And It Will Come To Pass

Daniel.jpeg

I was walking today and this is what was in my mind…


And it will be in the days of Putin king of Russia and Xi Jinping king of China that Trump king of the USA will advance peace between Israel and its neighbors. 


So that nation shall not life up sword again nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.


And you will quiet your enemies to the north, and to the southwest, and to the far east. 


None shall stand against you. 


The time is coming when great arrows will pierce the hearts of your enemies, and the eyes of the people shall see and know that G-d, the protector of Israel and the judge of all, doth live and fulfills all his promises to those that honor their commitments to Him. 


The answer is in your words and deeds to bring glory to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. 


Sharpen your swords, gird your tongue in prayer, and cover yourselves in the everlasting deeds of your forefathers and mothers. 


The time arrives for all mankind to witness the long arm of the L-rd and know his reign and mercy endures forever. 


Be of faith and good courage. 


And Israel will dwell in peace and security and the world will prosper in the redemption. 


The ambers and ash of history are still warm, but the times of evil and destruction shall give way to a renewal of the simple, the good, and the peaceful following.


He who sits on the throne that is the foundation of all that lives gazes upon his creation with a sadness and promise. 


Those who commit the worst evils will be found guilty and cleansed, and those of pure heart will be guiltless.


Evil will not stand in the presence of the L-rd of Hosts. 


Redemption is at hand and the glorious saving by the spirit that is the spirit that speaks to all with a voice of thunder and lightening, and the angels will be awakened, and man will know and serve Him once more with a full heart and mindfulness to the Almighty.


Blessed be His name and His deeds are magnificent beyond wonder, generosity, and holiness. 


Amen, Amen, Amen.   


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Under The Feet Of Haters

Feet.jpeg

So there is a saying in Washington, D.C….


“You know you’ve made it when you have your haters.”


This is a very political town!


But more than that, a leader has to take a position. 


You have to stand for something. 


There are oodles of constituencies and no matter how hard you try, you will never satisfy everyone. 


Yes ideally, we always want to create a win-win situation. 


However, every give, usually has a take, since the pie isn’t infinite. 


Compromise where possible, but hold your ground where necessary. 


The key is to choose a direction from your conscience and follow your moral compass and do the most good for the most people and what’s right in the eyes of G-d. 


Unfortunately, some people will declare themselves your mortal enemy and try to stamp you out of existence just for being and following who you are. 


Many of us who have experienced racism, discrimination, slavery, and even genocide know this senseless hate all too well. 


Be strong of of good courage and do righteousness. 


G-d is our rock and shield. 

Psalm 27: “The L-rd is my light and salvation–whom shall I fear?  The L-rd is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid.”

So as your enemies advance to step on and try and crush you, remember that G-d will decide where their feet actually land and how they will fall. 🙂


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Courage To Do The Right Thing

Courage.jpeg

So it takes courage to do the right thing. 


It’s the easy way out to shut your eyes and overlook when things are wrong. 


Taking a stand and standing up for what’s right often means fighting the good fight. 


But who wants to fight?


Everyone wants to live in peace and quiet. 


In fact, every day we pray repeatedly in the Amidah for peace


In the 19th prayer…

May it please you to bless your people Israel at all times and in every hour with your peace. Blessed are you, O Lord, who blesses his people Israel with peace.


Then again after the prayer for thanks…

Bestow peace, goodness and blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and mercy, upon us and upon all Your people Israel…May it be favorable in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment, with Your peace.

And yet a third time at the end…

He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

What can be more desired than peace and wellness in our lives?


Yet, when we see corruption, wrongdoing, and evil, people are called on the confront it, and stand up for good. 


Because when evil prevails, there is no real peace in the world. 


Hence, the courageous and righteous are called on to stand up based on integrity, merit, and values, and to work to return a state of justice and peace. 


G-d watches to see to it that good ultimately prevails over evil. 


May He who makes peace, make peace for us and all Israel, and let us say Amen. 😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Success Iceberg

Success Iceberg.jpeg

Thought this was really so true.


Under the tip of the iceberg of success lay all the factors that most people don’t see.


The vast mass of persistence, failures, sacrifices, disappointments, good habits, hard work, and dedication. 


Success really is an iceberg!


Don’t be jealous of the success at the tip of the iceberg of others unless you put in all the ingredients beneath–plus a prayer to the Almighty Above for his blessings.


Have a Shabbat Shalom!


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

Peace Through Strength

conflict-management

So this is what I’ve learned about conflict management…


Obviously, we are better off without conflict and to simply all get along–that’s the ideal!


Now unfortunately, in real life there may be situations where we may have fundamental differences of opinions and goals, and at times these may seriously clash. 


What’s good for you, may be bad for me (or vice versa)…that’s called a win-lose situation. 


And when we don’t see eye to eye and can’t get along, then either we can try to work it out and that’s where diplomacy comes in or at other times, we may have no choice but to take up arms and go to war.


Our first choice is diplomacy. Here, we sit down to listen and try genuinely to understand each other, and have empathy on others…life is not easy for anyone. 


Still we need to mesh what others want with what we need for our own wellbeing and progress, and that’s where negotiation, compromise, and de-escalation come into play. 


Best case scenario, we come up with a win-win situation, where we can both walk away from the table with a respectable enough amount of what we each want and our egos still intact, so that that we can all go our merry ways and pursue our lives and live within our values and amidst security.  


However, in some cases, some may be so unreasonable, intractable, and their actions so aggressive, egregious, and dangerous as to threaten, harm, and violate the lives of others, that it’s intolerable for it to continue any longer.


What’s left when we can’t put up and shut up, and when talk is exhausted, is to fight for what we believe in, for who we are, and for our right to live and prosper. 


Once, twice, three times and you’re out of time and luck–we are seriously headed for a clash of persons and/or civilizations. 


Peace is better won without firing a shot, but when it’s time to pull out the guns, they better be damn big and deadly ones. 


That is called peace through strength…where we have the guts and means to back up our position with force, if necessary. 


None of this bullshit of bringing a knife to a gunfight; instead, when we have no choice but to fight, we fight to win and everything is on the table. 


Peace is the preference, but if war is the only answer, then the other side may have unleashed hell, and that is what they will get from peace through strength delivered! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Look Who I Found In Synagogue

Pokemon

Well, this was quite a surprise in the hip Magen David Synagogue today.


I captured this amazing Pokemon. 


I can’t say that I actually saw him davening (praying) in shule. 


But he was on the way down to the kiddush (blessing and meal) after services. 


No virtual apps needed for this Pokemon.  


He was right there over the chulent (bean and meat stew)–Oh, that must’ve been another week. 


Anyway, this Pokemon is ready to defend in the next battle of good and evil. 


Thanks to Nintendo, Pokemon goes these days where the rest of our leaders are afraid to endeavor. 


Hence the search for Pokemon far and wide…it’s a true craze. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Style From Head To Toe

Death Hat.jpegRed Sneakers.jpeg

So I took these photos of two young fashionable men. 


The first had a very cool “Death” cap on.

And the second had the reddest pair of sneakers, I’ve ever seen. 

Both were stylish standouts!

To me, the hat confronted the scariness of death head-on (excuse the pun) or that the person is themselves, in a sense, death to anyone that starts with them or gets in their way–it is not only bold in terms of the big white letters, but in terms of the courage to face the harshest of all our realities. 

Then to the shoes, going red and untied, spoke to me in terms of looseness, comfort, and ease with yourself–you are who you are and the world be darned!

Both the cap and the shoes are in your face and make a statement of cool nonchalance and the daringness to confront “whatever.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Attitudinal Fix

Good

So attitude goes a long way in shaping how we do in life. 


For some people, the glass is half full, and for others it’s half empty–it’s of course, just how you look at it. 


One colleague told me this week: 

Life is 10% what happens 

and 

90% how you react to it.”

I suppose we see that with so many people who have unbelievable daunting challenges in life, yet somehow they manage to put on a smile or give a thumbs up regardless, and just do what they need to do–they are troopers, survivors, and generally people of incredible character and caliber. 


These are the heroes that we can look up to. 


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”–and the going refers to doing what needs to get done, and not running away from your duty scared or not knowing what to do. 

Need to be courageous, resourceful, loyal, and giving to others.  


Stop the whining, the crying, the self pity, the questioning “why me”–what will any of that help?


Fight, fight, fight–that’s what we’re here for. 


Until our last breath, we can still make a difference. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Head Of Peace Now Is A Moron

Jerk

I don’t often go about calling people names.


It’s not diplomatic or politically correct, of course. 


But I want to make an exception on this special occasion.


And that is when this week, the head of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, actually had the audacity to criticize terror victim, Yonatan Azriaev, in Israel.


The victim was savagely stabbed by a terrorist, yet the victim managed to pull the knife from his own neck and trust it into his attacker, killing him.


What an unbelievable act of courage, strength, and heroism!


But to the leader of Peace Now, he blames the victim and calls this an extra-judicial execution, instead of a completely appropriate act of self-defense against a terrorist on a murderous rampage.


All I can say is the guy is a complete moron (yes, I said it) and shame on the self-hating, anti-Semitic, Peace Now members who are indirectly supporting terrorism, instead of defending their brothers and sisters. 


Let’s hope and pray for a genuine peace with security for the Holy Land.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Become A HITFIT

Misfit
A misfit is someone who doesn’t fit in.


He/she is missing the mark in terms of the thing or group they are trying to fit into.


The opposite of missing the target is hitting the target, hence a “hitfit” (my term)–someone who is in congruence with who he/she is and what they can do well. 


At times, we are all misfits–at work, school, places of worship, and even with family and friends–the personality, chemistry, and KSA (knowledge, skills, or abilities) are just not right.


Hence, people miserably fail in one environment or set of circumstance, but yet they thrive in others. 


What happens when you’re the misfit?  


– You feel like you’ve been relegated to moron status, sitting in a corner or closet somewhere (and now envision the dunce cap on your head). 


– Essentailly everyone else seems to be meshing and doing great, but you’re the odd man out. Nothing you seem to do is right, you can’t perform or you just stop trying, and you feel like a worthless sh*t!


But then what happens?


– With courage, determination, and hard work, you pull yourself up by your trousers and you make a significant change in your life–your job, school, community, even your spouse or friends–you’re the shinning star that you always knew or hoped you could be–you’re the hitfit!


I’ve seen this happen again and again with people. 


Why?


So often people are not “bad,” “stupid,” or “losers”–they are just not in their groove for who they are. 


If you give people a chance to find themselves and leverage their strengths,. and strengthen (or challenge) their weaknesses, they can and will do superbly!


None of us are perfect (except G-d)–we are all frail human beings, even the strongest, smartest, fastest, and greatest among us. If you’re put or find yourself in a bad situation–recognize your part in it, but also understand that sometimes it’s just a misfit, and time to make a positive change in life. 


Do you research, test the waters, get primed, and find your hitfit and your happiness–you can do it, with G-d’s help, everyone can! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)