A Song of Saul and David

Great song: David and Shaul from Ehud Banay’s third album, ”The Third/Hashlishi”


The song is about the “bipolar” feelings of King Saul toward David (then the next king of Israel). 


Here are the lyrics:

כולם מזמן הלכו לישון
רק שאול ער, קודר
מרים לדוד טלפון

A late-night hour

Everyone is long gone to sleep

Only Shaul is awake, cheerless

He calls David up over the phone

אולי תקפוץ אלי, יא דוד
נפשי אגם שחור
תביא איתך את הגיטרה
כי באצבעותיך אור

Maybe you should stop by, Ya David

My soul is a black lake

Bring the guitar with you

For you have light in your fingers


דוד בא מיד רגוע,
מתיישב ומכוון
את המלאכה היטב יודע
עוצם עיניים, מנגן

David comes right away and he is calm

Sit down and tunes (the guitar)

The job he well knows

Closes his eyes, he plays


עשר אצבעות לדוד
קצה כל אצבע – קרן אור
כשהוא פורט על המיתר
הזמן זורם לו לאחור

Ten fingers David has

The tip of each one – a ray of light 

When he port on the string

The time is flowing backwards

שאול מבפנים קרוע
קרבות בתוך בטנו
אוהב-שונא, ומקנא
מכור לחברו

Shaul is torn inside

Battles in his stomach he has

Love-hate, and jealous he is

Addicted to his friend

דבר מה אפל נופל
השד חוזר להשתולל
סכין נזרקת באוויר
פתאום יש בין השנים קיר

Something dark falls

The demon is back to a rage

A knife is thrown in the air

Suddenly there is a wall between the two

דוד מתחמק משאול

אבל שאול לא מוותר
דוד שוכח וסולח
כששאול מתקשר

David is avoiding Shaul

But Shaul is not giving up

David forget and forgives

When Shaul call up

בוא שוב לנגן לי דוד
קח אותי לכוכבים
בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים

Come again to play to me David

Take me to the stars

Come again to play tonight

A song of longing


בוא שוב לנגן הלילה…

Come again and play tonight..

בוא שוב לנגן הלילה
שיר געגועים…

Come again and play tonight..

A song of longing..

(Kudos to my Ulpan teacher, Rivka D. for sending me the video and to Izchak, my wonderful son-in-law, for providing the Hebrew/English lyrics)

Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, “Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch.”

The Rabbi asked why did Hashem who is omnipotent even need to create us? And he answered because in G-d being the ultimate good, He “had to create us”—this in essence being the ultimate expression of good by sharing that goodness with us to learn and be good as well. In short, what could be a greater good than extending that opportunity to be be good to others.


Like our forefather, my Hebrew name is Avraham, and for me personally, this has been a critical life lesson: learning to see challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and consistently be a person that tries to do what is right even when it is hard or the lines seem to be grey. In the end, I believe that G-d put us in this world in order for us to choose good over evil and demonstrate kindness to others. With the Torah as our blueprint, and Avraham, our forefather, as our role model, we must apply the great teachings of the Torah and always strive to act as a proper mensch!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Is Occupying Whom?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Who Is Occupying Whom?

  • Palestine was never a state, nor one ever administered by Palestinians.
  • Israel is not occupying any foreign sovereign’s land, so it cannot legally be considered an occupier.
  • There was never any partition plan accepted by the Arabs or implemented, so Israel is not occupying anything.
  • It is Israel that has continuously opened itself to the Arabs as citizens and settlers, while the Arab countries have rejected their own Arab brethren and exiled their Jews.

I hope you read this article and understand the lies and propaganda that is being spread about “the occupation.”

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from Wikimedia Commons)

Going Back To Ulpan

So yesterday, I started Ulpan classes to improve my Hebrew language skills (currently, I’m not very skillful with it).


It was 2.5 hours and it was such a joy for me and my wife and one of my daughter to have the wonderful opportunity to participate in this. 


It wasn’t like in Yeshiva where we focused on learning the Biblical and prayer book Hebrew, and on Aramaic from the Talmud, but was more focused on modern-day conversational Hebrew. 


I loved learning and speaking the words, for example to describe a large cosmopolitan city like Tel Aviv. 


We also listened to recordings of others speaking, read the text, and learned verbs. 


It reminded me of my mom, who also used to love to take Ulpan, and carried around her notebook with the Hebrew words and their translation and the many descriptive verbs–she was so happy learning and practicing. 


Given my horrible language skills, it was funny for me that I was asked if I wanted to join the advanced class…ah, no!  (or at least not yet…)


While so many languages (and cultures) have died over the ages, Hebrew and the modern State of Israel is a complete revival–it’s truly miraculous!


There were people in the class from Asia, South America, and all over the world!


And from all the people there, I felt a tremendous love not only for the language, but for the land of Israel, and the Jewish people. 


I wish like this beautiful language we all embraced, everyone could love and not hate us anymore!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Birthday Of Trees

Today is the holiday of Tu Bishvat.


That is the Birthday for (fruit) Trees!


It’s when Jewish people celebrate and plant trees around the world and especially in the Holy Land. 


Last night, we celebrated with Chabad Israeli Center of Rockville where they had not only of the “7 Fruits” of Israel (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates), but they also had some very nice wine and cheese, delicious bourekas, and pastries. 


We learned about the biblical meaning of the “7 Species of Fruits” and the flourishing of the land of Israel, celebrated with music and song, and played a trivia game with our smartphones using a cool new gaming and learning application, called Kahoot


A special thank you to Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Beitsh and to Samy Ymar for sponsoring the event.


Overall, a beautiful evening to meet new people and celebrate a very happy birthday to the beautiful trees and mother nature that G-d has so benevolently bestowed on us. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Bringing Down The House

I love this silver sculpture of Samson.


And one of my favorite stories and Biblical characters. 


Samson was dedicated to G-d from birth and was an enormous warrior. 


Even when he was betrayed, blinded, and bound, he maintained his ultimate faith in G-d.


He prayed that he be given the strength one more time to bring justice to G-d’s enemies. 


And that’s when he pushed against the pillars and brought the house down on them.


On one hand, a tragic figure that trusted and was fooled by the beautiful Delilah, but a completely heroic man of great integrity, who believed in G-d and in vanquishing his enemies.


Look to the Heavens for your strength and G-d can grant you the ultimate strength to achieve your mission in life and even in death. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)