On The First Night Of Chanukah

Please see my article in The Times of Israel called, “The Lesson of the Candy Lane Menorah.”

It was a beautiful ushering in the first night of Chanukah by Chabad of Bethesda, Maryland. The “candy” menorah that they were going to use was somehow destroyed, but Chabad came with a spare–they are terrific…even when things go wrong, miracles can happen, but we have to be prepared like Chabad was tonight.

Happy First Night of Chanukah to everyone! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Honey Chicken Delicious

Just wanted to share this amazing honey chicken. 


Yes, I know you can’t eat it, but you can imagine what it tastes like.


Had this at L’Chaim Asian Cuisine and Steak House in Hollywood, Florida. 


Absolutely to die for!


That was a lot of honey over the dark crispy chicken. 


It’s been a few months and I still haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. 


That is quite a recommendation I would say. 


See you there! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Walmart Ain’t Got Nothing On The Shuk

The Shuk (Marketplace) in Jerusalem is one of the most exciting and affordable shopping experiences. 


Vendor after vendor.


Row after row. 


Items stocked high for the taking and eating.  


From the most delicious foods to Judaica items.


Fresh-baked breads and gooey chocolatey pastries. 


Halvah and baklava!


Fruits and vegetables.


Spices, olives, figs, and dates.


Fish and meat.


Nuts, cheeses, and wines.


Candy, coffee, and slushes.


Hamburgers and falafel. 


Virtually endless. 


Dizzying in a good way from all the people and products.


Like the old times, but anew.


So much life and you never know what you’ll find. 


It’s exciting in a way that big box Walmart will never be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Games People Play

Games.jpeg

The title sounds ominous, but I mean it differently.


People like to play games–the type you have fun at.  


We learn to play when we are kids. 


We get the attention of our parents and friends–and we have fun just being together, acting silly or even competing with each other. 


Whether it’s over a game of Life, Monopoly, Risk, or Connect Four, or even these days going online with a game of Minecraft or Crush.


Sports is another type of game–great to play and others like to watch and cheer for their favorite teams or athletes. 


This week at work, someone said to come to his meeting because:

“…everyone would have fun.”


Have you ever heard that at work–a fun meeting or for that matter anything being fun in an office setting?


The guy is a genius–people actually showed up in droves at the meeting. 


They had to choose between various meetings going on at that time–and low and behold, people chose this one that was going to be fun!


In the meeting, there was a big bowl of candy and chocolate in the center of the conference table.


And the mood was relaxed as we got down to some business. 


While we did the business, people felt free to be a little silly and laugh with each other too.


The tone had been set for some fun.


The person who hosted the meeting explained that he wanted people to have a good time coming to the meeting (and to work).


He called it “gamification.”


The idea is why not make things into a type of game and have some fun with it instead of everything being so stuck up and nasty all the time. 


Listen, it was still a meeting and work had to get done, but it was nice to see a different lighter perspective put on it. 


People want to enjoy what they do–whether it’s time with their family, friends, or why not even their work.


If we can make more things in life into a game of sorts and put “fun” into the equation of what we do–people smile, laugh, and let down their guards a little. 


Why shouldn’t adult play games and have fun too? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Parenting@CVS

Baby In Basket
This photo was taken in CVS.



The baby looks like it’s trying to escape from the red shopping basket, but presumably the mother at the cashier is going…



“And I’ll take one baby with the bottle of milk and Chiclets, thank you!”  



Hey look at all that candy kid…this is better than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!



(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Even Tolerance Has Limits

Tolerance

This torn down sign in Washington, D.C. caught my eye.

 

It’s about ending bullying and teaching tolerance.

 

This poster specifically has to do with LGBT, but the universal message of acceptance is more broad.

 

While each of us has our own beliefs, we should allow others to have theirs as well.

 

My father used to tell me basically (that within G-d’s law), “You can do whatever you want in life as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.”

 

However, I am reminded this week that not everyone lives by the same common sense and decency.

 

I read in the Jerusalem Post about Palestinian Media Watch posting a Hamas video yesterday threatening “stabbing attacks [in Israel] everywhere…[and] suicide attacks on every bus, cafe, and street.”

 

Moreover, Arutz Sheva tells how a female Egyptian lawyer “recommended that Arab men begin sexually harassing Jewish women” as a mean of fighting Israel.

 

Then watching the news and seeing Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from Gaza shooting missiles and intentionally aiming to try to hit major Israeli cities and population centers, airplanes, ports, and other critical infrastructure like the nuclear facility in Dimona that could potentially spread radiation and kill untold numbers of people–I am reminded morality is not universal.

 

While Israel calls the residents in Gaza to vacate before an attack on then empty buildings–the terrorists that Israel is fighting try to kill as many civilians as possible–at which time, they would presumably sing, dance, and hand out candy to the kids to celebrate as is their custom.

 

Like the sign calling for tolerance that was essentially torn from the pole, we have to remember tolerance for others is one thing, but there are limits when they actively seek to harm (themselves or) others.

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)