Touched By An Angel

Angel.jpeg

So the other night I dreamed.


And in the dream, an angel came to me and was over me as I lay down. 


The angel had it’s finger pointing at my head in the right temple area. 


The finger was all white and while I could feel it having a solid state, it was able to pass in a non-solid state, transparently through the surface and slightly into my head. 


I felt pressure applied there and almost like a healing feeling.


The angel was pure white–like a holy marble, but not like marble. 


It was majestic, slender, and tall.


It had white feathery wings that were taller than it’s body. 


It’s face was like an adult, but also like a child–it was both. 


Its feet were like a smooth and solid arch, and did not have toes.


The angel hovered over my upper body, head area, and was looking at me and touching my right temple–with care and love. 


It was absolutely clear to me that the angel visiting me was my dear, dear father. 


Although, I woke with a slight headache, I felt happy and at great peace by his visit.


The experience was caring, loving, holy and I was uplifted by it. 


With his unbelievably pure and giving heart, it was beautiful to see my father as an angel–this was him all along. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Life After Death

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This was a beautiful article in The Sun about life after death. 


British physicists and research scientists are claiming that the soul exists at a sub-atomic quantum particle level. 


Evidence, they say, points to information (our consciousness) “stored in microtubles within human cells.”


When a person dies, the quantum particle information is released from the body into the universe. 


If it’s a near-death experience, the consciousness leaves only temporarily, but is then brought back to the cells in the host, and the patient revives. 


However, if the person dies, “it’s possible that this quantum information, can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.”


This theory is endorsed by researchers at the renown Max-Planck Institute, Germany’s most successful research organization with 18 Nobel laureates  and 15,000 scientific publications a year. 


This is certainly one of the most hopeful and uplifting ideas that any of us can maintain–that life is not just finite, but that we are part of something infinitely larger, enduring, meaningful, and G-dly. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Make People And Time Count

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So there was an article in Slate about how kids think these days.


And it’s a reflection of the adults, of course. 


When 10,000 middle and high school students from 33 schools across the country were asked, what’s more important–80% chose high achievement or happiness as their top priority vs just 20% who picked caring for others.


The kids who chose their happiness and achievement over helping others tended to score low on empathy and were at greater risk of being “cruel, disrespectful, and dishonest.”

Bottom line is that these are our values that we impart when we recognize and reward our children for things like good grades and extra-curriculars, but not for helping or caring about others. 


Pretty much, I think parents worry that their kids should be able to support and care for themselves, because that’s what’s considered our primary responsibility as parents–to make sure the next generation survives and can go on physically and materially once we are gone. 


In a way, it’s Darwinism and survival of the species and of the fittest. 


The problem is survival of our physical manifestation is not equivalent to the thriving of the spiritual being inside all of us. 


It’s not enough to live, but we have to live a good and descent life.


Our bodies wither and die, but our souls learn, grow, and go on to the afterlife. 


Yesterday, I had this freakish accident, going through the turnstiles on the Metro in Washington, DC.


The person before me went right through the gates as they opened, but when I put my pass down and went through, the gates had a glitz and closed suddenly right on my legs (and my artificial hips) and I went tumbling forward hard to the floor. 


Amazingly, two wonderful bystanders (not the Metro employees who didn’t even flinch or care) came rushing over to me, and literally lifted me up by the arms and handed me my wallet and glasses which had fallen to the side. 


One of the people that helped was especially nice to me, and he asked me how I was and really seemed to care that I was alright–imagine that a complete stranger in the Metro! 


The two people who stopped to help could’ve literally hopped right over me to rush for the train at the end of the day like everyone else, but they didn’t.


To them, caring was more important than their own time. 


Maybe I got the 20% yesterday, but it made me realize AGAIN how terrific some people are and they truly make time count–by making people count–like unfortunately many others may never ever bother to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

What Do We Fear More?

halloween

So it’s Halloween tomorrow.


It’s a holiday to remember those that have passed. 


In modern times, it has become a holiday of ghosts and ghouls, spooky and scary.


People dress up often in ghastly costumes, party hearty, and go door to door, trick or treat.


With fright night, I ask myself, are we more afraid of what we don’t understand from the spirit world or perhaps of what do understand from people in this life?


Certainly, the supernatural and the spirits–elements of what’s awaiting for us on the other side are things we don’t really have tangible experience with or understand…we are afraid of the unknown.


But in this world, we are familiar and encounter bad people and deeds, and unfortunately have to deal with them, but it never becomes easier or less scary to confront these.


Sure, we understand that not everyone is good, and not everyone has the best impulse control–people do rotten, horrible things for selfishness and greed or simply because they can’t stop themselves.


How scary is it to run into and have to deal with people that can and will do almost anything–maybe without a conscious thought or remorse for doing wrong…perhaps, they might even enjoy hurting others, taking what doesn’t belong to them, forcing their will or themselves on others, and doing unthinkable acts of crazed violence and evil. 


We are definitely afraid of people like this…they are out of control, and don’t add up for those of us who think in terms of a soul, conscience, an everyday moral compass, and a seeing and hearing L-rd above


So life is scary, but death awaits us all as well. 


And as my dad used to say, no one has ever come back to tell us what happens over there. 


He had the most faith of anyone I know, and I understand we are supposed to have faith that we are going to a better place, but like coming out of the mother’s womb into this world, when we die, we are coming out into a whole new place altogether. 


New things are scary and going from the physical world to the spiritual one, I assume can also be a little earth shattering–where exactly are we going and how will we be judged when we get there? 


Of course, I hope that I will be with my family and with G-d and bask in his eternal light. 


Thus for me, I find myself less scared of ghosts and metaphysical things, but the evil that people can bring, behind ghoulish smiles and with hidden agendas, telling lies and fooling us of their evil intent, that is scarier than any ghost or goblin, any time of year on Earth or beyond. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Visiting My Parents

graves

We went to visit my parent’s graves yesterday. 


Now, between the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is customary to visit and remember our blessed loved ones. 


We went to spend time with them, tell them how much we miss and love them, and how hard it is without them. 


I was so moved by how beautiful my daughters spoke out loud to my parents in heaven–their words and tears were so full of sincerity for how they miss and love their dear Oma and Opa. 


They could articulate what was so hard for me to say, but which weighs so heavy always on my heart. 


We sat on the ground at the base of their headstone feeling their presence and hearing their words in memory and through my wife who has a special ability to somehow reach them.


My wife told me how she could see my mother literally dancing in heaven, and my dad always worrying about us and looking out for and telling us to be more religious…always, more religious. 


I wiped the dust off that had settled on the stone over the last months, and wished that I could somehow magically, with whatever spiritual energy I could muster, raise them up and bring them back to us.


The thought of years or decades of going on and not being able to see and speak with them again, in person, is forever impossible for me to imagine. 


The loss of my parents over the last few years has left an emptiness in my heart and keeps me asking myself, will I really be able to see them and be reunited with them again some day in heaven. 


My daughter reassured me that energy, including our personal energy, never disappears, it only transforms, and my wife said that she could feel that they were okay and happy!


I recounted the joke my dad used to tell about not wanting to be buried at the edge of the cemetery, because that’s where the water runs down, and he didn’t want to get rheumatism. 


I know how much they loved us and I could feel it sitting at their graves with the warmth of the sun over us and the cool breeze blowing against us. 


I will live out my days, trying my best to emulate in my own way my father, who was a servant to the L-rd in all that he did, and who taught us strict right from wrong, and as my mother who took care of us no matter what challenges or suffering were faced. 

 

Finally, we asked for their forgiveness for any wrongs we committed and for their blessing for what is to come.


I am grateful to them and G-d for every blessed moment with my family and to experience the beauty and learning of the world, until it is my turn to be gathered to my family and the L-rd in the after. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Conflicts That Challenge Us

Woman

My wife told me something good today (first time ever, haha).  


There are three types of conflicts:


1) Between Man and Himself — these are our internal conflicts or demons (fears, anxieties, guilt, compulsions, and evil impulses) that we must conquer. 


2) Between Man and Man — these are conflicts we have with others and we must resolve them with either empathy, compromise, giving, and forgiveness or at the other end of the spectrum with fight or flight.


3) Between Man and His Environment — these are conflicts that are man-made or natural in our surroundings and may involve scarcity, harsh or destructive conditions, and obstacles to overcome with scientific and engineering problem-solving. 


I would add a 4th type of conflict:


4) Between Man and G-d — these are conflicts we have in trying to understand why we are here, what G-d wants from us, and “why bad things happen,” and involve our relationship and reconciliation with and service to our maker. 


Basically, these four conflicts are more than enough to keep us busy day-in and -out for our entire lifetime, and either we resolve them and go to the afterworld, or perhaps we have to come back to do some more work on resolving them again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Got To Be

Tunnel

So I read a book review the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. 


The book was by an atheist who had 2 near-death experiences. 


And while for other people, they see the light at the end of the tunnel–and are reunited with family loved ones and are in bliss from being with the Heavenly Father…


This guy saw nothing but blackness and said it was empty and nothingness. 


And he was dead serious about it. 


He said there is nothing after we die, absolutely nothing. 


Now, while I have always believed in life after death and even in reincarnation if we still have more growing and learning to do, I had heard others say contrary beliefs in the past.


One guy in synagogue when I was a young adult used to say, “When you die, you’re as dead as a dead dog!”


Lovely thought (not), but I never took any of that seriously. 


Yet, this guy’s book somehow got to me on a deep level. 


Maybe because I lost my beloved parents over the last 2+ years and am still deeply mourning them, and the only thing that can possibly console me about that is the notion that I will one day be reunited with them and see them again. 


So the opposing idea that it’s really over–that I will never see them again–experience their love and laughter again–is beyond my comprehension–it literally blows my mind in a bad bad way. 


Also, I said to my wife, if this atheist is by any chance right (not about G-d) but about there being no afterworld, then what is the purpose to anything we do–who cares?


Without G-d, without Divine will and justice, and a world-to-come, there really is nothing but darkness and not just after we die, but now too–because it would all be purposeless. 


No, I cannot believe that!


The atheist saw nothing afterwards, because he believes in nothing–it’s a measure for a measure. 


For those who believe that there is more, much more–there really is. 


It has to be that way…for anything to make sense. 


For us to try so hard. 


For us to go on.


For us to have a purpose.


For there to be justice.


For there to be us. 


My dad used to tell me that “No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us what’s there.”


So it really is the ultimate mystery of life…but I choose to believe in life now and in life later. 


The miracles of my own life and those around me show me again and again that there is design, there is order, there is a plan, there is a purpose and I will find mine. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Being Of Light

Being of Light 2

So last night, I dreamed about my beloved dad. 


He was in synagogue praying–something he did every day.


I was telling my dad that it was time to go.


But he didn’t want to leave–synagogue was his favorite place to be close to G-d and his friends. 


My dad was in the front of the synagogue elevated on the steps before the Holy Ark (where the Torahs are kept).


I looked at my dad and somehow knew/felt that he was near death. 


I ran to him and threw my arms around him in an incredible completely loving hug–clutching on to him to stay with us, longer.


In this embrace, I could feel his total and undying love for me.


Now he no longer looked like my dad but like a being of light–such as I had never seen.


He had died, but was still somehow alive in another way. 


I miss my dad–he was a truly holy man (a Tzadik) and a loving husband, father, and grandfather, who would do anything for us. 


I wish I could sit and speak with him again, hold his hand, hear him sing when we came over, and see him smile. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Taltopia.com)

Live With The Eternal In Mind

Temporal and Immortal

I really like this saying.


I heard it this weekend on a popular television show at the burial of one of the characters. 


“What you see is temporal; what you don’t see is eternal.”


Everyday, we think we are living in the “real world,” but this is just our mortal experience, one constrained by our senses and the dictates of time and space.


However, beyond this mere earthly experience and existence is the eternal G-d. 


Perhaps, we can take comfort and live a life of meaning, if our existence in the temporal world is always with the eternal in mind. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Terry Dennis)