Showing posts with label Kindness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kindness. Show all posts

November 23, 2019

The Life and Legacy of Sarah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "The Life and Legacy of Sarah."


The Rebbetzin explained beautifully that when we live a good life, not only does our soul live on in the afterlife, but our good deeds continue to have an influence in this world even after we, ourselves, have passed.

We should never underestimate our influence in this world, and that what we say and do reverberates like concentric circles that spread out from the source farther and farther. Moreover, while you might not think that what you do matters all that much or is a big deal, you never really know the outsize impact that it can have. Therefore, even while Sarah had passed and Abraham mourned her, the truth is that her legacy of the great Jewish nation was only just beginning!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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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November 16, 2019

Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, "Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch."
The Rabbi asked why did Hashem who is omnipotent even need to create us? And he answered because in G-d being the ultimate good, He “had to create us”—this in essence being the ultimate expression of good by sharing that goodness with us to learn and be good as well. In short, what could be a greater good than extending that opportunity to be be good to others.

Like our forefather, my Hebrew name is Avraham, and for me personally, this has been a critical life lesson: learning to see challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and consistently be a person that tries to do what is right even when it is hard or the lines seem to be grey. In the end, I believe that G-d put us in this world in order for us to choose good over evil and demonstrate kindness to others. With the Torah as our blueprint, and Avraham, our forefather, as our role model, we must apply the great teachings of the Torah and always strive to act as a proper mensch!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 20, 2019

Having Each Other

So I hurt my back last week. 

Incredibly painful. 

Difficult getting up from sitting or laying position. 

Today, I was trying to walk it off a little.

One of my kids was walking with me taking good care of me. 

We ran into a neighbor. 

She was nice and asked about what happened. 

I told her in brief and said how grateful I was for my daughter taking me for a little walk while I try to heal with G-d's help. 

She smiled and said how lucky I was (which I acknowledged). 

I asked if she had any kids, thinking that she did. 

But she goes to me:

I have no one!


I was a little surprised that she didn't have anyone and how she said it. 

I sort of repeated it quizzically. 

She goes:

Well I did have a cat but she was 19 years old and I had to put her down. 


I felt really bad for her, especially since I know she had an operation this last year and is planned for another one coming up. 

I said that we're her neighbors and friends and that she can call on us whenever she needs someone. 

This whole thing just made me so upset--no one should be so alone. 

I  really pray that G-d has mercy on his children and that no one should be alone and that we should all have caring and loving people around us always. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 8, 2019

@The Phillips Collections














(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 8, 2019

Who's In Charge Here?

This was a funny photo...

Sign around the ape says:
Laugh now, but one day, we'll be in charge

I guess you never know who will be in charge. 
  • Be nice to everyone. 
  • Never burn bridges.

All of life is a circle--and everything and everybody goes around and around.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 5, 2019

Not Caring or Worse

It's interesting...

There are a lot of good people out there, but there are probably more in your orbit that simply don't care or worse. 

You can have this problem or that. 

If they even "give you the time of day," people will nod, tell you how sorry they are, and probably relate some of their own misery.

The good people try to see if and how they may be able to help. 

The others really don't want to know, certainly don't care, and just see you as baggage in the way. 

But everyone has their problems!  

If only people could look with compassion on each other. 

We all struggle with our demons in this world.  

Of course, we can't let troubles get in the way of our doing what we need to do. 

But people can make all the difference in just providing a compassionate ear and being willing to open themselves up to understanding others and helping each other or making reasonable accommodations so people can help themselves. 

Listen, we all have our day--wouldn't it be nice to be that person who is kind and generous to others and have others treat us that way too. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 26, 2018

A Window and A Mirror

Thought this was a wonderful story on our perspectives in life. 

And how money can corrupt our vision of what is truly important. 

This is the story:

A rich man became ill. 

He looked out the window and saw his old friend who was a poor man. 

The rich, sick man invited the poor man, his friend into his house.

After talking awhile, the rich man asked the poor man to tell him what he sees. 

The poor man told the rich man to go over to the window and asked:
What do you see?

The rich man said:
I see men, women and children in the street. 

Then the poor man took the rich man over the mirror and asked him:
Now what do you see?

The rich man taken aback for a moment, said:
I see myself.

The poor man says:
Ah, that is the difference. Both the window and the mirror are both made out of glass. But when you look into them, you see different things. The window is just plain glass.  But the mirror is glass covered in silver. When we look through just the glass, we see others!  But when we look through the glass tainted with a coating of silver (i.e. money), we only see ourselves.

Wow! Think about it a moment. Shabbat Shalom!  ;-)

(Story adapted from Bishvil Ha-Ivrit)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 25, 2018

It's Not Really Yours

You can't live without money, but you can't just live for money. 

Didn't someone say, "Money is the root of all evil."

Of course, it's not money itself that is bad, but the greed for it, and the use and hoarding of it for selfish purposes. 

On this topic, my daughter sent me this interesting story:
One business tycoon in China passed away. 
His widow, was left with $1.9 billion in the bank, and married his chauffeur.
His chauffeur said: "All the while, I thought I was working for my boss... it is only now, that I realize that my boss was all the time, working for me!"
We can have all the money in the world, but it's never really ours. 

It all belongs to G-d, as does our entire life. 

He decides what we have or don't have (any longer). 

We need to realize that life is ephemeral and all material things are given to us just for the time being. 

We should be generous with whatever bounty that G-d has given to us, because in the end that is all that is truly lasting. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 21, 2018

Wine Makes Me Smile

What a great labeling of this bottle of wine. 

Just a big simple smiley face on it!

After I saw this bottle in the store, I just had to take a picture and also look this up on the internet. 

It's part of the "SMILE" wine campaign from Lindeman's Wines.

Apparently each limited edition bottle reminds you of something that we have to smile about: "family get-togethers," "discovering new places," and "randoms acts of kindness."

Wow, I love this idea.  

Wine makes you smile, but so do these wonderful things in life. 

And it's not just showing/associating the product with something positive (like beer and soda commercials always do), but it's making the product itself smile at you!

I think this is a really smart marketing campaign.

Also, the cute smiley face on the bottle would make this the life of the party. 

Great job Lindemans--I'm smiling. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 9, 2018

Lessons In Teshuvah - Near-Death Experience


Great Video on the incredible Near Death Experience (NDE) of Rabbi Alon Anava. 

What he experiences, sees, and is told can change lives forever. 

What a perfect learning right before Rosh Hashanah. 

Teshuvah, Tefillah, U'Tzedekah.

Shannah Tova! ;-)
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August 26, 2018

What's It's Like To Be A Bag

It's funny, like most of us, my daughter stuffs the shopping bags in the draw or into another "bag of bags" to reuse. 

My son-in-law joked about feeling bad for the bags all crinkled up and thrown in with all the others like that. 

He drew this little sign on a paper towel, and put it on the fridge:

Bag's life

This is what a crying creased up bag looks like. 

Maybe even inanimate objects have feelings too. 

As human beings, we can learn to treat everything in the world kindly and with appreciation. 

Bye bye baggy. ;-)

(Source Drawing: Itzchak Ochayon)
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August 17, 2018

What Is Life?

Here is a great parable that speaks to the meaning of life:

A man died.

When he realized it, he saw God coming closer with a suitcase in his hand.

Dialog between God and Dead Man:

God: *Alright son, it’s time to go*

Man: So soon? I had a lot of plans.

God: *I am sorry but, it’s time to go*

Man: What do you have in that suitcase?

God: *Your belongings*

Man: My belongings? You mean my things...clothes...money...

God; *Those things were never yours, they belong to the Earth*

Man: Is it my memories?

God: *No. They belong to Time*

Man: Is it my talent?

God: *No. They belong to Divine Providence*

Man: Is it my friends and family?

God: *No son. They belong to the Path you traveled*

Man: Is it my wife and children?

God: *No. they belong to your Heart*

Man: Then it must be my body

God: *No, No... It belongs to Dust*

Man: Then surely it must be my Soul!

God: *You are sadly mistaken son. Your Soul belongs to me.*

Man: I never owned anything?

God: *That’s Right. You never owned anything*.

Man (with tears in his eyes and full of fear took the suitcase from God's hand and asks God): Then? What was mine?

God: *Your choices.*

Every choice you made was yours.

Create each moment by filling it with meaning.

Do G-d's will at every moment.

Choose to act kindly to others in every moment.

Life is the choices of every moment.


(Adapted from and with Gratitude to Minna Blumenthal for sharing this with me)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 2, 2018

Feeding Frenzy

A colleague told me something really great. 

Once a month she helps others in the office that are less fortunate. 

She told me that the cleaning people have various disabilities, and they are underappreciated for the difficult work they do. 

So once a month she treats them for breakfast!

As I got on the elevator with her, some of the cleaning people were calling to her in a frenzy asking when they were doing the next one. 

She told them the date, and they seemed so happy and valued. 

I thought to myself, WOW!--what an amazing gesture of compassion, kindness, and charity for others.  

It's not necessarily the money itself, but rather making a habit out of doing something good for others. 

I imagined G-d looking down from Heaven at this lady and that she would never be hungry because she makes sure to feed breakfast and gratitude to others. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 13, 2018

The Love Truck

Ok, the title of this blog may not be the best. 

Some may associate the "Love Truck" with human trafficking or something horrible. 

But this truck in Washington D.C. really fitted the name with messages on the windows and sides like:
Love not hate.
Peace on planet Earth.
One race, the human race. 
Left, right, make America unite again through love.
2 wrongs don't make it right.
Stop bombing, start educating. 
Smile, life is short.
Be kind to your fellow man.

I almost got to wonder what's on the other side of this truck???

Anyway, I know it's more than kind of kooky to graffiti up your own vehicle this way, but I still rather see these messages and actions than those of hate and violence in this world. 

Happy Friday folks!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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June 14, 2018

Missed The Shot But Someone Else Got It

So check out this sleek garbage for bottles and cans. 

Like many of these, it has a small opening hole at the top to convey that only bottles and cans (like it says on the side) should be put in for recycling--no garbage. 

When I was walking by quickly, I took the shot, attempting to throw in my bottle.

But it bounced off the rim and landed on the floor. 

Before I could even turn around to pick it up, I saw another gentleman behind me swoop in and pick up the garbage and put it in the can for me. 

I tell you that I was really quite amazed. 

He could have easily said, I missed the can and so I should just pick up my own trash off the floor and throw it out--that's only right!

Instead, it was in his mind nothing to do this random act of kindness and he picked up my trash. 

I know it sounds like a nothing burger, but to me, it represented just a real decency from another human being. 

Not standing on ceremony.

Not being too hoity-toity to pick up the garbage.

Rather just saw something that needed to get done and doing it. 

I tell you that as much as some people disappoint me with their arrogance and evilness, others are genuinely good people. 

This is what it's all about--the good people showing the bad people what kindness, generosity, and humanity is all about. 

To the evil f*ckers out there--who are arrogant, materialistic takers, haters, bullies, aggressors, and abusers--to h*ll with you!

To the good people--keep doing good and let the good win over the evil every single time. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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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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February 28, 2018

Breaking The Cycle Of Trauma

Thought these are some beautiful sentiments about breaking the cycle of trauma in our lives: 
"Hurt people hurt people. 
That's how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. 
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. 
Greet grimaces with smiles. 
Forgive and forget about finding fault. 
Love is the weapon of the future."
- Yehuda Berg, The Kabbalah Center

This is powerful--it should only be that we can have a complete healing, betterment, and a renewal of peace for all. 

One other thing that I heard that was so plain and simple, yet so smart was that:
Our job in this world is to do the most good that we can do!

Thank you to Minna Blumenthal for sharing all this.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 17, 2018

Nothing Personal

There's this funny line that some managers use with their employees.

It's when they harshly criticize, pick on, or even bully their hard working and good people.  

What do they say when they do it:
"It's nothing personal."

Ha, that's sort of funny, but really it's sad. 

I asked an executive colleague about this and this is what they profoundly said:
"It's my favorite line when the boss says it's nothing personal. Of course it's personal. Is there anyone else in the room!"

When people misuse/abuse their power to hurt others whether at work or even in other situations like with small children or anyone else in a subordinate position:

- That's not business.

- That's not professional.

- That's not being a good human being.

People are not punching bags because someone else is having a bad day. 

We need to rise above the occasion and be better than that. 

It's better to be humane, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent. 

And not just because someday, we are all in that position where someone bigger is facing off against us.

But rather we need to behave kindly to others, because they too are G-d's children and our brothers and sisters, and it is the absolutely the right way to behave--whether it's business or personal. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 16, 2017

The Folly of Bullies

So there is an issue with people not treating other people with respect and dignity in life and at work.

Today again, the Wall Street Journal reported that "Companies Wake Up To The Problem of Bullies at Work."

This is leading some organizations to issue "Codes of Civility" for people to act like mensches and treat each other nicely. 

Adults are just so like children--with work bullies not all that different from schoolyard bullies.

Why do people need to elevate themselves on the backs of others? 

Isn't it better to join hands and work together as brothers for the betterment of all.

Bullying anyone at work or at home doesn't benefit anyone, including the bully!

I read today in Psalms 37: 35-36:
"I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was not; I sought him, but he could not be found 
[But] Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace."
How can people forget that the true "big boss" is G-d Almighty in Heaven.

And He judges us for a good or not so good end. 

We are all just flesh and blood and we all answer to the One That Was, Is, and Will Always Be!

Isn't it obvious that we're here to learn to act with lovingkindness to one another.

All are imperfect, but treating each other well is how we get closer to G-dly perfection. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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