Showing posts with label Jewish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jewish. Show all posts

June 21, 2024

Cool To Be Jewish


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January 11, 2024

Moe, Larry and Curly Puppets

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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August 13, 2023

Not By Strength Alone

 
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Not By Strength Alone."

For Israelis and Jews around the world, success includes being powerful enough to defend ourselves from no longer being every demagogue and dictator's scapegoat, but much more than that, it means that we become a true "light unto nations." We want to be a democracy anchored in freedom and human rights. We also want to be a "Jewish State" (it's the only one in the world!) that is a haven for every Jew to come home to and that is culturally and religiously Jewish (but not a Jewish dictatorship). Israel will not survive by strength alone but rather by the spirit of Hashem (Zechariah 4:6). And so our values are to follow in G-d's path and do good in the world, fix what's broken, and make it a better place, and that includes, as the prophet Isaiah said, "beating their swords into plowshares." Moreover, we understand that G-d is not only the creator but also the perpetual master of the universe, and it is He who decides whether Israel behaves righteously and ultimately whether she will merit to stand for the duration this time and, hopefully, the final time.

(Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld, IDF/Creative Commons via https://israelradar.com/israels-3-new-tricks-for-gaza-war-with-hamas/)
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April 26, 2023

Happy Israel Independence 75 Years!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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August 1, 2022

Max's Kosher

Nice Pastrami sandwich with cole slaw.

Hot dog on a bun. 

Crispy sweet potato fries. 

Too bad Max's Kosher Cafe in Silver Spring closed.  :-(

(Credit Photo: Minna Blumenthal)


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April 23, 2022

Jude in America

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Jude in America."
What was shocking was that despite the professional environment, this was a climate where they actually felt “safe” expressing their Antisemitism and hate. In this case, these high-level, powerful, “educated” people working in the heart of our nation’s capital should know better, much better than to harass someone because she is a Jew, an Israeli, a woman or all three.
It is unfortunate that there still are individuals that hate out there: that lash out questioning our faith, our people, and our intentions. Good people see the common humanity and good in others, and bad people are infatuated with imaginary intolerable differences, especially of minorities, and enjoy scapegoating them, goading others to join their hate, and even violently preying on them.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 2, 2022

Teaching Our Children To Be Good Jews

 
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Teaching Our Children To Be Good Jews."

What happened to genuine faith in G-d, belief in the holy Torah, our duty to abide by the 613 commandments, and generally doing right in this world by our fellow man and before G-d Almighty? Maybe I’m being too literal here but being a “good Jew” has got to mean something important. We are keeping alive the tradition of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, spanning back thousands of years to our Forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to G-d delivering us from Egyptian servitude, and His giving to us the Torah on Mount Sinai, and to His bringing us to Israel, the Land of Milk and Honey, and keeping us from being wiped away by one great empire after another. Being a Jew means being part of an important important and yes, “chosen” for a special mission of being a “light unto the nations” and that means action on our part: thinking, saying, and doing what’s right all the time!
We are tested daily to do what’s right, even when it’s not convenient, easy, enjoyable, or popular. What is a Jew? We need to really ask ourselves that question. It’s not trivial and neither should the answer be. Our lives in this world and the next are depending on how we live up to the high bar that is set for us each and every day of our lives that Hashem mercifully grants to us.

(Photo: My dear parents Fred and Gerda Blumenthal at my Bar Mitzvah)

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August 15, 2021

Paradoxically Jewish

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Paradoxically Jewish."

While Israel and the Jews are filled with paradoxes from our forefather Abraham to the modern State of Israel, we are a people who try to wear these paradoxes well. We relish our commonalties even as we are proud of our differences and uniqueness. We argue and fight with each to try to get to “the truth of the matter,” and we negotiate, compromise, threaten and cajole to that sometimes elusive end. Paradox is just another word for our survival against all odds and our determination to overcome the blind hate, anti-Semitism, and scapegoating of Jews throughout history. We Jews are individually broken, but together, we are a beautiful, paradoxical mosaic—a little meshuggah (crazy) and with an unfortunate dose of PTSD, but fundamentally good in intent and deed—working to fulfill our optimism, hope, and mission to usher in the universality of G-d in the world and of betterment for humankind.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 4, 2021

A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East."

The question then is why? What is so intractable about the Israel-Palestinian conflict that no one seems to be able to solve it and that it has become virtually the Holy Grail of world issues on which if only we could solve it then everything else would-be nirvana. The conflict has been blamed for everything from the endless Palestinian refugee situation to Soviet aggression and expansion during the Cold War, the oil embargo of 1973, the rise and proliferation of Islamic terrorism, and countless other of the world’s ills. Anyone who even contributes to Middle East Peace like Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat win the Noble Peace Prize, and that’s without there being a full and final solution!
I am certain that Israel’s willingness to negotiate and even to make painful compromises for peace has been far more prevalent, far-reaching, and consistent over time—whether in Oslo, Camp David, or Taba. In the meantime, Israel and the Palestinians continue to “take the risks” and remain in a perpetual state of sometimes active and more often passive war that is fought by Israel through military control and incremental settlement expansion and by the Palestinians through terrorism and their pursuit of the demographic population time bomb. When it comes to achieving peace, perhaps the wisdom of the ages applies here: “the short road is long”—there are no shortcuts to serious negotiation and compromise—and “the long road is short”—eventually, a solution for peace will be found even if for now it tragically and painfully evades us all.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 25, 2021

Justice for Sarah Halimi


Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Justice for Sarah Halimi."

The case of the Sarah Halimi is yet another example of the anti-Semitism taking deep root in France, where rather than ensuring Justice for her barbaric murder, a second French court has now absurdly affirmed a lower-court ruling that the alleged perpetrator Traore cannot be held criminally responsible simply because he was on marijuana! Incredibly, these French justices ruled in this completely nonsensical way even as cannabis is being ruled legal for medicinal and even recreational purposes in more and more countries around the world.
It is inconceivable that a modern, western nation as France (part of the EU, NATO, the UN, etc.) would allow violent, racist, hate-mongers, and murders completely off the hook simply because they were high on some cannabis or for any other lame excuse like that. This is not rational. It is not human or civilized. And it is certainly not justice. Jewish blood is not cheap and Kolibi Traore cannot be allowed to go free. France needs to make this right because Sarah Halimi, a citizen of France, was butchered there because she was a Jew, and letting radical Islamists commit violence and terror like this is a danger not just to the French, but to everybody.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 17, 2021

Israel Is Tops

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Israel Is Tops."

In just 73 years, with G-d’s miraculous help, we have a Jewish State that is top-ranked in the entire world: Israel is ranked overall #30 in Best Countries in the World.

In our 4,000 year history as a people, we suffered long and painful exile at the hands of the Babylonian and Roman Empire, but then in 1948, we were given another miraculous chance for the Jewish State of Israel. So far, we are doing great by all measures; now we have to make sure to keep it up for good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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June 11, 2020

I'm Still Alive!


600 Holocaust Survivors and their descendants sing "Chai" (Life) by Ofra Haza.
Hope is not yet lost.
I live. I live. I live. 

I cried my eyes out watching this. 

The Jewish people not only survived the Holocaust as most of the world sat by and watched the genocide of six million men, women, and children with a soulless indifference, but G-d has kept his promise and restored the Jewish people and returned them to the Holy Land and made it flourish again!

(Thank you to my sister, Roz, for sharing this with me)
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May 14, 2020

My Merkava

Ah, it finally came. 

My new wall hanging of a Merkava IV tank. 

This is a large 47x36 photo print on aluminum and weights about 8 pounds. 

I have it hanging proudly in my home.

To me, this is absolutely beautiful.  

And did I say, I love it!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 18, 2019

Woman In Gold, Gold, and More Gold

What an amazing painting featured in the movie, Woman In Gold.

The painting is called the Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I and was commissioned by her adoring husband. 

That face! And surrounded by everything in gold yet you can still clearly make out her stunning dress. 

I've never seen anything like this: the vividness and the majesty of it. 

Honestly, I think there is a resemblance to my beautiful mother, Gerda Blumenthal who was also from Germany. 

The interesting history on this is that it was stolen by the Nazis from the Jewish owners in the Holocaust, but was finally returned to their family in America that succeeded in suing Austria for it back.

This is truly one of the greats! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Gustav Klimt [Public domain])
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October 2, 2019

Who's Fasting For Whom

Today is the Jewish fast day of Tzom Gedaliah. 

Gedaliah had been appointed governor of Israel by the Babylonian conquers in 423 BCE.  However, within the year, Gedaliah was assassinated. This resulted in the remaining Judeans fleeing to Egypt and the Babylonian exile being firmly established until the return from this exile in 371 BCE. 

Literally for thousands of years the relatively small Israelite nation in the Holy Land was repeatedly attacked and conquered by the large surrounding empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans.

Despite this punishing history, when it came to the Fast of Gedaliah, my father used to inject a little light humor and say:
Gedaliah didn't fast for me, so I am not going to fast for him.

I can still hear his words in my head and even now it still brings a warm smile to my face and happiness inside me. 

Upcoming next week is Yom Kippur--fasting and atonement. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 22, 2019

Rambo Is Back



I got my tickets for this today. 

Can't wait to see it!

Rambo says:
"You started this; I'll end it!"

Justice, justice shalt thou pursue.  ;-)
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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 1, 2019

Being Jewish and Proud

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Being Jewish and Proud."
With roughly 15 million Jews in a world of 7.7 billion people, we make up less than .2% of the world population. However, despite our small size, we’ve been recognized with over 20% of the Nobel Prizes for contributions to the sciences, medicine, literature, economics, and peace. Most Jews tend to believe not only in a strong core religious education, but in higher education and lifelong learning, and others excel even when starting out and innovating from their garages. From Abraham and Moses to Einstein and Freud, and even to today’s Jews leading the Technology revolution–such as Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg–the Jewish contribution is truly unparalleled.

Until Mashiach, there will always be some people that hate on us and want to destroy us–perhaps and unfortunately, that’s just who they are. But we choose not be anyone else but Jews, because that’s who we are–and there is every reason to be ourselves, maintain our faith of thousands of years, continue to make awesome contributions that benefit mankind, and be forever proud to be a Jew.

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 25, 2019

@Bagels and Business with CEO Hair Cuttery, Dennis Ratner



Hair Cuttery has 1,000 company-owned Salons in 18 states in the USA.  

Dennis Ratner, the founder and CEO is a huge success story.

- Puts people first. 

- Gives back to the community. 

- Believes in vision, planning, and execution. 

- Dennis said: "Effort = Reward" and to be "Relentless" in pursuing your passion.

- Great roles model. 

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2019

Shabbat Shalom Baby!

Shabbat Shalom Baby!

(Source Graphic: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from Miami Neo-Pop Artist, Mr. Babes)

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