You’re Probably Not A 10

If I Want Your Opinion
There is a review online for nearly everything…from sources such as Amazon to Yelp, Angie’s List, IMDb, and more. 



But what you may not realize is that the knife cuts both ways…you are not only the reviewer, but the subject of reviews.



And if you’re not all that…then everyone can know it!



The New York Times has an opinion piece by Delia Ephron about how reports cards are no longer just for kids, and that they are “for the rest of my life…[and] this is going on your permanent record.”



From cabbies that won’t pick you up because you’ve been rated a bad fare to your therapist that says you can’t stop obsessing, restaurants that complain you refused to pay for the chopped liver, and the department store says you wasted their salesperson’s time and then bought online, and even your Rabbi says you haven’t been giving enough to the synagogue lately. 



People hear things, post things, and can access their records online…your life is not private, and who you are at least in other peoples opinion is just an easy search away. 



In Tweets, Blogs, on Facebook, and even in companies customer records, you have a personal review and rating waiting for discovery.



Your review might be good, but then again…you are not always at your finest moments and these get captured in databases and on social media.



Data mining or exfiltration of your personal information is your public enemy #1.



Of course, you’d like to think (or wish) that you’re brand is a 10, but not everyone loves you that way your mother does.  



Too bad you can’t tell them, “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it”–either way, your gonna hear what people think of you loud and clear. ;-)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flower In Water

Flower Water
I love this photo from today. 



There was a flower floating in the pool.



I couldn’t help noticing how unbelievably beautiful it was. 



The white petals, the pink center, and the shaded blue water around it. 



You can even see the ripples in the water immediately around the flower petals. 



This is somehow magical and amazing. 



Thank you G-d for showing this to us on this wonderful day. 



(Source Photo: Andy and Dannielle Blumenthal)

Erase Me Not

Stop Erasing Me
So in the war between good and evil, the battlefield has become a war of words as much as that of guns and bombs. 



If you can’t exterminate a people physically, then why not try to do it historically? 



With despots like former Iranian president Ahmadinejad as a exemplar for Holocaust denial, history revisionists now make fair game of rewriting the past, so that it plays their way.



How convenient–if you don’t like how something turns out, simply change it in the history books so it never even happened. 



I was surprised recently to see how far this method of verbal warfare has gone, when I happened to look up some information online about the Jewish Exodus from slavery in Egypt and trek to the Promised Land of Israel, only to find that in Wikipedia, this has now been deemed a “Charter Myth.”



I wondered how both the thousands year old Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament that records my people’s hundreds of years of slavery and redemption in the Biblical book of Exodus was now just recorded in the most prominent online encyclopedia on the web as a false belief!



Ah, maybe those pyramids in Giza just showed up one day–and my people didn’t build them with straw, mortar, and dead Jewish slave bodies.



Forget about how convenient calling this a myth is to the terrorists who don’t want to acknowledge that the Land of Israel was given by G-d to the Jewish people and instead want to believe in Jihad against all “infidels.”



My daughter asked me on a recent walk why they hate us? 



And I answered and said, if another people–i.e. the existence of the Jews and their homeland, Israel–is a refutation of their hate-filled “religious” beliefs, then maybe we can understand why they want to get rid of us, the inconvenient evidence.



This same story is playing out in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, where despite incredible destruction to Hamas in Gaza, they are claiming victory on social media. 



The Jewish people are small in numbers, and if millions of religious militants wants to write us off in the history books and on the web, they can certainly try. 



But what Jewish people do that is smarter than trying to erase something bad from history is that we force ourselves to remember it–to learn lessons from it and become better despite what happened. 



That is why we celebrate Passover to remember the Exodus from many thousands of years ago. The same with Yom Hashoah to memorialize the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, and Tisha B’Av to remember the destruction of the two Jewish temples. 



Even we the commandment to blot of the remembrance of the evil that Amalek did in attacking the our infirm and elderly among us in the dessert in Exodus, we remember this annually!



The Jews are a people of the book–we remember, we study, we learn, we grow. 



In the Bible, there are plenty of people that did bad things, but we would never think to rewrite it or any portion of it. It is sacred and most valuable to learn from–the good and the bad. 



While damning the memory of someone bad is not uncommon among all cultures, it is really more a remembrance of what they did bad, rather than forgetting they ever did it. 



It is far more courageous to remember history and learn from it, then try fledglingly to rewrite the parts that you don’t like or are inconvenient to you. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Holocaust To Nation State

From Holocaust To Nation State
This is a really beautiful representation of the historical developments of the Jewish nation.



Where the Jewish people went from the fiery depths of the Holocaust to the rise of a modern democratic nation state of Israel. 



We are the same sons and daughters of Israel, but no longer exiled from the Holy Land and paraded like sheep to the slaughter from the hate mongers de jour. 



On the right are represented generations, who with the rise of every crazy demagogue that needed to blame their religious, political, social, and economic problems on a scapegoat, the Jewish people suffered at their bloody hands, discriminatory expropriation and expulsion, tax and torture, rape, pogrom, and slaughter.



On the left are shown the Jews from a free democratic State of Israel who are proud to seek a life of peace and security from persecution and who can chart their own course for their people and be a light unto nations for doing what is right and moral and contributing to the world in every significant development and advance of humankind. 



As the Jews went from slavery to freedom many thousands of years ago with the Exodus from Egypt and settlement of the land of Israel, so too today, we can count on the miraculous transition from exile to promised homeland and from persecution to self-determination.  ;-)



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Eliyokim Cohen)

The Talent Function

Integrity
I really like this quote from Warren Buffet. 



Three traits to look for in recruiting the best people:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Energy
  3. Integrity

But what good are the first two without the third one?



So Integrity first (or squared for emphasis)…then intelligence plus the energy to use it plentifully and you have yourself an organizational winner!



Related to this, I saw someone on the train today with a tee shirt (from Sweet Green…not sure why this is their slogan) that said:



Passion 



   X



Purpose



This seemed like a good motto to me define the energy (#2) in Buffet’s top 3 items for recruiting. 



With a clear intent plus the compelling feeling to achieve it, you got energy to apply.



The resulting function: 



Talent = f {Intelligence, Energy (or Passion x Purpose), Integrity Squared}



Now that’s a recruiting formula we can all follow–thank you Mr. Buffet. ;-)



(Source Photo: LinkedIn)

The Cello And The Horse

Cello and Horse
So this was a funny picture I took today at Foggy Bottom. 



This guy in a shirt and tie is playing this awesome looking cello…



And sitting next to him is this other guy wearing a horse mask, rolling his head, and staring intently at the people passing by. 



Behind them is a farmers market and in front to the left is someone selling beautiful flowers. 



Overall, just another weird scene in the Nation’s capital.



Next up, the guy in the horse head plays the cello and everyone sings along and neighs. ;-)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)