Showing posts with label Jerusalem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jerusalem. Show all posts

April 11, 2021

Never A Doubt: Not An Inch


 Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Never A Doubt: Not An Inch."

In an effort to make peace with the Palestinians, some perhaps well-meaning politicians have attempted to negotiate to give away parts of the holy land of Israel, and this is a big mistake. In contrast to these politicians and some diehard “peaceniks” (i.e. who believe in peace at almost any cost), there are many people in Israel, from Zionists and nationalists to settlers, messianists, and the religious who maintain a deep underlying faith that the land of Israel, in its entirety, belongs to the Jewish people. Moreover, they trust that our current and miraculous possession of Israel, after 2,000 years of exile, is anchored in our transition from helpless, stateless, and victimized Jews to instead those of self-reliance, bold action, and faith in the Almighty that we are living in the times of redemption and Mashiach.

It’s not easy to stand firm in the face of delegitimization, boycotts, terrorism, and even war. For Jews, it’s a matter of faith over fear. If we have faith that G-d has brought us back to Israel and that he will not forsake us, then we will neither fear the absurdly biased resolutions of the crooked United Nations or the nations and their terror proxies roundabout that have sought our destruction. In the end, G-d decides, and not man, the fate of Israel and its people, and let it be for blessings only.

(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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November 15, 2020

Humming The Hatikvah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Humming The Hatikvah."

But as I walk in the water, feeling both the softness and purity of the beautiful water as well as the buoyancy and resistance of it, I think to myself that no Jews should not be familiar and know The Israel national anthem. After 2,000 painful years in exile culminating in the concentration camps like Theresienstadt and The Six Million murdered Jews, we all must know that now G-d has kept his promise to our forefathers and returned us to The Holy Land.

Assuredly, we are living in the time of miracles, the redemption, and soon to be the coming of the Mashiach. Now is the time not just to hum The Hatikvah, but to bring every Jew back, including me and my family. It’s almost time to go home, where we will sing and dance, with hearts brimming over with Joy, before our L-rd, and once again go to worship at our holy Temple in Jerusalem. May it be His will! Amen.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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November 8, 2020

From Creation to the End of Times

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "From Creation to the End of Times."
 
As Jews, we travel through history to our destiny along an arc of birth, growth, decline and the learning from our mistakes, to ultimately the fulfillment of our divine mission for world enlightenment. Jewish history can be broken down in a couple of amazing ways: first by every two millennium from creation forward, and second, starting with Abraham, in 400-500 year increments.

We have an incredible history that takes us along a clear trajectory from our founding of monotheism and special relationship with G-d as His "chosen" in the receiving the Torah and its transmission, to our many weaknesses and failures in going astray from our mission, and ultimately to our redemption and achievement of G-d's purpose for us in bringing his teachings and glory to all the world.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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September 12, 2020

Thank You President Trump For Supporting Israel

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Thank You President Trump For Supporting Israel
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we know that everything is in the hands of G-d, including life and death, but there is no question that President Trump has been an instrument of the Almighty in delivering genuine and consistent support—recognition, annexation, aid, sanctioning our enemies, fighting BDS, anti-Semitism, and biased resolutions, and the advancement of peace—to Israel and for the Jewish people.

What the New Year and the upcoming election brings, no one knows, but Hashem. However, let us recognize the good and thank President Trump for everything that he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, and let us pray that G-d brings us continued blessings for the upcoming Jewish year of 5781 and beyond towards our final redemption.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 23, 2020

Wow, Good Enough To Eat

Wow, the chocolate and poppy pastry rolls look pretty awesome. 

Salivating to take a serious bite. 

But don't advise for that before taking a drug test.

I heard the poppy seeds may give a false positive.  ;-)

(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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March 9, 2020

Camel In Thought

Love this little camel.

My daughter got this is Israel and displays it in the living room. 

Sitting peacefully, looking upwards. 

Colorful mosaic. 

Jerusalem, its brand. 

Amazing animals. 

I wonder what he's thinking. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 29, 2020

A Jewish Scorecard: Trump vs. Sanders

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "A Jewish Scorecard: Trump vs. Sanders."

In nine months, we will go to the polls again to elect the next President of the United States. Right now, it's looking like it will be Donald J. Trump versus Bernie Sanders. What is the scorecard of these two men when it comes to the State of Israel⁠—the Jewish homeland that we have returned to after 2,000 years of exile, persecution, and deep yearning, and where the majority of the world's Jewish people currently reside?

In the end, no candidate is perfect, and each has their own critical flaws. However, you, as the voters will need to tally the score for yourselves and decide who will be President in 2020 and what that means for this country as well as for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

(Photo: Adapted from Flickr post by The White House (Public Domain) and Linda Sarsour's Twitter account profile picture)

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February 16, 2020

Israel 2020: Day 7


Today, we went to the Kotel (Holy Western Wall) in Jerusalem. 

We went on a special tour of the Kotel Tunnels.

Got to see the foundation stones under the Temple Mount where legend has it that G-d created the world from and where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac.

This is also the place where the first and second Jewish temples stood.

We literally got to see so much of the ancient underground building stones, pillars, arches, bridges, waterways, and even learned how they think that these mega limestones (weighing over 520 metric tonnes) were moved into place so many thousands of years ago with pulleys, gears, and levers. 

It was a fascinating and fun tour. 

Thank you to my son-in-law and daughter for getting us tickets to this. 

Lovely time by all. ;-)

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal, and sorry about turning it sideways once it gets to the underground waterway) 
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February 13, 2020

Israel 2020: Day 4

Wow what an amazing day in Jerusalem!

We went to the Israel Museum (the best museum that I have ever been at), the Shrine of the Book with the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the best part was a tour of the Israeli Knesset. 

One of the interesting facts that I learned was that the 120 seats in the Knesset is in the shape of the menorah, and I loved seeing Herzl's picture facing the speaker (front left).

Also, got to see the Israel Declaration of Independence with all the amazing signatories as well as the most beautiful Chagall paintings!

Inside the Knesset, all I could say to my wife is what a tremendous zechus (merit) it is to be able to be here today in this great hall where the modern laws of the State of Israel are made just as they were thousands of years ago by the Great Assembly of the Israelites.  

We are living in the most amazing of historical and religious times. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 5, 2019

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:
There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 
The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples' hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 15, 2019

The Coming Great American Aliyah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "The Coming Great American Aliyah."
If you just open your eyes and have faith, you will know that you will be going to Israel–the question isn’t if, but when! What G-d has decreed, no man can annul. There are three types of ways things will unfold for American Jews: Some will go to Israel on their own,”nicely.” Others will be going only when they absolutely have to–“not so nicely.” The third group will not be going–unfortunately, as difficult as it is to say, they won’t make it. While this is all about the fulfillment of messianic times, and we don’t know when precisely it will all transpire, I pray that people (including myself) will choose to plan intelligently for the future to make aliyah in good times, and that their shouldn’t be pain and suffering for the Jewish people in getting there, but rather that it is an amazing experience filled with endless blessings.

May G-d bring us in peace, prosperity, and health to fulfill His promise of the ingathering and to rebuild the Temple and bring Mashiach to the world.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 5, 2019

Favorite Chocolate Pastries

So these are my favorite chocolate pastries. 

They are liked over-sized or really supersized Rugelach. 

When these come out of the oven, the soft, hot pastry dough interspersed with overflowing, dripping layers of chocolate are unbelievable!

This mound of chocolate pastries is from Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem. 

OMG, I can't wait to visit again and have one (or more) of these--totally lose all self control! LOL  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 9, 2019

Speedily Rebuild The Temple

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Rebuilding The Temple, Healing Our People."

Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the month of Av) is on Shabbat this year, so we conduct the day of mourning and fast on Sunday. The destruction of the Temple and our subsequents exiles from the Holy Land are deeply traumatic periods of Jewish history. Needless to say, this is a very sad and scary time of year. However, we are living in the time of redemption, when after 2,000 years, the Jewish people have been blessed to be returned to their biblical homeland, Israel. Next up is the rebuilding of the Temple VERY SOON, please G-d.

Let us hope and pray that we are deserving of Hashem’s blessings and mercy, and that sadness will be completely turned into joy, the world will be healed, and peace will prevail.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 29, 2019

Jerusalem's Amazing New Bomb Shelter



Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Jerusalem's Amazing New Bomb Shelter."
Israel Railways zips passengers north-south between Nahariya and Be’er Sheva and east-west between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv...but the best thing of all is that it also serves for the strategic defense for its citizens...there are provisions for 3,000 to 5,000 people to shelter from a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on the holy city of Jerusalem
Thankfully, Israel is growing as a democracy, a Startup Nation, and as a light unto nations, yet it must remain vigilant and strong against enemies that could even attempt the unthinkable. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2019

Israel - Day 3 - Jerusalem
























(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal, 
Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)

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March 2, 2019

Jerusalem Center of The World

I love this map by Heinrich Bunting, a German Protestant pastor and cartographer. 

This beautiful artist and thoughtful map was published in 1581.

It shows the 3 continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa as 3 leaves of a clovers with Jerusalem at the center. 

Jerusalem, Israel is the focus, nexus and crossroad between these 3 worlds of Western, Asian, and African civilizations. 

Israel is so multi-cultural and holy to the 3 major monotheistic religions of the world (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism).  

Light, healing, peace, and prosperity should emanate from Jerusalem to the whole world and G-d should bless us from his heavenly abode.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Wikipedia)
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December 4, 2018

Celebrating Chanukah At Ulpan

It was so nice tonight at Ulpan. 

Morah Degani had a special night planned for us tonight to celebrate Chanukah. 

She called me up to light the candles for the 3rd night and recite the blessing. 

Then she played Chanukah songs and we sang along to the Hebrew words on the screen. 

We later read and talked about the story of Chanukah and all the meaning and significance of it for having freedom of religion/worship and to maintain our religion and not assimilate. 

It was a beautiful way to learn and practice our Hebrew. 

Happy 3rd night of Chanukah! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 2, 2018

On The First Night Of Chanukah

Please see my article in The Times of Israel called, "The Lesson of the Candy Lane Menorah."
It was a beautiful ushering in the first night of Chanukah by Chabad of Bethesda, Maryland. The "candy" menorah that they were going to use was somehow destroyed, but Chabad came with a spare--they are terrific...even when things go wrong, miracles can happen, but we have to be prepared like Chabad was tonight.

Happy First Night of Chanukah to everyone! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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