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On the way to a family wedding in Monsey.

We stopped back home in Riverdale, NY after 20 years.

Wow, old building still here. 

And the KeyFood supermarket too. 

Had a nice lunch at Kai Fan kosher Chinese food (the Sesame Chicken was great!). 

Went up to my parents old apartment and saw the outlines of where the mezuzah had once stood. 

I wanted to hear their voices through the door and go in to see them again.

It was very emotional, but I felt like their presence was there with us. 

Enjoyed seeing how some (very few) things have changed and all that has otherwise stayed the same 

With seeing my wife’s family, some after many years, it was like I had never not seen them. 

I imagined that this is what dying must be like when you go to the afterlife and there is no time and you see everybody and it’s just like they have always been there. 

That was an amazing realization and feeling for me. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Who’s Fasting For Whom

Today is the Jewish fast day of Tzom Gedaliah. 


Gedaliah had been appointed governor of Israel by the Babylonian conquers in 423 BCE.  However, within the year, Gedaliah was assassinated. This resulted in the remaining Judeans fleeing to Egypt and the Babylonian exile being firmly established until the return from this exile in 371 BCE. 


Literally for thousands of years the relatively small Israelite nation in the Holy Land was repeatedly attacked and conquered by the large surrounding empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans.


Despite this punishing history, when it came to the Fast of Gedaliah, my father used to inject a little light humor and say:

Gedaliah didn’t fast for me, so I am not going to fast for him.


I can still hear his words in my head and even now it still brings a warm smile to my face and happiness inside me. 


Upcoming next week is Yom Kippur–fasting and atonement. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Good Father

I know it’s not Father’s Day yet, but I had a beautiful dream about my dad the other day that I wanted to share. 


In my dream, I was looking at this ledger.


And at the top of the ledger, it said:

“A Good Father”


I understand that good didn’t mean like good vs. great, but rather like good vs. evil in this universe. 


Beneath it, there were lists and lists of signatures of people who knew my dad. 


Their signatures were an attestation that he was not only a good dad, but a good and righteous person. 


I remember in the dream his presence was there with me as I looked at the ledger. 


Then there was an astoundingly bright light that I was basking in.


Now I could feel I was in the presence of the Master of the Universe. 


I looked up to the center and most intense part of the light, and lifted my arms upward in complete supplication to it…towards G-d.


And I felt myself crying out to G-d, and as I cried out louder and more intensely, I was transported back–whooshed through a tunnel at light speed…to awaken from this incredible dream.


Unlike most dreams, this one I remembered and it stuck with me even days later now. 


My dad was truly a great father and a great man!


I am grateful to Hashem for letting me see him this week, and I miss him greatly. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Today is Father’s Day

What a beautiful Father’s Day card from my daughter. 


Also, the message she wrote to me inside was so thoughtful and mature. 


It is wonderful for me to see her grow up to be such a lovely young lady. 


The cover of the card:

“Father:
Neither an anchor to hold us back, 
nor a sail to take us there, 
but a guiding light whose
love shows us the way.”


As parents, we certainly don’t have all the answers either for ourselves or certainly for our children. 


And frankly, the kids don’t want us to tell them what to do or how to do it. 


The best we can really do is to be there for them–to spend time with them, to support them, to show them we really care, and to provide perspective, balance, and faith. 


I used to love going to my parent’s house even if just to lay on the couch and feel the comfort of being “home” and with them. 


I didn’t have to think about what I did or said–I could just be me, and they loved me for that. 


Now, I want my home to be that for my kids. 


Even though they are adults now, they know we are always here for them in any way that they want or need us. 


Our home is always their home. 


Our love is always surrounding them. 


My father used to say, he would go through fire for his family, and I always knew he meant it. 


I could count on him for anything.


I miss him always, and especially today, Father’s Day. 


But I can carry on his fatherhood to my children and try to be a good dad–there, and loving and giving–no bounds, no expectations, no judgment–just love, plain and simple. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Touched By An Angel

Angel.jpeg

So the other night I dreamed.


And in the dream, an angel came to me and was over me as I lay down. 


The angel had it’s finger pointing at my head in the right temple area. 


The finger was all white and while I could feel it having a solid state, it was able to pass in a non-solid state, transparently through the surface and slightly into my head. 


I felt pressure applied there and almost like a healing feeling.


The angel was pure white–like a holy marble, but not like marble. 


It was majestic, slender, and tall.


It had white feathery wings that were taller than it’s body. 


It’s face was like an adult, but also like a child–it was both. 


Its feet were like a smooth and solid arch, and did not have toes.


The angel hovered over my upper body, head area, and was looking at me and touching my right temple–with care and love. 


It was absolutely clear to me that the angel visiting me was my dear, dear father. 


Although, I woke with a slight headache, I felt happy and at great peace by his visit.


The experience was caring, loving, holy and I was uplifted by it. 


With his unbelievably pure and giving heart, it was beautiful to see my father as an angel–this was him all along. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

If I Could Get Back Time

Past Present Future

My good friend, Jacob Elbaz, taught me this awesome saying in synagogue today:

__________________

“Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is mystery.

Today is a present. “

__________________

Another way that my dad taught me is this:

______________________________________________________________

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. 

______________________________________

Hope you enjoy these!

(Source Photo: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)

A Being Of Light

Being of Light 2

So last night, I dreamed about my beloved dad. 


He was in synagogue praying–something he did every day.


I was telling my dad that it was time to go.


But he didn’t want to leave–synagogue was his favorite place to be close to G-d and his friends. 


My dad was in the front of the synagogue elevated on the steps before the Holy Ark (where the Torahs are kept).


I looked at my dad and somehow knew/felt that he was near death. 


I ran to him and threw my arms around him in an incredible completely loving hug–clutching on to him to stay with us, longer.


In this embrace, I could feel his total and undying love for me.


Now he no longer looked like my dad but like a being of light–such as I had never seen.


He had died, but was still somehow alive in another way. 


I miss my dad–he was a truly holy man (a Tzadik) and a loving husband, father, and grandfather, who would do anything for us. 


I wish I could sit and speak with him again, hold his hand, hear him sing when we came over, and see him smile. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Taltopia.com)