Love For Every Reason

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So in synagogue, there was a bat-mitzvah today.


And the 12-year old girl spoke to the congregation. 


She quoted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and said:

“If you can hate for no reason, 

then why not love for no reason.”

This seemed like a very smart idea to me–we have a choice between hate and love, so why not choose love!


Later at the luncheon after services, I sat and made a new friend with this very nice person who happened to be an Evangelical Christian preacher. 


I asked about his faith and learned more about the Evangelical belief in the strict words of the Old Testament/Torah. 


This wonderful man had taught in a Jewish school in South America, been to the Holy Land, was friends with our Rabbi, and spoke so highly of the Jewish People, Israel, and his faith in G-d. 


I asked about the differences from his perspective between the different sects of Christianity, and he told me a bit of the history of the movements.


But what was also really interesting was that in contrast to the Evangelical’s strong support for Israel, he explained that there still to this day was some anti-Semitic remnants in the Catholic Church, even though the Pope, himself, has called it “wrong and unjust”


I asked why some still then blame the Jews for the murder of Jesus (who was Jewish himself), when it was the Romans that actually tortured and killed him and also, why the historical animus to the Jews if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and this was his divine mission?


He explained that it was wrong and unfair, and that it was misguided scapegoat thinking that “someone had to take the blame.”


He then went on to tell me about this great shirt that he liked that had a chart of all the various nation empires of the world that had risen against the Jewish people (from the Egyptians to the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Nazi’s) and next to each one it said, GONE!  And then it said, Iran with a TBD–Yep! 


And even Venezuela’s, hateful Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said, “I want to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts, damn you State of Israel,” and then by 2013 he was dead from stomach (gut) cancer!


So from their day until ours, the One G-d of Hosts continues to looks after Israel and manages the destiny of man–and this is evident throughout the Bible and the prophecies. 


I was so impressed how he was emphatic about the strong Judeo-Christian shared values, beliefs, and faith and that this was the true future for Christianity.


It was understood from the conversation that in all religions, we share more in love of G-d and of each other, and in doing good then in hate, bias, bigotry, and discrimination…and together, we can make it a better world. 


Together, love can conquer. 😉


(Source Photo: Twitter)

The UNITED States of America

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Continuing the theme of unity…

I really liked this amazing American flag.

Instead of stars, it has the abbreviations for all 50 states.

Imagine what we can accomplish if we all learn to love each other and band together again.

And know for sure what will happen it this hate and infighting continues.

Unfortunately, there seems to be selfish forces of corruption and evil at play.

Put the country first.

By all means disagree and constructively criticize.

Influence things for the good.

Work together and solve problems.

And let’s try to be the UNITED States once again!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Settle Down or Trade Up

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So I always hear this question from people…

 

Should I be happy with what I have or should I seek out something better?

It’s the age old question of whether to settle down or trade up.


When it comes to any decision in life…choosing a school, degree, career, place to live, an investment decision, or even your spouse and life partner–how do you know when you are making the right decision?


Maybe you like or love what’s in front of your eyes, but you still don’t know 100% if there’s something better out there for you.


Every choice means you are settling in some way, because let’s face it, nothing is perfect in life!

When is good, good enough for you?


There are trade-offs with every decision.


And it’s a matter of what YOU can live with!


A guy may say, “I like this girl, but I’m not sure whether she’s the one for me or that I really want to settle down with long-term.”


Someone else says, “I’m studying to be an accountant, but you know I really always liked psychology.”


And yet a third person says, “I like working at company ABC, but maybe I can learn something new or do better financially for myself and family if I go somewhere else.”


So when do you settle down and when do you try to trade-up?


The dilemma is fateful because you don’t want to lose what you have, but you also don’t want to potentially miss out on something even better for you.


Listen, we’re not prophets!


No one knows whether your investment in something is going to pay off in spades or land you flat on your butt. 


All you can do is try to weight the pros and cons of every decision. 


If you treat life like a roulette game in Las  Vegas, the one thing that is pretty sure is that at some point, you will lose it all to the house. 


So choose wisely and make sure you are passionate about your choice and that can live with it over time. 


Know that you made the best decision you could by looking at it from all angles. 


And most important of all, be grateful for everything you have–these are blessings from the Almighty Above and you need to have faith that He/She is guiding and helping you all along the way. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Kiss One Another Day

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So with all the divisiveness and hate in this country (and the world) lately…


I thought we need a day to celebrate, accept, and love each other.


Let’s call it: 

National Kiss Day!


Liberals and Democrats – give each other a kiss.


Christians, Jews, and Muslims – give each other a kiss. 


Men and women – give each other a kiss. 


Straight and LGBTQ – give each other a kiss.


Old, middle age, and young – give each other a kiss. 


White, black, yellow, and brown – give each other a kiss. 


Races and nationalities of all kinds – give each other a kiss.


Those with and without illnesses and disabilities – give each other a kiss. 


We are all G-d’s children, so it’s time to stop the crazy hate and fighting.


Love each other, work together to advance the world for everyone, and give each other a big, fat, heartfelt kiss – and maybe we can make the day into a lifetime!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Communicate And Do Good In This World

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This is a really good quote by Jay Danzie:

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.”


I heard someone else say it another way:

“The only way to read your audience is with eye contact and smiles.”


Basically, it comes down to leaving people with a positive feeling through your interactions, and influencing others for the good. 


We have one chance to make a first impression–so yes, wow people with your smile, personality, integrity, and inspire them to do and speak good. 


If we all just say or do just one more good thing everyday, imagine that multiplied by 7.5 billion people. 


Now, multiply that by 365 days a years and you have 2.7 trillion more good things said and done in just a single year.


Imagine our Heavenly Father looking down at us with so much good in our souls’ bank.


We can all be an influence for good–just think about it and go out and do it! 😉


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

Seeing Your Life Flash B4 Your Eyes

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So in near death experiences, it is common to see your life flash before your eyes. 


Researchers believe that what you see isn’t necessarily in chronological order, rather there is no time or space, and people report that “it all happened at once.”


Additionally, people feel the experiences and pain from others’ points of view. 


It’s like a melding of time and space in a single continuum. 


This so-called life review experience (LRE) is eye-opening. 


It’s almost like a G-d’s eye view of your life in the world. 


In the worst case scenario, what we see at the end is what we failed to see during life–how far wrong we went and how much we hurt others. 


If we wait until the end to open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us all along, then frankly, it’s too late to do anything positive about it. 


Maybe you have to come back (reincarnated) for another try to do things better and make things right. 


Hopefully, you learned something from this go around so that you are building incrementally and purifying your heart and your soul. 


If though life experience, it’s ups and downs, and pains and suffering, you still learn nothing…then what you see in the end is your own blindness to the eternal lessons of the omniscient creator–all in 20-20 extra clear hindsight. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wonderful Thank You

This is one of the most beautiful thank you songs that I have ever heard.


This was played for a departing leader with beautiful photos of all the good and caring work that they did over many years.


The passion, commitment, and tenacity were evident through out, and even though I hadn’t known this person for long, it brought tears to my ears.


What certain people can accomplish with their lives–helping others, making a better world. 


What we can accomplish through kindness, caring, selflessness, generosity, and tenderness. 


It’s the definition of inspirational–that we can live a life where the “thank you” is really and totally besides the whole point. 


Live life and live it well! 😉

Getting Valuable Performance Feedback

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So here are three simple questions to ask your boss that can help you get valuable performance feedback and advance yourself and your career:


1) What am I doing that you want me to keep doing?


2) What am I doing that you want to me quit doing?


3) What am I not doing that you’d like me to start doing? 


There you have it in a nutshell–you can partner with your boss to improve yourself and get ahead. 


Just three easy questions gets you a lot of good information. 

 

The hardest part is getting up the nerve to ask and then being willing to really listen to what’s said.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Our Lives Matter

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I thought this saying by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was very profound. 

“The day you were born is the day G-d decided that the world could not exist without you.”

We all need to know that our lives have a purpose and meaning.

…that it’s not all in vain that we live and toil.

There are many such notions tied to this:

– Jewish blood is not cheap.

– Black lives matter and Blue lives matter.

But the question is why do our lives matter? 

Kurt Vonnegut has an interesting piece on this:

“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness. And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely. “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God. “Certainly,” said man. “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God. And He went away.”  

So the answer is that we bring purpose to life. 


In what we learn, and do, and how we grow…this is our purpose. 


For each of us, it’s different.


G-d created us in “His cosmic loneliness” to think on this and make meaning from the lives that he so graciously granted to us. 


Now we must go and do something positive with it.


Because G-d decided the day you were born that “the world could not exist without you.” 😉


(Source Photo: Forwarded to me by Michelle Blumenthal)

Let’s Ask The Messiah

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Tomorrow is a special day indeed. 


It is both Chanukah and Christmas.


Rabbi Michael Gottlieb mentions a really interesting point in the Wall Street Journal about the connection between Jews and Christians as brothers and sisters. 


Reflecting on the thoughts of philosopher, Martin Buber:


The key difference between Jews and Christians is whether Jesus was the messiah. 

“Christians believe he was here and they are awaiting his return. 

Jews believe that the messiah hasn’t yet come. 

His suggestion: let’s all pray for the messiah–Christians and Jews alike.  

When he arrives, we’ll ask if he’s been here before.”

With the messiah’s arrival, we can all hope to achieve “personal and universal redemption”–to be kinder, humbler, and more human[e]”


We all have an underlying need to believe in a “superhero”–with G-dly powers that can save us from ourselves and from each other, as well as from disease, disaster, and destruction. 


If G-d can speedily send us the messiah to help us with all of this, together Jews and Christians and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and everyone can band together to celebrate and welcome G-d’s love and redemption of all his children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)