Aliyah: To Go Up

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, The Aliyah Connection.

“As Jewish people yet around the globe plan for their futures, they need to consider carefully “the place that G-d has chosen” and where they and their families will be at the fateful conclusion of the Redemption and the arrival of Mashiach. Perhaps, while the road to Jerusalem requires our dedication and hard work, the choice is not that difficult as the Land of Israel flourishes and the people of Israel yet lives–Eretz and Am Israel Chai!”

Hope you enjoy. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Ochayon) 

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Monopoly Yerushalmi

I am so excited to play this edition of Monopoly Jerusalem edition. 


The properties of obviously from famous places in the Holy City of Jerusalem, such as The Kenneset, Mount Olives, Mount Herzl, Hebrew University, Montefiore Windmill, Mahane Yehuda Market, The Biblical Zoo, The Israel Museum, Tower of David, and of course, The Western Wall, and more. 


The cards are in both Hebrew and English so I can continue to improve my Hebrew language skills. 


I think this is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, which is  Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av).


This is a perfect Shabbat game for after Shul and Kiddish, and I am looking forward to the family sitting down to play Monopoly Jerusalem style. 


I want to also note that Jerusalem along with the Holy Temple (may it be rebuilt speedily in our day) is a perfect topic to be thinking about today, because this is the day on the Hebrew calendar when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in both 586 BCE by the Babylonians as well as in 70 CE by the Romans after they had laid siege to the city–the exact same day of the calendar year over 650 years apart–and so this is a day of commemoration, mourning, introspection for the Jewish people. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel To Space

Please see my new article in Times of Israel, “Israel’s Ladder To Space.”


So proud of Israel’s planning to join the Big 3 countries (U.S., Russia, and China) to land on the moon.


Amazing what even a relatively small in size and new nation like Israel can set their sights on and please G-d accomplish with G-d’s help.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Supporting Israel is Right

Please see my new article in Times of Israel called, “Dialogue with a Former Israel Supporter.”


Israel is not only the biblical and historical homeland for the Jewish people, but it is the only Jewish country in the entire world. 


Nations and terrorists have attacked, again and again, denying the United Nations declaration for the State of Israel and the modern-day geopolitical reality of its existence–and it is flourishing!


The State of Israel has successfully made peace with its neighbors Egypt and Jordan, and they seek the same with the Palestinians.


Let us hope and pray for coexistence speedily in our times. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My First Article in the TOI – The Samson Dilemma

My first article in The Times of Israel.


“The Samson Dilemma”

I was struggling with what to say.  


And then the words came pouring to me when I awoke at 4 am. 


It comes from my heart, and I am grateful to G-d for bringing me to this time. 


Hope you enjoy the article. 


Andy 


(Source Photo of Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy 70th Birthday to Israel

What a beautiful Shabbat today at Magen David Synagogue celebrating the 70th Birthday of the State of Israel. 


Prayers, blessings, song, waving flags, and a lovely Kiddish feast following services. 


Immediately after the genocidal Holocaust that exterminated six million Jews – 1 out of every 3 in the entire world – the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. 


With thriving cities, arts and culture, flourishing farming, science and innovation, Holy religious sites, a rich history everywhere, and a formidable military. 


There is so much to be proud of and to thank G-d for.


Oh G-d, we praise you in that you have returned your children to Zion as you promised from Biblical times and breathed fresh life into their dry bones. 


Only you can revive an entire people and a land.


Only you can create a blooming Garden of Eden from barren desert. 


Only you can make a strong and just a nation from one that once was carted away of crowded train cars to the death camps and crematoria 


Throughout 2,000 years of exile, we remembered your promise and we prayed for redemption, and you showered your gracious mercy on us and brought us back on wings of eagles. 


For 70 years now, nations have risen up against Israel to try to destroy it, but only you have saved it through the brave arms of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 


Praise to G-d Almighty.  Praise be to G-d in Heaven and on Earth. Praise be the creator and sustainer.  


We honor you through keeping your Holy Torah commandments and remembering that you Hashem, are our G-d and you are One. 


It is our job to live a life of integrity, to do good whatever we do and wherever we go, as your children and as a light along with America unto the other nations. 


As we sang in the Holocaust, “I believe with a full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and thou he tarries, I will never-the-less wait.”


The waiting was over 70-years ago, and we are living in the age of redemption. 


Miracles abound and the world progresses scientifically and technologically and with a spirit of doing good and justice. 


The nation of Israel lives!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Time For Everything

Being in Israel this week has reawakened the essence of my Jewish soul. 


Today, we took a long Shabbat walk–winding through the beautiful and ancient streets to reach the beach of Tel Aviv.


It was awesome seeing and hearing Hebrew everywhere–just like in the Bible/Torah.


The street names of famous people and things like Menachem Begin, Shaul HaMelech, Weizman, Ben Yehuda, Shalom Aleichem, Bar Kokhva, Ha-Nevi’im, Yona HaNavi–it all had so much historical and identifying meaning as a proud Jew and Levite servant of the L-rd. 


Already, when I awoke this morning–my brain was reciting and my voice signing from Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything.”


And I don’t know why, but I was humming it and mouthing over an over again:

“A time to love.
A time to hate.
A time for war (shuttering).
A time for peace (extended and deep longing).”


I pray to you my G-d to protect, guide, and show us–your faithful servants–the way ahead.


In my head, I understand that we do not choose the situations and challenges we face, but that they, in a very strong sense, choose us.


And we must rise to each and every occasion, even as our soul longs for a true and lasting peace. 


May G-d grant us to utterly confuse, scatter, torment, and defeat our enemies.


And may we merit a time when we will fully achieve and forever experience and dwell in love and peace, Amen. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)