Face The Fear

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I have to give my wife credit. 


She said something to me the other day that was really profound and had a deep impact on me. 


Something bad had happened and honestly, it was a truly frightening situation.


At first, it seemed like one of those negative surprises in life that brings bad news and you are at first sort of shocked. 


As things progress though and the news unfortunately doesn’t get better, but in fact gets worse, the shock turns to fear and maybe even panic. 


Oh shit, what do I do now?


Turn this way..no good. 


Turn that way…no good.


Retreat…not an option.


So I speak to my wife, and at first she says:

“Just look away.”

But I can’t look away…I can’t ignore a problem…my instinct is that I have to plan for it, deal with it, solve it. 


I go back to my wife, and she says to me:

“Face the fear, and walk through it.”

And I had to stop in my tracks at that. 


She was right–there is no use being fearful or worrying–I would face it and walk through it, and come out the other side better for it. 


That was some of the best advice anyone I think has ever given to me. 


Got to be strong, have courage, face the challenges in life, and “walk through it!” 


What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 


Have to have emunah (faith), and realize it’s just a test. 


And the Almighty G-d is my shield and protector. 


It’s a test, but I can pass it with G-d’s help, and everything will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nuke Fear Turning To Action?

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What sane person would not be afraid of the incredibly destructive power of nukes (and other weapons of mass destruction)?


Currently, there are about 15,000 either stockpiled or poised to strike around the world. 


Enough deadly weapons to kill the entire planet!


After a frightening series of 5 nukes tests since 2006 plus 18 technologically progressive ballistic missiles tests over the last 6 months, things are escalating after new sanctions imposed to try to contain the threat–with North Korea rattling it’s nuclear arsenal with a shrill threat of attack moving to “physical action” and the U.S. shooting back “fire and fury,
” 


As to further North Korean mad progress, it was reported that they are developing a powerful new H-bomb with immense destructive power, especially towards our density killing fields:


– If such a weapon would strike, G-d forbid, Washington D.C., it could mean 500,000 dead and another 900,000 injured–let alone what this would mean in terms of a destructive decapitation to the very functioning and continuity of our government and country. 


– Even worse fatalities would occur should it strike our financial capital, New York City, with estimates of 1.7 million dead. 


Hence, the news that this is no joking matter anymore (as if it really ever was). 


Fears typically first get expressed in rhetoric, but then with greater and ever potent means for them to become reality, the risks increase for them to actually make the horrific leap. 


What happens next with the ever menacing dangers from rogue Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran–and will we ever feel and be safe again, absent any meaningful social progress while they continue to absolutely and speedily advance their ever more deadly weapons programs and the means to deliver them, first class. ;-0


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning of Silence

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Is silence a good thing or a bad thing–what does it really mean?


On the plus or neutral side:


Silence can mean modesty and humility–you withhold speaking out of turn or having a big mouth; you recognize that you don’t know everything and what you do know is not intended to put down or shame others. 


Silence can means secrets and privacy–you don’t say everything; you treat information properly based on need to know and propriety of sharing. 


Silence can mean good situational judgement–that you know prudently when to let others have their say, or when your opinion isn’t really welcome, or when it’s best to just stay below the radar. 


Silence can mean you simply don’t know–and it’s something you need to listen and learn more about rather than speak; it’s why we’re told that we have two ears and one mouth.


Silence can mean that maybe you don’t care about something–why get fired up or “waste your breath” on it when it’s just not your thing.


When can it be a negative:


There was a sign in the local school window that silence means (wrongful) acceptance; that is also something I learned in in the Talmud in yeshiva; if you see something wrong and don’t say or do something, you are (partially) responsible.


Silence can mean fear–perhaps you don’t accept something, but you’re afraid to speak truth or morality to power; you sit silently cowering, when you should stand up tall and speak out. 


Silence may also mean shame–you’ve done something wrong or don’t want others to know something that could make you look bad or put you in jeopardy. 


Silence can mean you are hiding something–it can be that you don’t trust or aren’t trustful; silence at a time when you need to answer or respond can result in suspicion about why you are “holding back,” instead of being forthcoming and truthful.


When to talk and when to remain silent? 


Certainly, “you have the right to remain silent.”


We need to use words with care and intent–to always seek to help and not to hurt. 


Words are so potent–the mouth is perhaps the strongest part of the human body, just like the pen is mightier than the sword. 


That’s why I pray that G-d put the “right words” in my mouth–to be constructive, positive, effective and impactful–to do good as much as possible with words and with silence. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Diversity Necessitates Respect

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So this was an interesting photo taken of a sticker hung in front/near the Capitol reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. 


It is one of the faces of the resistance, and while it’s not Linda Sarsour, it reminds me of her–she is the one who garnered wide attention at the 2017 Women’s March not long ago. 


Remember her rant of “Sisters and Brothers!”–whose sister is she anyway?


With her polarizing politics, support for Sharia Law and anti-Zionist rants and support for the BDS movement, she certainly is not mine. 


Note: An Israeli official even came out yesterday with like concerns about her. 


Here are some of Sarsour’s alleged sayings about Sharia Law–or is this more a complete embrace? 

While I greatly believe in diversity and strongly adhere to valuing and respecting all good people out there… 


There is something that feels wrong here. 


Generic images like the top photo with the traditional Muslim hair covering–again, I respect this.


It is overlaid with the American Flag–again nothing wrong with that–Jews wear yarmulkes with the flag too.


But look further now…underneath it states: 

“We The People 

are greater than fear”


Hmm…We the people–who is the “we” here?


Is this a group photo of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc.–so where is the inclusivity?


With Sarsour insertion of a Sharia ideology into American politics, perhaps, there is a subtle–or not so subtle–attack on our greater American freedom and democracy going on here.


Sharia law is being spread around the globe by:


Decree (think of the Mullahs in Iran)


Terror (think ISIS and Al-Qaeda)


Sympathy (think of the Palestinians)


Mass immigration (think of the changing cultural face of Europe), and 


Expropriating other people’s causes (such as Democracy and freedom and so called justice with Linda Sarsour).


Everyone is entitled to their peaceful beliefs, especially when there is a ethos of  mutual respect and a truthful recognition and acceptance for everyone of “Live and let live!”


But when the bounds are trampled by those who want to see only “their way or the highway”…then we need to seriously fear–who are “We the people”–and what do they really want? 😉


(Source top Photo: Andy Blumenthal and memes from Internet search)

I Doth Fear

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Innocent Shakespeare in the Park or violent assassination incitement of the President of the United States? 


Kathy Griffin holding up a severed head of the President.


Stephen Colbert’s tirade and obscenities.


And the list goes on and on…


Is this resistance or are things perhaps going too far for political discourse? 


Whatever your views, does the rhetoric need to get any hotter or more violent in this country. 


Cooler heads and compromise need to prevail for anything positive to come from all this.


Is it not still possible to unite under the shared values of freedom, human rights, and democracy that we all presumably hold dear and use these to advance our common cause? 


At least twice now protesters have stormed the Shakespearean stage calling the incitement as an evil portrayal reminiscent of those like Nazi Propaganda Minister, Goebbels (may his name and memory be erased).


The other side pretends nothing is going on and says, but it’s only Shakespeare. 


Demonstrating against the actors’ nightly violent portraying (and perhaps undisguised wishing for) the killing of the President, the plays’ protesters are themselves summarily dragged off by security.


Nothing seems to stop the shrill words, calls for violence, and violence itself. 


Just last week, we had the unreal and gross shooting of Congressman Whip, Steve Scalise, at an early morning baseball practice with his colleagues. 


For those who care to glimpse down the road, what happens from here as we seem to forget who we are as people and as a nation, and we let extremists take over the agenda.


I doth fear (a little Shakespeare myself here) that the problem with extremism and violence is that it can too easily beget more extremism and violence.


Incessant name-calling, an avalanche of punches by the media, hostility on college campuses towards free speech, SNL just poking fun (is this really so funny anymore), an inciting Shakespearean play, plus marches, protests, and then taking things too far.


Like the closing in a classic Shakespearean tragedy…should we all not fear how this will end? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Fighting Domestic Abuse

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I came across these excellent graphics used to educate and prevent against domestic dominance and abuse.


The first wheel shows how “power and control” are used to instill fear and dominate domestic partners as well as in an overall pattern of relationships with physical and sexual violence:


– Intimidation

– Emotional Abuse

– Isolation

– Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming

– Using Children

– Male Privilege

– Economic Abuse

– Coercion and Threats


In contrast, the second wheel displays positive patterns of “equality” in relationships and nonviolence and are marked by the following attributes:


– Non-threatening behavior

– Respect

– Trust and Support

– Honesty and Accountability

– Responsible Parenting

– Shared Responsibility

– Economic Partnership

– Negotiation and Fairness


Have you ever noticed a pattern of domestic abuse behaviors that include the following?


– Constantly lecturing on political views the other person should hold.

– Keeping them away from their family and friends.

– Controlling the major life decisions.

– Hiding money and accounts.

– Demanding the partner stay home with the kids indefinitely.

– Using emotional withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness to control.

– Requiring the other person to be available whenever they want.


Spouses and partners should be your best friend and not your servant or dog to kick when you get home.


Watch out for those who exhibit the bad behaviors and patterns of abuse and violence…and stay safe in good and healthy relationships! 😉


(Source Photo: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project – Duluth Model)

I Love A Strong Woman, But…

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Ok, admit it or not.


This is certainly something that every man fears: ~Castration Phobia~


Of course, I don’t know what she’s planning, but with that huge sickle-shaped knife and that big disarming smile, I definitely don’t want to find out. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)