Showing posts with label Heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heart. Show all posts

February 9, 2021

Heart Over Head


While many people may occasionally feel head over heels for something or someone, I liked this saying by Miska Ben-David:

The head will make its plans, but the heart will choose its own path.

In other words, we are often driven by our hearts over our heads!

Passion is a powerful motivator, indeed. 

When passion calls, do you go running too? 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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November 1, 2020

Tefillin: Our Wi-Fi To G-d

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Tefillin: Our Wi-Fi To G-d."

I remember not long ago my son-in-law, Itzchak telling me:
Tefillin are our antennas to Hashem!

And like an antenna, we are able to pray and have our signal amplified to G-d as well as be able to be imbued with G-d’s spirit and direction to us in life. With the Straps of the Tefillin as well as the boxes and knots, we spell out the letters of G-d’s name on our head and on our arm. Thus, we are not only wrapped in this “spiritual antenna,” but we literally wear G-d’s words on the parchment in the Tefillin boxes and with His holy name stamped on our centers of thought and feeling.

In short, Tefillin is opportunity for us to network over Wi-Fi with the Master of the Universe. It takes us out of the daily grind of looking at the world in selfish, shortsightedness of what’s in it for me today, and how can I get more gold and goodies than the next guy or girl. Inside all of us, we have a soul from G-d, and through our spiritual Wi-Fi connection, we can energize that part of ourselves with a good, strong signal straight to the Big Guy upstairs.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumethal)
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July 6, 2020

We Are Family!

I like this definition of family:
Family means NOBODY gets left behind. 

We take care of each other.

No matter what.

My father used to say:
Blood is thicker than water. 

It's not just from the battlefield that we make sure to bring everyone home.

Home is where the heart is.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 24, 2020

Getting Tefillin Checked

I visited with Rabbi Levy yesterday to get my tefillin checked.

I learned that if there are questions about the legibility of the holy scrolls, they are given to a child to read to see in their innocence whether the tefillin are kosher or not.

Something felt very good and important about performing this mitzvah.

In the meantime, while mine are being checked, I have a loaner pair of teffilin to use and daven with.

Yet to be seen whether it is time for a new pair or not--like a bar mitzvah all over again. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 9, 2020

Pacemaker No-No!

So I learned that this is called a Van de Graaff Generator.

It generates very high voltage electricity. 

The guy setting it up asks me:
Do you have a pacemaker?

I respond in the negative and ask what's the danger zone on this thing.

He says: 
You probably wouldn't want to get within 10 feet of this!

Good to know. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Please note that blog is not to be taken as medical advice.)
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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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March 23, 2019

Purim In Israel, Chabad Style

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Purim in Israel, Chabad Style."
We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night. We are going down Ben Yehudah Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading. Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates. He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shul (#770 of course). Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.

Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad--they understand faith, ritual, and people's hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 5, 2019

Why We Chase Love

Being a heart alone in this world is very lonely, indeed. 

Chasing another heart, so that we can pair together makes two less lonely hearts.

Two hearts that beat as one making beautiful music together. 

When the hearts are in harmony, we sway and are uplifted flying away into the heavens.  

And when the music is discordant, we are forced to retune and to grow wings that we never even knew we had. 

Hearts that complement each other, help us face the questions we often fear to ask ourselves. 

When these hearts meet, they touch so gently, and like silk they dance a perfect dance.  

What is meaningless alone is all of a sudden meaningful with another. 

What is too painful to bear by oneself is manageable when shared between two. 

And what is joyful is magnified in sweetness when there is someone else to enjoy it with. 

One heart chases another until they embrace that long blissful embrace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 19, 2019

Stone Faces Hide The Heart

Some people are so cold and emotionally distant.

They go around with a stone face.  

No emotion seems to seep in or out. 

The face doesn't betray the heart in any way. 

You say something or do something, and they just sort of stare at you. 

No words, no outward response. 

Just a stone face like a poker face. 

You don't know what's behind it. 

But worse yet is a heart of stone--nothing impacts the inside just like the outside. 

Are some people this way because they have been so hurt in the past that they become hardened like a turtle's shell to protect from the outside world. 

...Ain't gonna let nothing hurt me again. 

Or are they great at using their poker face to fool, manipulate, and get what they are after. 

Perhaps the worst possibility is that they are simply a real psychopath--someone without conscience or empathy. 

Yes, that is scary because the unthinkable becomes thinkable. 

For most of us, reading verbal and non-verbal cues is critical to understanding other people. 

Hiding those cues can mean that the stone face is going to shatter someone's world and that won't be a pretty face at all. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 1, 2018

Some Reflections From The Procedure

So I had a little procedure this week. 

I hate going to the hospital--who doesn't?

But I figured better to take care of something before it gets worse. 

I think of it like taking the car into the mechanic for a tuneup every once in a while. 

This analogy stuck with me years ago, when the orthopedist told me I needed to get a hip replacement and started to describe it as having a flat tire that needed to be repaired. 

Leading up the the procedure, someone sent me this funny cartoon:
This really hit a nerve too because even the best medicine these days reminds me of the truly horrible medicine not so long ago.  

Ah, have some liquor, bite on this piece of wood, and now we'll saw your leg off!

I remember my father never even liked to go to the doctor, and he had total faith that G-d was his doctor--I think he actually managed to avoid the doctor for literally something like 30-years.

He also used to joke that many doctors were butchers, and he didn't want to get caught under their knife. 

So that's certainly some apprehension going in to this. 

The other thing that was interesting-sad that I saw this week when I went for an MRI was someone taking a homeless person into the radiology center for a scan. 

But when the lady asked for insurance the person didn't have any, so the lady asks for "proof of homelessness."

I was flabbergasted at this as the guy was obviously homeless and literally was wearing tattered clothes.

They wouldn't do the scan until the person escorting him would come back with this proof.  

I felt so bad for him and thought to myself is this what the healthcare system and care for the poverty-striken in this country has come to? 

While I am so truly grateful for the miraculous care that I received this week, I am equally saddened at the care that others don't get that need it, and pray that we as a "caring society" will do better. 

Anyway, I want to express my gratitude to the doctor, the hospital, my wonderful family who stood by me, and most of all to G-d for seeing me through the procedure this week and for watching over me always. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 21, 2018

Awesome "Am Echad" by Ari Goldwag



When I am for myself
And you are not with me
What am I when I am separate?
For I am a Jew
I do not go alone
Just with you, my friend, hand in hand
One nation, one song
Come my brother and give me your hand
And we will rejoice and dance together
As one person, with one heart
I don't want want to be alone,
Just forever brothers sitting together
To be a family
Is the secret of joy
For everything is better together
And we sing
All Israel are friends
We won't give up on anyone
If we can successfully love
And sing 'how pleasant..'
The Moshiach will come soon
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October 2, 2018

The Heart of The Matter

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Heartfelt Challenges."  

It's about some of my reflection on having a heart condition. 
Over time, what I’ve learned is that what is really important in life is not money, honor, power, or pleasure, but the simple things of family, community, faith, caring, giving, and generally trying your best in all circumstances. Every day is a chance to keep learning. 

Praying and hoping that please G-d everything goes well with the upcoming procedure. 

(Source Photo: Andy  Blumenthal)
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May 13, 2018

Ship+ In A Bottle

You ever wonder how they build that big ship in that little bottle. 

Someone needs very dexterous hands and a lot of patience to put the pieces through the opening of the bottle and assemble the ship inside. 

But this second grader, Dylan Yasseri, upped the game on this whole concept and imagined a whole beach in the bottle. 

The sand, ocean, sky, birds, crabs, fish, umbrella, and even the shack (snack?) bar!

This is one reason that kids are so awesome--their purity of heart and their endless imaginations make almost anything possible.

The fantasy becomes the reality. 

The colors are magical too here. 

If adults could maintain even half the heart and creativity of our children--oh what a world it could be. ;-)

(Source: Andy Blumenthal Photo of Dylan's beautiful painting).
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May 9, 2018

Two Beautiful Hearts

So a very nice elderly lady we know from synagogue took a bad fall and broke her leg really badly...like in half.

She put up on Facebook that she had undergone surgery, had a metal rod and plate inserted in her leg, and was recovering in the hospital--and she wanted visitors. 

My wife saw the message on Facebook, and we ran over to the hospital to see how she was and spend some time with her to try and cheer her up. 

Considering how badly she had been hurt, she was actually in amazingly good spirits. 

A couple of her neighbors were there in the hospital visiting her as well. 

One of them had actually heard her screams from the backyard where she had fallen by her pond and had helped keep her from going into shock, cradled her head in her lap, and called for rescue services.

When I commented how amazing she was and that she was a real hero pointing to the heart--she said it was really nothing, and went on to say"
I have two hearts!

And she pointed to one on the left and one on the right. 

I thought to myself that really we should all have two hearts like that to care and to give to others. 

One heart is us alone. 

Two hearts are when we join with others. 

"Two hearts that beat as one"--one for caring and one for giving. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 15, 2018

Purpose Is To Help People

I don't get impressed by others easily. 

But one thing that does immediately get my respect and admiration are people who sincerely believe in and are there to help others. 

Of course, there are some professions like soldiers and first responders who put their lives on the line to safeguard others that come to mind. 

But then there are the people we sometimes meet in everyday real life--people that live for doing good for others. 

Yes, not many people are so unselfish and giving, and that is why it is an incredible person who lives this. 

One person that I have had the honor to meet recently is such a person. 

Months ago, in a stressful situation, I watched them get up and get someone a bottle of water who was choked up and just needed a sip of relief. 

Then again, I saw that whenever they were asked a question or for some assistance, they almost immediately dropped whatever they were doing--and without any resentment--to do whatever they can to help, anytime, anyplace. 

When I heard them talk recently about their philosophy on what life is all about--they confirmed exactly as I had been seeing, they said:

"I want to help people!"

And they went on to explain how that is the greatest job we can do--whatever our role is--simply, to help others.

Someone doesn't have to be wounded or dying on the battlefield or in urban warfare to merit that help. 

Just being another human being with a heart and soul--that itself is enough to jump to their aid and help, help, help. 

To me, this person really encapsulates the essence of what life is all about. 

It's not I, I, I.

It's about what I can do for others.

We were created by the Almighty to learn to live beyond our meager selves and serve the greater good, our Creator and his children.

All I can say is that these people who live and breath this loving, caring, and giving lifestyle are totally awesome to me and my personal role model and heroes. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 2, 2018

The Heart and Soul Of The Matter

So I had a beautiful conversation with an older gentleman who works in a menial job for minimum wage for most of his life. 

But this person was shinning and smiling ear-to-ear. 

What happened, he got offered a job to work in a lovely school as their cook. 

He's been doing this as a special treat for the students once a year, and they decided to bring him on to do this full time. 

He pulled out his phone and proudly showed me a picture of himself in the classroom surrounded by all the children.  He was in an orange sweater and stood out in the middle of all of them and with a smile that lit up the entire room. 

He told me how the children thought of him as a celebrity chef and the teacher even organized autographs by him for the children.

His whole life, he questioned his worth, and now he felt recognized, appreciated, and loved. 

I told him that I thought he was indeed quite a special person. 

He said to me, you may have a talent or be special, but you have to recognize it--and he repeated aloud again at least three times emphasizing more and more on RECOGNIZE it. 

Surely, after so many years, only now was he being recognized and more so, recognizing it himself. 

Apparently, someone who worked in the school was also a renown food critic, and she had nothing but praises to sing of him. 

Talking with him, I felt my eyes being opened. 

Everyone can do good with their lives and have worth. 

We have to recognize it in ourselves. 

We need to just be given an opportunity to show it and share it. 

It doesn't matter what you are or earn.

It matters where your heart is.

For many, they earn gazillions, but their heart is a heart of stone. 

For others, they may earn minimum wage, but their heart is a heart of gold. 

It's not the money, it's not the power, it's not the prestige...it's the heart and soul of the matter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 6, 2018

Makes My Heart Sing

Just thought this was really beautiful. 

The yellow butterflies with the background of the blue from the sky and ocean, and the white of the soft clouds. 

Feeling like this makes my heart sing. 

Sort of like love. 

It's simple, but so clear. 

We're free and flying alone, but together.

We're one with the universe and also with each other.

Butterfly, butterfly into the wild blue yonders. 

No worries, just soaring, at peace, happy, and oh so free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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January 27, 2018

The Most Precious and Beautiful Song

Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Earth.

Sing throughout all the Heavens.

Sing from the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the People.

Sing throughout all the Angelic Host.

Sing from the Animals, the Fish, and the Fowl.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Begining of Time.

Sing throughout the End of Time.

Sing in the Morning, the Noon, and the Night.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.



Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from the Mountains.

Sing throughout the rolling Valleys.

Sing in the Forests, the Cities, and the Seas.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from every Tree.

Sing throughout the sprawling blades of grass.

Sing from every drop of dew, pouring of rain, and howling of wind.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from each Word.

Sing throughout all your Deeds.

Sing in the Thinking, the Doing, and the Speaking.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from every beating Heartbeat.

Sing throughout all your Breaths.

Sing in your Comings, your Goings, and Wherever you are.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing with your Material wealth.

Sing throughout all your Spiritual awakenings.

Sing during your Journey, at your Milestones, and when you arrive at your Destination.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.


Sing the most precious and beautiful song to the King of Kings.

Sing from your successes.

Sing throughout all your failures.

Sing during your tryings, your learnings, and your growing.

Sing with all your heart and soul to the Almighty G-d.

(Note 1: Incredibly, this is my first song and it came to me early on the Shabbat where we read the portion of the Torah when G-d miraculously led the Israelites through the split sea and they sang the "Shirah" (song) of thanksgiving to G-d for saving and redeeming them from slavery to freedom, and I didn't even know it was this Shabbat!)

(Note 2: I would love if someone can put this to music and make this into an amazing song to G-d.)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 9, 2017

Just My Imagination



These folks make some beautiful music together. 

Sit back and enjoy!

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 11, 2017

Like Removing A Nail

So you always hear about the techniques used when people are being tortured...one of them being have their nails ripped off.

Ouch!

So this week when I had a ingrown toenail removed, I said jokingly to the podiatrist:

"Do you do waterboarding also?"

Ok, funny, not-funny.  Still got a chuckle!

But in removing the nail, the technique is really so amazing.

They inject the toe with a local anesthetic, but hey even the injections into a sensitive toe could be pretty uncomfortable. 

So before the injection, they spray you toe with a freezing spray, so you don't even feel the injections.

When he actually removed the nail and chemically destroyed the nailbed so it wouldn't come back, I didn't feel a thing.

I mean, I literally didn't feel a thing!

It was a wonderful feeling--whatever he did, however much it would've hurt--it didn't.

I thought to myself in a wave of anesthetic and freeze-numbed delight, this is absolutely wonderful.

No pain, not even a pinch. 

I could sense everything going on around me, take it in, think about it, even mull it over again and again, and just smile. 

In a way, I thought how wonderful life would be to have the ability to think in the head and feel from the heart, but have no pain or suffering in the body. 

Yes, there are plenty of damning and painful thoughts, memories, and heartaches, but for the body to be numb (even momentarily) to all the bad stuff that actually felt pretty good.

How would it feel if the mind and heart also felt no pain and only bliss--I smiled even more. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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