Israel 2020: Day 3

Went to the Holy city of the Kabbalists today, Sefad.


Saw the beautiful 15th century Abuhav Synagogue, the Candle Factory, the artist colony, and the of course, the holy graves of the Tzadikim to pray.


It was a marvelously spiritually uplifting experience (as well as being up high in the mountains) and is an overall beautiful and unique city of ancient winding alleys and treasures at every turn. 


So grateful to have had this opportunity to visit there, thank you Hashem!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

An 80-Year-Old’s Life Philosophy

So today an 80-year-old Algerian man sat our table for the Kiddush lunch after synagogue services. 


And he talked quite a bit about his life philosophy and told me I was a good listener. 🙂


1) TRUE LOVE IS LIKE AN ORANGE:

A man and women that are meant to be together are like two sides of an orange.  With his hands, he showed us putting the two sides together, twisting, and he goes, “You see it just clicks!”


2) WHEN LOVE IS NOT TRUE ITS LIKE TWO BIRDS IN A CAGE:

When a man and woman are not soulmates, maybe they just are meant to be together for a time to have children or make a home temporarily. But then, the birds need to leave the cage, and be free!


3) BURIED TOGETHER:

“When people are soulmates, they are buried together, next to each other. Otherwise, one is buried in Greece and the other in Hawaii, and it makes no difference because they are going their own ways in Heaven.”


4) 80 HERE AND 20 HERE

He pointed to his belly and said, “I’m 80 here.” And then pointed to his groin area, and said, “But I’m 20 here!”


5) WOMEN ONLY UNDER 40:

While he is 80, he claims to be robust in the bedroom, and “will never be with a woman over 40…not a day over!”  He said, “It’s like an old Cadillac!” Moreover, he said, if a woman is “not perfect” and has a scar like from having her appendix out, “forget it!”


6) WRITING, PLAYING GUITAR, AND DANCING:

He said, “I like to write, play guitar and dance.” And with his arms, he makes some swoops like he is on the dance floor having a good time. 


7) PEOPLE ARE LIKE CANDLES:

People are like candles.  The body is like the wax that burns down, but the soul is the flame that always rises up.  In the end, the soul ascends to heaven just like the flame. 


8) INFINITELY STUPID:

He pointed to the yarmulke on top of his head and said:  “You know what that means?  This means that there is no limit to how stupid some people can be!”  


8) YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK:

I asked what he did for a living, and he said “Real estate, Jewelry, and even fashion salons.”  I said, “Wow, you’re very fortunate!”  He said, “No, in life, you make your own luck!”


10) RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT:

“You respect me, and I respect you. But frankly, I don’t care if you respect me or not. You can do what you want, and so will I!” I said, “Ok, see you next week and we’ll talk again.”  He said, “Maybe I will or maybe I won’t talk to you ever again.”


Like his philosophy or not, I never saw an 80-year-old with so much energy, life, and personality. Honestly, there are a lot of people half his age, who act more dead than alive. It was incredible to see this ageless person and hear what that’s like. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal 

The Traveling Chassidim

We went to Havdalah with the Traveling Chassidim at Aish HaTorah in Rockville. 


It was so wonderful and spiritually uplifting. 


At around mark 11:00, I get to wear the shtreimel hat and I get to drop the shtreimel hat (that was funny)!


These Chassidim from Monsey and Brooklyn were so wonderful. 


They leave their communities and homes to come out for Shabbat to other Jewish communities around the country and do beautiful outreach. 


So giving, loving, and caring with their whole families. 


The music, song, and joy they bring are beyond words. 


The Traveling Chassidim are wonderful and they make a terrific Havdalah at the end of the Shabbat. 😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Candle Holders with Gorgeous Flowers

Shabbat Candles.jpeg

These are our new Shabbat candlestick holders. 


So colorful, and full of nature and life, and it makes me happy. 


I just wanted to give a callout to Mira (Pinki) Krispil from Ashdod, Israel who makes this beautiful artwork. 


Her expertise is in using polymer clay and glass and making it very special. 


You can find her Mira’s wonderful work on Etsy.


Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

Lag B’Omer Hillula @ Magen David

RabbiSamyRabbi Shimon nar YochaiRabbi Meir Bal HanessCandlesUs

Beautiful praying, learning Torah, fundraising, and evening celebration at Magen David Sephardic Synagogue.

Lag B’Omer 2016

Thank you to the Rabbi, Samy, and all our friends for a wonderful evening. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Amazing Chanukah Photo

Chanukah On the back of the photo is written Chanukah 5692 Judea dies says the banner Judea will live forever responds the lights.jpeg

A colleague at work showed me this photo: front and back. 


In it, the Chanukah candles in the window defy the evil Nazi banner in front of their headquarters in Germany and foretelling of the impending Jewish genocide and world war.


On the back on the photo is written:


“Chanukah 5692 [1931]. Judea dies says the banner. Judea will live forever responds the lights.”


As we are once again living in a time of brutal terrorist violence and a moral black hole in civilization, we must again turn to Hashem and the Menorah to light up the darkness of our times. 


May G-d have mercy on His people and bless them in peace. 😉

Hippie Bus Menorah

Hippie Bus Menorah
I took this photo today of a Menorah made on the top of a VW Bus. 



Inside, the bus still had the seats, and outside it had these cute Hippie flower pedals. 



It was unique, fun, colorful, nostalgic and it rolls. 



Plus you can fulfill the commandment (mitzvah) of lighting candles at Chanukah time. 



What a novel piece of Judaica–love it! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)