The Best of Jewish Nigunim


Shlomo Carlebach was a master of Jewish Nigunim (melodies).



With his music he could literally move one’s soul to reach for G-d Almighty in the Heavens and on Earth. 



Thank you Eitan Katz for bringing this alive again.



I hope you can feel it as I do.



Hashem lives!

Jews, The People of Thanksgiving

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jews, The People of Thanksgiving.”

This week was Thanksgiving (חג ההודיה), but for Jews we are already called, “The People of Thanksgiving. “We are named יהודים (Yehudim) after יהודה (Yehudah), the son of Isaac and Leah because Leah said (Genesis 29:35): “הפעם אודה את יהיה.” (“This time let me thank G-d”). Also as Jews, we are not just called the People of  Thanksgiving, but we are actively supposed to say 100 blessings a day thanking G-d, so in the true sense of the word, everyday is Thanksgiving Day for the Jewish people.


Jews are the People of Thanksgiving not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. We are thankful for being the chosen people and for our redemption and return to the Promised Land of Israel; we are thankful for the life and opportunities that G-d has given to us; we are thankful in good times and G-d forbid, in the bad times; and we are thankful because, yes, ultimately everything from G-d is for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Positively Jewish New Years

Coming into the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) tonight. 


Lets everyone stay positive folks–we all have so much to be grateful for and please G-d to look forward to!


Positive is greater than negative (as the shirt says). LOL


Shana Tova!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Magical Letters Of Tishrei

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Magical Letters of Tishrei.”

It is ingenious how the letters of the Aleph and Bet and Tishrei (the dates when Rosh Hashanah occurs) is exactly equivalent to the letters in the Hebrew word for Genesis (Bereshit), which is the event of creation that we celebrate on the Jewish New Year. 

Truly, this magical genius evident in the Torah can only be from one source and that is the one Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, Himself!

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a truly magical Rosh Hashanah and one that is filled G-d’s mercy and blessings for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Go Years of Retirement

Thought this was an interesting perspective on retirement.


There are three phases:


1) Go-Go:  You retire and are eager to enjoy your newfound freedom, and you spend the time and money to really do the pursuits and travel that you always wanted. 


2) Slow-Go: After the initial adventurism and spending, you settle in some more and spend your time on quiet activities, socializing, and relaxing. 


3) No-Go: This is the wind down phase, where you spend most of your time at home and at a certain point, may need some assistance to do everyday activities. 


Obviously, the last phase is sort of depressing, but it too is a part of life.  


Like a bell-shaped curve, we are born, grow, mature, and then decline.


This is the cycle of life for every living thing. 


It takes maturity and courage to face it and to make the most out of every single moment that we are blessed with.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Excellence Vs. Mediocrity

So we all know how hard it can be to get ahead.  


The long hours, hard work, and grueling repetition to try to reach near-perfection. 


Even then, of course, we need G-d’s mercy and blessings and a measure of good luck to succeed. 


Also, by definition, not everyone can be “the best” at everything. 


I suppose the expectation for most people is that they try at least to excel at the things that they need to do or are most important to them, as well as maintain work-life balance. 


In this light, it was interesting to hear a story recently about mediocrity (and not excellence). 


When asked to step up on the job, one person responded in the negative saying:

C’s get degrees (too)!


Of course, this must have sounded pretty shocking and off-putting. 


In other words, they weren’t going for the “A” or even a “B”.  A “C” grade was fine for them–as long as they didn’t completely fail with a big “F”.


Who knows what circumstances may have led this person to settle for mediocrity–just wanting to pass.


Perhaps they had serious personal or family issues–and had good reason to be taking a step back (for a while). 


But I think there could also be more tactful ways to say it too–like explaining if there were mitigating or challenging circumstances in their life right now. 

If there really wasn’t mitigating circumstances and the person was just “slacking off” or didn’t care, one has to wonder why–are they just “milking the system” or is there something more fundamentally wrong?


C’s get degrees, but to me the real question is: Are you doing your best given your particular life circumstances?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Novel Passover Haggadah

Thought this was a pretty cool Passover Haggadah. 


Shaped like a wine bottle!


Sort of sets the stage for the four cups of wine at the Seder. 


I found this Haggadah in Israel, and I’m glad I got a few of them.  


Wishing everyone a joyous Passover and Easter holiday! 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)