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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Flower Petals In Water

Just wanted to share these absolutely beautiful flower petals floating on the water. 


G-d’s creations are so wondrous and marvelous.


Frankly, I find it hard to comprehend how He made everything so gorgeous. 


There are plenty of challenges for us in this world to keep us learning and growing. 


But truly, I love that there is some Garden of Eden paradise in this world too. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

Beautiful Hiking @Harpers Ferry

Hiking the Appalachian Trail, oh so glorious. 

The only photo not shown is the large snake we ran into on the rocks on the side of the path.


My wife screamed:


“S-n-a-k-e!”


And we were running for the hills in this direction and that.


We had no idea where she was pointing to.


It was pretty hilarious. 

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Tisha B’Av @Kotel – Ushering In The Redemption

 

 

 

Last night, as Tisha B’Av (the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples in Jerusalem) was nearing conclusion, we watched these beautiful videos of:

1) The singing of Ani Ma’Amin at the Kotel yesterday in 2018. 
2) An amazing NCSY kumzitz, including at the beginning, the singing of Kol Berama Nishma/Rachel Mivakah at the Kotel a few years ago in 2015.

“A voice is heard in the Heavens, lamentati​on, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children;​ she refuseth to be comforted​ for her children,​ because they are not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded,​ saith the LORD; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord; and thy children shall return to their own border. “


Both are so beautiful, and we imagined G-d looking down from the Heavens and being moved to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and bring his amazing presence closer to us once again on Earth. 


Oh let it be!  😉

Rain From Heaven

Took this photo yesterday in the courtyard during a thunderstorm.


It is the first time that I was actually able to see the rain almost in a slow motion.


They weren’t drops, but literally streaks of water zipping down from the sky.


The feeling was so pure and refreshing to clean the air and the ground. 


To replenish our reservoirs, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 


To nourish the fruit of the Earth and make it grow. 


We use up and make dirty, but G-d replenishes and makes clean! 😉


(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Every Time I Go Mexico

Beautiful guitar band @Lake Needwood today.


First, we went for a nice kayak boat ride around the lake.


Then I couldn’t help stopping and listening to this relaxing and peaceful music. 


These guys were great–I’d pay to listen to them. 


Just a bunch of friends getting together to play beautiful music.


This is life as it should be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)