Simple and Beautiful

Thought this was a nice touch on the table. 


Just a simple drinking glass with a little water on the bottom and these three beautiful flowers inside. 


Pink, Yellow, Orange. 


So simple, yet so beautiful.


Maybe that’s the point. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You Can’t See Yourself

So this donut-shaped art at the Outlets in Clarksburg is metallic and reflective. 


But what is really interesting to me is that when you stand in front of it (like I was literally doing here), you can’t see yourself. 


It made me wonder how you can look at yourself and yet not see yourself. 


And I thought of this as being a bigger lesson in life. 


When we are looking at ourself and there is a big donut whole in the mirror of ourselves then we are left blind to what should be reflecting back at us.  


No matter how hard we try to see ourselves and what we are doing right and wrong, it’s like a ghost out there–we are blind to it. 


To really see ourselves, our heart and mind have to be receptive to seeing the full picture. 


That means looking at ourselves as we really are, even when there seems to be a piece missing to the puzzle, and we have trouble being honest about what we see. 


To change, learn, grow–to become a better person, we need to look full on and be willing to see what we will see.  


You can’t see yourself until you can.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Everything Is 4 The Best

So it’s easy to get down on life when bad things happen. 


But it’s funny how when we just take a little perspective or in retrospect…


We realize that everything G-d does is really for our best!


It may not look and feel that way at the moment. 


But there comes an inner awakening about things when we see the bigger picture. 


And then we sort of nod our heads knowingly:

“Ah, that’s why that happened!”


There are many reasons, G-d may be directing something: 


– Opening new and better opportunities for us. 


– Teaching us important life lessons.


– Putting us someplace we need to be to help someone else. 


– Even saving us from some worse catastrophe. 


For G-d, there is no time or space–He supersedes all of these. 


He puts us where we need to be when we need to be for His bigger plan for our good. 


Also, when you think you have a problem, remember to look at what others may be going through.


Because there are problems and then there are problems!


As my dad used to say:

“The guy complained he had no shoes, until he saw the guy without any feet!”


Is your problem really so bad–maybe yes, maybe no.


Try for a second to think of others you know and what they are going through. 


Imagine for a moment–what does really bad look like, feels like. 


G-d works in what seems like mysterious ways.


But we can uncover the mystery and discover the holiness and grand plan of it all–if we just look beyond ourselves and towards the heavens.


Oh G-d, thank you for all that you do for us–your wisdom is glorious; your lessons are to teach me to be a better me; and your mercy endures forever. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s For Us

I love this saying from one of my colleagues:

“G-d doesn’t do it to us. 
He does it for us!”

Instead of asking with anger and resentment “why me?” — perhaps we can try to see the larger picture and be grateful for all the blessings and opportunities that G-d does give us. 

While certainly there is pain and suffering in this world, there is also the chance to learn, grow, and become stronger and better people. 

We are here to hopefully leave the world a better place than before we got here. 

The perspective that the challenges and obstacles are not meant to really harm us, but to help us is not an easy pill to swallow.

But maybe it really is the enlightened view of faith that we all need to fight on and overcome. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

DC Lights It Up – Just Physical or More

Lights1.jpegLights2.jpegLights3.jpegLights4.jpegLights5.jpegLights6.jpegLights7.jpegLights8.jpeg

Wanted to share these beautiful lights from around Washington, D.C. 


They are all sort of magnificent!


But even while I am marveling at them, my mind is tearing another way…


I am thinking, there is physical light, yet in so many ways the world seems dark. 


We have lots technological progress to be proud of, and yet there are big problems all over the horizon.


Nuclear and missile proliferation, and rising cyber threats.


– Rising global terrorism and potential for military conflicts


– Spiraling national debt and the trust funds for social entitlements running out


– Rising discrimination and associated hate crimes

– Family strains and the decline of marriage

– Challenges in confidence with organized religion 


World leadership at a crossroads. 


We need light–but not just the physical type. 


Transparency, enlightenment to solve big problems and a spiritual awakening to ensure good wins out over evil are all on order. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Ambassador of Redemption and Peace

Founding of the State oF Israel.jpeg

Thought this was so cool…


One of my friends from synagogue has an amazing replica of the letter From President Harry S. Truman recognizing the the State of Israel (with the President’s last-minute hand-written edits on it):


It reads: 

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.  

The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.” 

Harry Truman 

Approved May 14, 1948″

 And hence the Jewish people went from almost 2,000 years in exile and persecution–culminating in the genocidal Holocaust that wiped out 6,000,000 Jews–to be followed by the founding of the State of Israel and the keeping of G-d’s promise in the Bible:

Genesis 15:18: 

“On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”

Deuteronomy 30:3 

“Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”

We are living through historic times!


Now the Headquarters of the State Department is named the Harry S. Truman building…how fitting for all our diplomacy to be called for the President that recognized the State of Israel, as the Bible said. 


Then this weekend, I was truly surprised and humbled when another friend from synagogue said that he thinks with all my passion and caring for the United States, Israel and G-d that I could be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel…I couldn’t have be more moved by these lovely sentiments.


As a child of Holocaust survivors and a person of faith who believes deeply that we are witnessing the prophecies of the Bible literally being fulfilled and that we are in the time of the great redemption, I have a vision that we are ushering in the coming of the Messiah and that there will be peace in our lands and enlightenment of G-d upon the Earth. 


I hope and pray every day for it to be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Is Peace + Happiness?

buddha

I loved this piece of art work with the colorful Buddhas.

It got me thinking about peace and happiness–is it the same for everyone?

To one person, career, achievement, and money seems to make happy–as one of my friends told me about one of his extremely successful bosses who heads a large corporation and has not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 mansions on the water, in the mountains, and overlooking Central Park in NYC.

To another person, it’s being able to do what they want to in life–doing what makes you emotionally happy instead of what you have to do; the freedom to choose and to be passionate about what you do and how you spend you time every day–whether it’s a profession, an activity or sport, or even exploration and travel.

Yet others, find peace and satisfaction in spiritual and religious pursuits–joining the clergy or learning about G-d and philosophy, doing G-d’s commandments or helping his creations by doing good deeds. 

Many of course, find peace and get nachas from their families, the loves of their life, their beautiful children and grandchildren, and helping the next generation to grow and prosper after us. 

That can also extend to friends, community, and even colleagues–when we surround ourselves with other good people, those who we enjoy their company and have things in common, then we can find happiness with each other.

Being here in Florida for the holidays, I’m reminded of all the sun, beauty, and body-worshippers, those people who love their physique and good health, working out, looking good, being with others that look good, and even designing and making things that are beautiful. 

And at the other end of the spectrum again are the intellectual nerdy nerds who get their energy from being brainiacs like one of my friend’s nephews who is one of silicon valley’s serial innovators.

Whatever you love, have, and do that makes you happy is something to be extremely grateful for.

Nothing is forever, and nothing is owed to us.

Use the gifts that G-d has given you with the wisdom to reach enlightenment by being good and generous to others and so that you truly merit these beautiful things and thank the creator who blessed you. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)