East Meets West In The Holy Land

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Israel, Where East Meets West

The modern State of Israel is truly the embodiment of this oneness and this diversity. The Jewish Nation-State Law embodies this concept where Israel is defined as the national homeland for the Jewish People, yet it is democratic, open and welcoming to everyone. For Jewish people, there are Ashkenazi Jews and there are Sephardi Jews. And at the same time, there are people of faith, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and others from all over the globe.

Hope you enjoy.   

(Photo credit: Andy Blumenthal)

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Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa

Thought this was a beautiful wall hanging in a local restaurant here. 


Three golden Hamsas!


Hamsa is symbolic for the protective hand of G-d. 


Three is a number for “chizuk”  (strengthening) that signifies something is firmly established. 


The three Hamsas together is a potent representation for G-d’s protection, mazel (good fortune), happiness, health, prosperity, and peace. 


Oh G-d, we pray that you show us your endless divine mercy and bless us with all that is for the good. 


Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pet Rock 2018

So when I saw this colored rock last evening, it made me think two things:


One, cool idea, looks nice and fun to make.


Two, it reminded me of the Pet Rocks in the 1970s that made millions (this one was hippie even though those back then weren’t actually even colored).


A business guy came up with the idea to sell smooth rocks from Mexico beach and market them as pets.


Yeah, they are so lovable and easy to care for!


It was one of the great branding and marketing events of the 20th century.


Who would think people would actually spend money on a plain dumb rock that you could basically pick up off the street?


But incredibly, putting the rock in a box with holes (so the rock could breath) and sitting it on a little stack of hay with an joke of instruction book for caring for your rock, SOLD. 


And in fact, over 1,500,000 rocks were sold at a pop of $4 each.


The guy became a millionaire and got rid of a truckload of worthless rocks.


Yes, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure!”


But surely this was getting a little ridiculous.


Hey, I’ll give you a nickle for the shinny painted rock in the photo here. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cool Car DC

Who would think you’d find a car like this in Washington, D.C.?


Definitely a standout, you think. 


Although it seems like the people crossing the street don’t even notice it.


Ah, wake up people!


Anyway, where do you park a car like that?


It’s nice to look at, but between people wanting to steal it or deface it, I think it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. 


There are enough loonies out there…why give them a reason. 


Then again, if you tether yourself to it, maybe it’s good for a joy ride around the Capital especially before the new tariffs kick in.  😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

That Look On Their Face

So I love that look on people’s face when I say something that just startles them or takes them back a little. 


The other day when I got a haircut, the barber lady was talking to me (BTW, she’s a very nice person).


At one point, she says something about my hair being a little different on each side. 


So I blurt out something like:


“Well, that’s because my brains are pushing it out!”


I got the funniest look from her…yes, it was priceless.


First, she’s like right, of course, your brains are pushing out your hair!


Then, she looks at me, and I start smirking, and she gives me the big eyes and raised eyebrows, like a combination of that’s funny and now don’t be such a wise guy. 


Then, we both started laughing. 


I love that. 


I love doing that with people. 


Being alive. 


Getting a reaction. 


Making them wonder for a second. 


Getting them to smile and laugh. 


Maybe my brains are pushing my hair out!  😉


(Source Art: Sean M., 8th Grade Montgomery County and Photo by Andy Blumenthal)

Square Trees

So I never saw square trees until I visited Palm Beach, Florida. 


What’s the saying:

“It’s hip to be square!”

I definitely had to take a doubletake when I saw these. 


Wherever we were going, I was gonna stop and get a photo of this. 


These trees are almost as if they are from another planet. 


What planet would have square trees? 


Hope you enjoy it. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Helmet Head

So happy Friday funday. 


We work hard during the week, right.


Today in the office, we replaced some old metal clunker garbage cans with some new clean plastic ones. 


The old ones, every time you threw a bottle or anything hard out, it made a crazy loud banging noise disrupting everyone. 


I started to joke with my colleagues that the dirty, heavy old cans were more useful as a helmet in case of emergency evacuation of something. 


So today the old metal junk cans got a happy face helmet head and a prestigious place next to the office plants.


Everyone had a good hearty laugh!


Honestly, it’s wonderful to be incredibly productive and accomplish a lot for the people, the mission, and all the stakeholders, and at the same time know how to have some fun and make people happy. 


Good for morale and good for teamwork!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)