From Hymietown To Chickenshit

Ballam And The Donkey Stopped By Angel Of G-d

In 8 years of blogging, I don’t think I have ever written twice about the same topic in a single day–but today, I am appalled.. 



In 1984, Rev. Jesse Jackson (later the democratic Presidential candidate) referred to the Jewish people and New York as Hymietown



Roll forward to 2014, and we have “senior administration officials” who have called Israel’s heroic Prime Minister Netanyahu a “Chickensh*t.”



In 1624, Rembrandt painted this beautiful work from the Bible of Balaam riding on the way to curse the Israelites.



The problem for him was that an Angel of G-d stood in his path–his donkey saw it, but not Balaam!  (Numbers 22:21-39)



In Genesis 12:3, God says to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”



Of course, the Israelites have to be deserving of this and act according to G-d’s word and by a strict moral code. 



For those who act shamefully, with arrogance before G-d, and unapologetically, and use their political platform to name-call, curse, and degrade Israel, no man ultimately needs to answer this, G-d provides the answer himself. 



Kudos to House Speaker John Boehner for speaking up against this grotesque, “disrespectful rhetoric” unbecoming the leadership of the United States of America. 



Congress should take up a vote unanimously condemning these disgusting, derogatory, Anti-semitic remarks–for those who bless Israel shall be blessed! 😉



(Source Photo here via Wikipedia)

Finding Better Ways

Why_do_we_do_it_that_way

Saturday Night Live had a funny skit last week about people in the future looking back at us in 2012 as “digital pioneers”–and how silly many of the things we do today looks from the outside.

Here are some examples that may resonate with a lot of you:

– Driving–We drive 1-4 hours a day and “are okay with that.”

– Email–We boot up our computers, go to the Internet, log unto to our accounts, and send an email and think that “was so easy, fast, and convenient.”

– Clothing–We get dressed in underwear, shirts, pants, belt, socks, shoes, tie, and wrap it all under a jacket and feel that it’s “not way too many pieces.”

– Bathrooms–We have bathrooms in our homes and have it close to where we eat and that “seems smart to us.”

There were other examples making fun of us eating fruits and vegetables, keeping domesticated animals in our homes, and thinking that living to the age of 91 is old.

While we don’t know exactly what the future will look like, when we look at our lives today “under the microscope”–things really do sort of appear comical.

I believe that we really do need to look at ourselves–what we do, and how we do it–with fresh eyes–and ask why do we do that? And are there alternatives? Is there a better way?

Too often we believe that the way things are–“is simply it”–when if we would just think how this would look to someone 100 years from now, perhaps we would be quicker to open our eyes to other options and innovations.

It reminds me of the story in the Torah (Numbers 22) where Balaam is sent to curse the Jewish people but ends up blessing them. In this story the donkey that he is riding on refuses to proceed, because it sees an angel in front of them. Balaam does not see the angel and beats the donkey thinking that was the right thing to do. G-d then miraculously gives the donkey the power of speech and the donkey complains about the harsh treatment from Balaam, and G-d opens Balaam’s eyes to see the angel, at which point he understands that the donkey really saved his life.

This Biblical story is similar to our lives where we go along sort of blind to the realities right in front of us, and not only that but we keep pushing forward along the very same route not seeing the obstacles or other alternatives that may be better for us.

While we (generally) don’t have donkeys talking back to us with feedback or the ability to see angels, I think by sensitizing ourselves more, we can open ourselves up to question the status quo and break the paradigms that we just take as givens.

So when we do get to the next 100 years out–it’ll truly be a lot better than today and without the traffic! 😉