Flower 4 Monday

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Just wanted to share this beautiful flower that I came across on the hiking trail yesterday. 


I have never seen a flower with pedals of pink and white candy stripes like this. 


Like a candy cane or perhaps the outfits that volunteers helping people at some hospitals wear. 


It also has these yellow buds in the center, which add to it’s eloquence.


What magnificent creations that G-d has bestowed on us to enjoy. 


Hope this is a little something to cheer up your Monday and make you even more productive this week. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Entering The Oculus Rift Matrix

So this was my first time actually experiencing virtual reality. 


Using Oculus Rift and climbing this mountain…


I’ve got to say how incredibly fabulioso this was!


It is absolutely an immersive and real experience. 


When I looked over the side of the mountain and down at the water and “realized” how far up I was, I was freakin out. 


My feet were grabbing the floor like I was about to fall off the mountain and then I eventually did. 


This is the next big thing!


You can literally be anywhere and doing anything with this technology.  


The real world is not there. 


And now I believe more than ever, that just like we enter the virtual reality body and start to move around and interact in that make-believe world, so too our soul enters our human bodies and we are present in this material existence to experience the worldly wonders all around us. 


But like the virtual world, this earthly world is the playground for our earthly bodies are just a temporary vessel for us to face challenges, learn, and grow.


When the time is up, our souls depart our bodies and return to its maker, just like when the virtual reality game is over and we are back here. 


G-d is the greatest game-maker of them all, and we are copycats in every sense of the word. 


The body is the vessel, and the soul is the essence. 😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Smell The Roses

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I am a big proponent of stopping to smell the roses. 


These purple, yellow, red, and pink flowers were sitting on the counter in Whole Foods, and I had to stop, back up, and take this amazing photo.


They were absolutely gorgeous!


Sometimes, I can’t believe the beautiful things and people that G-d has made. 


We’re part of a most-amazing and perfect world. 


Of course, there are also hardships and suffering in this world – illness, disability, hunger, homelessness, violence, loneliness, and loss. 


Perhaps, these are the most difficult of things for us as human beings to reconcile with the beautiful world that G-d has set us in. 


While surrounded by beauty, people are also beset by life’s many challenges. 


Maybe all the more reason to stop and smell the roses even for just a moment–to enjoy the spirit of life and of our amazing Creator, and the opportunity to make the most of it all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Our Lives Matter

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I thought this saying by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was very profound. 

“The day you were born is the day G-d decided that the world could not exist without you.”

We all need to know that our lives have a purpose and meaning.

…that it’s not all in vain that we live and toil.

There are many such notions tied to this:

– Jewish blood is not cheap.

– Black lives matter and Blue lives matter.

But the question is why do our lives matter? 

Kurt Vonnegut has an interesting piece on this:

“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness. And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely. “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God. “Certainly,” said man. “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God. And He went away.”  

So the answer is that we bring purpose to life. 


In what we learn, and do, and how we grow…this is our purpose. 


For each of us, it’s different.


G-d created us in “His cosmic loneliness” to think on this and make meaning from the lives that he so graciously granted to us. 


Now we must go and do something positive with it.


Because G-d decided the day you were born that “the world could not exist without you.” 😉


(Source Photo: Forwarded to me by Michelle Blumenthal)

Special Blue Bird

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Just wanted to share a photo I took of this beautiful blue bird that I came across in Florida. 


This bird was something special. 


I couldn’t help admiring his amazingly blue feathers punctuated by the yellow around his smart eyes 


He wasn’t the only beautiful animal or flower that we saw there, there were many.


They all just left me in wonderment at the unbelievable beauty that G-d created for us in this world.


No one is going to tell me this is all random by evolution, and that there is not a profoundly wise and all-knowing Maker behind it.


Perhaps, we never really left the physical Garden of Eden, but being expelled from there meant more of a mentality where we have to work and fight hard to keep it all pristine.


Mankind’s inclination is to take and use abundantly almost without thought as to the sustainability of his actions.


– Cities expand and encroach on natural rural areas. 


– G-d’s beautiful creatures are in retreat and often in danger of extinction. 


– Resources are used willy nilly as we dig and dig, chop and chop, and burn and burn. 


– Garbage is expelled and piles up virtually anywhere and everywhere.


– Pollution fills the land, air, and waterways.


Eden is still here, but people must act more like angels and less like snakes if G-d gracious gifts to us are to survive. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To BE Corruption FREE

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Amazing, they were advertising this in downtown Washington, D.C.:

“A Government Free of Corruption”


Wouldn’t this just be completely miraculous!


WE HAVE A DREAM:


– No lies and spin


– No deception and manipulation


– No public and private faces


– No collusion and cheating


– No hidden agendas and backroom dealings


– No hate, bias, and divisiveness


– No denigrating, name-calling, and character assassination


– No bribery and pay to play


– No intimidation, payback, and shadow government


– No self entitlement and self enrichment


– No fraud, waste, and abuse

Imagine instead, if integrity was the essence of good leadership.

Today, in synagogue, the weekly Torah portion was Genesis–where as we all know, G-d created the heavens and the earth. 

Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was chaos and void” (in Hebrew “tohu va-bohu”).

The bar-mitzvah boy, in his speech, joked about how his first 13-years of life growing up was very much tohu va-bohu (chaos), but he was hopeful that with his wonderful parents guiding him, he would get on track and pay more attention to his schoolwork, all the details, and not rush through things. 

I thought to myself, there are probably a lot of people even in their 30s, 40, and 50’s whose life was still tohu va-bohu, but that doesn’t mean we can’t emulate G-d and still create something wonderful from all the chaos, right? 

Similarly in the tohu va-bohu chaos of Washington politics, where nearly 80% of the electorate believe that we are going in the wrong direction, it’s not too late to continue make something great that we can all be proud of.

In the Wall Street Journal today, Peggy Noonan described a recent focus group led by Democratic pollster, Peter Hart, where all 12 voters (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) unanimously and sadly agreed that “America was off track.” 

In fact, one person wisely intimated that things seemed to go off track with 9/11 and “never quite recovered.”  Unfortunately, more than the World Trade Center came down in America that fateful day. 

But it’s not the first time in history that things have been tohu va-bohu, and perhaps it’s okay…that why G-d teaches us things can change for the better…order and sense and progress can be made to rise from all the chaos.

The good news is still out there, “And G-d said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)