27, 2020

The Nail That Stands Out

So everyone knows what happens to the nail that stands out...

It gets hammered down!

Deviation from the norm or the groupthink is met with a resounding klop on the head. 

You conform or you face the guillotine. 

Way too dystopian. 

Freedom, individuality, diversity, self-expressionthese are the engines of innovation and growth. 

If every nail gets hammered down, you have a society that implodes with inbreeders and Stone Age stale ideas. 

Tradition is one thing, a closed mind is something that is an extinction level event. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 12, 2020

Anger, Faith, and Growth

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Anger, Faith, and Growth."

We live in an unpredictable world and I have made more than one bad decision recently. Fortunately, it was nothing too terrible, but I was still angry about it, and my gut reaction was to somehow blame G-d, and to feel angry at Him, because I thought somehow I didn't deserve what had happened. However, I asked myself how can you be angry at G-d if you believe that everything he does is for your ultimate good? It took me a little time, but I realized that I wasn't really angry at G-d, but at myself; It was my fault, I did deserve what happened, and my mistakes aren't G-d's.

Maybe this is what life is really all about--searching and finding G-d even among all the multitude of mistakes we make in life. We have to own our mistakes, learn from them, and thereby become stronger and better people.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 4, 2020

From Hate To Love

Just a self-reflection today...

Important to me. 

It's about who I thought I was and...

Who I became. 

Truly, I went full circle from a child's hate to an adult's love relationship with:

- Reading

- Writing

- Swimming

- Hebrew

As a kid, I tried to avoid these like the plague, and as an adult I like to practice these every single day of my life. 

I wonder to myself is it that I strove to become good (or decent) at what I have previously been bad at or was somehow afraid of. 

Yet now, they are integral to my life, learning, and growth. 

Like the hands of a clock that circle and tick the hours and minutes. 

My life takes me full circle and brings me home to who I am and what I really love spending time at. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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