Two Lightning Strikes

One week apart, two freak accidents, both families nearly wiped out. 


Both touched me. 


Exactly one week ago, I learned and wished condolences to the man in synagogue who lost his wife, youngest son, and mother-in-law in the Mexico tourist bus accident. 


Today–7 days later, a neighbor comes up to me and tells me she’s going to the funeral for her daughter, son-in-law and three children killed in the Costa Rica plane crash this week, and I wished her that G-d have mercy. 


Like two lightning strikes–not a coincidence (I don’t believe in that).


I believe more that it is a warning, and it is really frightening.


I pray that G-d should have mercy on all of us. 

Please G-d, Save Us. 
Please G-d, Save Us. Please G-d, Help Us To Succeed. 
Please G-d, Help Us To Succeed. 

Life truly hangs by a thin thread.


The time period between my meeting the man and women from these two families–7 days–represents both life and death–it is both the number of days of “Sheva Brachot” (days of celebration for a bride and groom) and the number of says of “Shiva: (mourning when someone dies)


We need to be committed to doing good in this world and in His name.


— Repentance, charity, and prayer.


All of us must do our best to serve G-d and always do right with integrity.


G-d should defeat evil, and He should have mercy on his faithful children, so that He turns mourning into celebration and blessings. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to kristendawn, and interesting that it is from Costa Rica)

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Something Better In Store For You

So I recently had what I thought was a big opportunity slip by me.


My first reaction was to be disappointed, upset, angry, and question why.


But then I remembered something I heard the other day:

“If something doesn’t work out then it’s because something even better is coming.”


Wow, that’s powerful!


Think about it…


What do we mortal human beings really know?


We think something is right for us–but only G-d really knows what the future will bring.


Perhaps with this or that thing that we think we so want, instead of joy and fulfillment, it’s really just heartache or disaster in the waiting.


My father used to say and was so right about it:

“Better to cry now then to cry later.”


G-d loves us and has our best interests at heart–He saves us and has something better in store for us. 


My father also taught me:

“What can any man do to us when we have faith in G-d.”


And he really lived that way!


He never worried about what any person or event could do to him–faith always protected him and even when he was sick and was dying, and I asked how he was, he told me:

“I have no pain.”


And I could see truly with his deep faith in the Almighty, he really did not feel any pain–it was amazing and miraculous!


Like my dear father, when I remember that G-d has the whole world in Hands, and He watches over us then my heart is uplifted and all I want to do is sing His praises, and that is what I will do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@The Great Kotel in Jerusalem

So we made it to the Kotel in Jerusalem yesterday.


What an amazing experience.


It’s been too many years.


Definitely, one of the top moments of my life.


As we entered the old city and walked through the narrow ways toward the Western Wall of the Temple, my heart and breathing was racing and I could feel the spiritualness getting closer and closer. 


When we finally arrived at the Holy Wall, I was just completely overwhelmed and saying over and over, OMG!


We took some photos, and then immediately when to pray at the wall. 


I think I got lost in prayer and didn’t realize how long I had been standing and clutching the Holy Wall of G-d’s ancient Temple. 


I truly believe that our prayers ascend to Heaven at this special spot of G-d’s earthly abode. 


I wanted to fall to my knees, but stopped myself repeatedly as this is not generally the Jewish custom. 


But in my mind, my body, and soul was prostrated completely before G-d Almighty.


I put myself in His hands.


We can only do our best, and the rest is all in His control.


We can try to make the best decisions we can, but the real guidance in life comes from Him and His will for us. 


We learned in Yeshiva, not to ask in prayer for specific things in life to happen for us, but rather to ask G-d to do what is right in His eternal mind for us. 


This is right…submit to the King of Kings and let Him show us the way for us.


What are the right words to say to G-d?


At the end, thank you and please continue to help us, your children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Time For Everything

Being in Israel this week has reawakened the essence of my Jewish soul. 


Today, we took a long Shabbat walk–winding through the beautiful and ancient streets to reach the beach of Tel Aviv.


It was awesome seeing and hearing Hebrew everywhere–just like in the Bible/Torah.


The street names of famous people and things like Menachem Begin, Shaul HaMelech, Weizman, Ben Yehuda, Shalom Aleichem, Bar Kokhva, Ha-Nevi’im, Yona HaNavi–it all had so much historical and identifying meaning as a proud Jew and Levite servant of the L-rd. 


Already, when I awoke this morning–my brain was reciting and my voice signing from Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything.”


And I don’t know why, but I was humming it and mouthing over an over again:

“A time to love.
A time to hate.
A time for war (shuttering).
A time for peace (extended and deep longing).”


I pray to you my G-d to protect, guide, and show us–your faithful servants–the way ahead.


In my head, I understand that we do not choose the situations and challenges we face, but that they, in a very strong sense, choose us.


And we must rise to each and every occasion, even as our soul longs for a true and lasting peace. 


May G-d grant us to utterly confuse, scatter, torment, and defeat our enemies.


And may we merit a time when we will fully achieve and forever experience and dwell in love and peace, Amen. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shower Us With Peace

Oh L-rd, we pray that you shower your people with an abundant and complete peace. 


A peace of mind, spirit, and body.


A peace that permeates every aspect of our being and knows no limits to time and space. 


May You grant us a complete saving and healing. 


As threats loom large on the horizon, we look to the Heavens to ask for your merciful saving grace. 


Enemies rise against us, and only you can reach down and lift us up.


We stand in your presence, naked and humbled.


As the winds blow and clouds gather, only you can protect and save. 


While some men look arrogantly at their own strength and smarts, these are nothing to the Master of the Universe.


G-d uproots the wicked and plants his faithful children in their stead. 


Peace is the ultimate blessing, and only G-d can grant it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hashem Has A Plan

Sometimes things in life can look very dark. 


In every generation, “they come against us.”


But the Holy One Blessed Be He watches over his children. 


He neither slumbers nor sleeps. 


When the wicked arise in arrogance and evil to hurt us, we must turn to the One Above.


“I will not fear, because G-d is with me.”


Only He directs the course of the world.


Only He determines who will succeed and who will fail. 


The evildoers plot their sinister ways.


But G-d sees and hears, and will disturb their evil intentions.


G-d, my soul crieth out to you in the times of my trouble and affliction.


My mouth begs you for your mercy and your just and swift hand. 


Please G-d intervene and thwart the evil plans of those that hate you and your children and seek them harm. 


L-rd arise. L-rd arise. 


L-rd save us. L-rd save us. 


L-rd make us successful.  L-rd make us successful. 


Vanguish our enemies and let your faithful servants prevail. 


Make G-d turn his fiery and his sword on the enemies of His children.


May He exact ultimate vengeance and bring great discomfort, torment, and travail upon those with evil intentions and doings.


L-rd hear my cries, and swoop down from your Heavenly palace and save your people.


And the evil will be eradicated and the L-rd will bring final justice. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Miraculous Mezuzah

Mezuzah.jpeg

So there is a Jewish commandment to put a mezuzah on your doorposts. 


Reminiscent of ancient times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d told the Israelites to put the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doorpost.


When they did this and the Angel of Death killed the firstborn in each home of the taskmaster Egyptians–he passed over the doorposts of the Israelites that had the blood on it as commanded by G-d.


So too these days, the Mezuzah has the holy prayer of the Shema Yisrael on it:

“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One”.

And it is believed to be a symbol of G-d’s divine protection for the home. 


This week in Synagogue, Rabbi Haim Ovadia told some miraculous stories about the Mezuzah from when he was the Rabbi in Bogota, Columbia.


He told of how the cartels would raid the buildings where the people in the community lived.  The cops would be told not to respond to the calls for help for at least an hour.  But what was a miracle was that apartments with the mezuzahs were not harmed. Later, the people found out that the cartels, thank G-d left them alone, because they didn’t know what a mezuzah was and thought it was some sort of fancy alarm system!


Another story, was the boss who put mezuzahs on the offices at work, and what happened? The profitability of the business went up.  When they looked at why this happened, they realized that the boss would stop at the mezuzah to recite the Shema, and the workers thought the boss was there paying more attention to them and so productivity went way up. 


Finally, the last one was really funny.  They couldn’t easily get mezuzahs in Bogota, so when they heard someone was coming from a trip to Israel, they asked him to bring 5 mezuzahs for the home. When it arrived, they opened it up, but lo and behold, the parchment with the prayer inside was missing from them.  When they asked what happened to it–the person said, I already know how to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost with 2 nails and a hammer, so what do I need the instructions inside it for!


G-d is glorious and the holiness that he bestows on us with his commandments is amazing. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)