Face The Fear

Face The Fear.jpeg

I have to give my wife credit. 


She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 


Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.


At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 


As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn’t get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 


Oh shit, what do I do now?


Turn this way..no good. 


Turn that way…no good.


Retreat…not an option.


So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:

“Just look away.”

But I can’t look away…I can’t ignore a problem…my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 


I go back to my wife, and she says to me:

“Face the fear, and walk through it.”

And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 


She was right–there is no use being fearful or worrying–I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 


That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 


Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and “walk through it!” 


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it’s just a test. 


And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 


It’s a test, but I can pass it with G-d’s help, and everything will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Did You Know You’re A Sinner

sin-jpeg

So walking down the street here yesterday, I ran into a sign and was handed a postcard, declaring:

“Sin Awareness Day”


Then I was confronted by a gentleman (or not so gentle) who proceeded to explain to me that I–and everyone else–are sinners!


Innocently, I ask, “Well, what have I done?”


The missionary answers with a stern face, “I’m sure you have lied!”


I said, “I don’t think so,” but then to play alone, I smirked and said, “Well what if I did?”


He answers and says, “You’ll need to repent!”


Thinking that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is right around the corner in a couple of weeks, I thought to myself, hey that’s right in line with where I’m going anyway…


The guy continues–of course–to try to enlist me to his “savior” that he believes can save us from all our sins. 


I challenged and said, “Well, how about Moses?”


He roars back, “Moses?!!!” and starts railing on about “convert, convert, convert.” 


Uh no, thank you, I am fine with the faith of my father, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers, etc. 


And I appreciate if we can avoid the forcible conversion parts of yesteryear from various empires, caliphates, crusades, and inquisitions, with no shortage of associated torture, executions, and expulsions. 


Then breaking this historical context and glancing at the back of the postcard that he handed out, I did like this one thing that it said:

“Sin is not primarily a measure of how bad you are, but a measure of how good you are not.”


Heck, why be negative about ourselves (we are not inherently bad); instead see that we not living up to our potential and try, always, to do better. 


In that I am definitely a believer!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Hope For The Future

Tech Expert In Training.jpeg

Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn’t seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all…she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say It And They Believe It

Anti-Terror Device

This was pretty funny in Starbucks. 

This guy comes in with a briefcase and sets in down on the table. 

He opens it up and proceeds to take out an electronic device–turns out it’s his laptop computer. 

But on the briefcase, there is a label that says:

POWERFUL ANTI-TERROR DEVICE INSIDE.”

So everyone is looking like there really is something to this.

You can almost tangibly feel them wondering what the heck type of device is this that he is carrying…it must pack a real punch!

Then one person near me, bends over sideways, and whispers in my ear…”Does he really have a powerful anti-terror device inside?”

Like I look as if I’m in the know on these things!!! 

I lean back over in the other direction to the other person and whisper back, “No, I’m pretty sure that it’s just a gag…the guy must be looking for some serious attention.”

And all of sudden, it’s as if all the heads around me start to nod, like I stated some amazing insight here or perhaps that they somehow knew it all along. 

Anyway, it’s incredible what people will believe…if you just state it (in an official way, of course) on your briefcase, a badge, on your forehead or wherever, it’s got to be true, because we are so gullible and willing or wanting to believe. 

Yes, I believe! I believe!  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Where Do You Find G-d?

Where Do You Find G-d?

My dad told me this joke over the weekend.

It’s about the Rabbi who asked the little boy in school…

“WHERE do you find G-d?”

Raising his voice again…

“Where do you find G-D?”

Stretching out his arms to the heavens….

“Where do YOU find G-d?”

The boy rushes outside, nearly in tears, and finds his little brother and says:

“The Rabbi thinks we stole G-d.”

I’m not sure if the joke itself is really funny or just the way my dad tells it.

But I can almost see that child panicking and thinking he was being accused of something terrible.

Anyway, as we all know G-d is everywhere and most importantly inside all of us.

That’s the spark that burns–our soul from above.

(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution to Kigaliwire)

Dastardly Bastards

Dastardly Bastards

I sit here this morning filled with indignation for the victims of a series of brutal monsters who have committed horrific acts against children (and adults).

Last week we had the horrible terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon which left 3 dead (including an innocent 8-year old boy), almost two hundred wounded, and13 people who lost limbs (including leg amputations below the knee of a husband and wife recently married just last August ).

Then yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, two more news events about:

1) The raping of a 5-year old girl (YES, five) in India–4 months after the gang rape on the bus that left a young women tortured and dead. This 5-year old was beaten and raped and found screaming for help and in pain with devices left inside her! The suspect a 30-something man is left on the run.

2) The trial of a late-term abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, charged among other things with murdering 7 infants who SURVIVED (initially) abortions he performed. This doctor or staff is said to routinely “gouge the infant’s neck with scissors to sever the spinal cord” (a method he called “snipping”). His offices were a horror lab with “blood on the floor,” urine in the air, and “fetal remains haphazardly stored throughout the clinic–in bags, milk jugs, orange-juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers.” — This is one sick person!!

While there are many people who are good, what loose nut or evil inclination drives others to terrible inhumane acts is a question that haunts us throughout the ages.

I remember learning in Jewish day school that some people act worse than animals, because while a wild animal kills for food or to protect themselves, people kill and torture for the sake of it.

Leon Kass in the article on Gosnell points out from his readings that “as science [and technology] advances, morals don’t necessarily improve; [and moreover] that the opposite might well be the case” as people’s faith in science above all else and belief in materialism as a cure of all ills replaces belief in G-d and the true mission of our souls in life.

What punishment can these people get that will really fit their crimes–when the children are left snipped, beaten, raped, and dead?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)