Controlling The World, Really?

So, unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and hate out there. 


Often, I see, hear, or read lots of anti-Semitism. 


People don’t like what I write in my blog, that I eat Kosher, Keep Shabbat, or that I wear a head covering or whatever. 


I get things like “Dirty Jew!”


Sometimes, “Get out! Go back to Israel!”


Or when I try to express myself, “Uh, the Jews control the world,”


The funny thing is if Jews control the world, why do I feel like I don’t control anything!


I feel so small and insignificant in a way in the realm of G-d’s great universe. 


Where I am but a speck of dust.


I see tall skyscrapers.


Huge mountain ranges. 


The deep oceans.


The rolling plains. 


The infinite stars in the sky. 


I see a world with hundreds of countries. 


And billions of people. 


And I see me, and I am just a person. 


And I see the Jewish people–a tiny minority.


One that has been subject of pogroms, inquisitions, exiles, destruction, and genocide–over and over again. 


I grew up pretty poor and watching my parents work so hard trying their best to support the family. 


I think Jews don’t control the world. 


I certainly don’t think I control even my day. 


The reality is only G-d is in control. 


And for that, I am most humble and grateful to the L-rd above. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Did You Know You’re A Sinner

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So walking down the street here yesterday, I ran into a sign and was handed a postcard, declaring:

“Sin Awareness Day”


Then I was confronted by a gentleman (or not so gentle) who proceeded to explain to me that I–and everyone else–are sinners!


Innocently, I ask, “Well, what have I done?”


The missionary answers with a stern face, “I’m sure you have lied!”


I said, “I don’t think so,” but then to play alone, I smirked and said, “Well what if I did?”


He answers and says, “You’ll need to repent!”


Thinking that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is right around the corner in a couple of weeks, I thought to myself, hey that’s right in line with where I’m going anyway…


The guy continues–of course–to try to enlist me to his “savior” that he believes can save us from all our sins. 


I challenged and said, “Well, how about Moses?”


He roars back, “Moses?!!!” and starts railing on about “convert, convert, convert.” 


Uh no, thank you, I am fine with the faith of my father, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers, etc. 


And I appreciate if we can avoid the forcible conversion parts of yesteryear from various empires, caliphates, crusades, and inquisitions, with no shortage of associated torture, executions, and expulsions. 


Then breaking this historical context and glancing at the back of the postcard that he handed out, I did like this one thing that it said:

“Sin is not primarily a measure of how bad you are, but a measure of how good you are not.”


Heck, why be negative about ourselves (we are not inherently bad); instead see that we not living up to our potential and try, always, to do better. 


In that I am definitely a believer!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Judeo-Christian – Friendship and Ties

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So over Thanksgiving holiday, we went to see the new Seth Rogen movie, The Night Before


It’s full of crazy antics as they party on Christmas eve, and Rogen, the token Jew, gets himself in all sorts of trouble, including throwing up in the mass from too much partying. 


But what I liked most about the movie was the friendship between people–in this case, between Christians and Jews.


Today, I read with great joy about the Vatican commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “Nostra Aetate” (which I must say I was completely ignorant about), but which very importantly does the following:


1) Repudiates the charge of “Jewish deicide,” exonerating Jews of any collective guilt for the death of Jesus. 

2) Affirms that G-d’s covenant with Jews was never revoked.

3) Recognizes Christianity’s Jewish roots. 


Continuing these positive developments between us, yesterday the Vatican issued a new document clarifying that the church exempts Jews from conversion, and that Jews are not excluded from G-d’s salvation because they don’t believe in Jesus. 


I think it is wonderful that in modern times, there has been an affirmation of the unity of mankind amidst a monotheist belief in G-d Almighty, our father, and the creator and sustainer of us all. 


The closer relations between Jew and Christians, especially over the last half century is a wonderful milestone that should, please G-d, grow stronger over time. 


Moreover, we should similarly see the people of all religions focus on our commonalties, rather than on our differences, and on doing good deeds one to the other, rather than fighting in the name of religion. 


Religion is peace and love, serving G-d and doing good–the rest is B.S. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)