Roosters or Homelessness?

So I had to drive into downtown Washington D.C. 


Along the way, I saw this colorful artistic rooster. 


I appreciate this quick pick-me-up from this. 


Yet, all around the streets were homeless people. 


One was literally collapsed on a narrow island between the opposing lanes of traffic.


Some horrible-looking food, rags of clothes, and two bottles of liquor lay next to him and one of his arm hang almost into the moving traffic. 


This was just one of many that I saw in abject poverty and desperation. 


So I really feel conflicted looking at this colorful rooster. 


What good is it when the people are homeless, sick, and starving? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 


But they are not all the same.


It’s NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it’s what is inside people’s hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Family and Friends

So I heard this interesting saying yesterday, which goes like this:

Better is a neighbor that is near than a brother that is far off.


I looked it up and saw that it is actually from Proverbs 27:10.


Thinking about it a little, I understand that obviously people that are close by can more easily be there and help one another than someone else who is far away. 


At the same time, I always learned growing up that:

Blood is thicker than water.

Family is family, and friends are friends.  Family is forever, but friends can come and go. 


Yet you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. 


There are some friends that go back decades to childhood and they are almost like family. 


Also, there are sometimes family that are disassociated or even “black sheep” of the family. 


I guess in the end what’s most important is how we feel about each other, treat each other, and are there for each other.  


Whatever the designation–family or friends–we need each other.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s In Charge Here?

This was a funny photo…


Sign around the ape says:

Laugh now, but one day, we’ll be in charge


I guess you never know who will be in charge. 

  • Be nice to everyone. 
  • Never burn bridges.


All of life is a circle–and everything and everybody goes around and around.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Pray For The Day

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “I Pray For The Day.”


While I am a staunch supporter for the security of Israel, I pray for the day (a miracle) when Jews and Arabs can be brothers again–shoulder to shoulder–that embrace and help each other, rather than enemies “at each others’ throats.”


In my mind and heart, there has got to come a time when the hatred and violence ends, and when instead peace can and will prevail. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rocking Mimouna @Magen David Synagogue

I learnt last night that Mimouna comes from the word “Emunah” which means faith. 


The Mimouna is the celebration at the end of Passover. 


It is a custom from the Jews who lived in Morocco who celebrated hand-in-hand with their Arab neighbors in peace and harmony


this celebration of faith, friendship, and peace that has now become standard in Jewish communities far and wide. 


In the light of the anti-Semitic instances yesterday with the caricature in the garbage New York Times and the Shooting at the Chabad synagogue in San Diego (exactly 6 months after the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue), I say:


Let us have faith in the one true G-d that he will redeem his loving people of all religions and utterly punish the haters and anti-Semites for the evil they are. 


(Source Video and Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.”

Let’s just say it wasn’t easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it’s maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate.

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari’a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change — I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the “old” historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways.

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it’s all the women’s fault).

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from.

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people.

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)