Don’t Trust Your Gut Alone

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Snake That Appeals To Your Gut.”

The truth is, following one’s gut feelings alone is a way to avoid confronting or dealing with real data about what’s going on. While it’s true that information can be tough to get as well as to interpret, we certainly have to look not only at people’s words, but also at their deeds. We have to see them over an extended period of time, so we see whether there is consistency and if their integrity holds up under different situations and stressors.


We have hearts and minds and we need to make sure we are using both in making important decisions. Otherwise, see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil—and what do you think you are precisely going to get?


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flower Petals In Water

Just wanted to share these absolutely beautiful flower petals floating on the water. 


G-d’s creations are so wondrous and marvelous.


Frankly, I find it hard to comprehend how He made everything so gorgeous. 


There are plenty of challenges for us in this world to keep us learning and growing. 


But truly, I love that there is some Garden of Eden paradise in this world too. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy 70th Birthday to Israel

What a beautiful Shabbat today at Magen David Synagogue celebrating the 70th Birthday of the State of Israel. 


Prayers, blessings, song, waving flags, and a lovely Kiddish feast following services. 


Immediately after the genocidal Holocaust that exterminated six million Jews – 1 out of every 3 in the entire world – the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. 


With thriving cities, arts and culture, flourishing farming, science and innovation, Holy religious sites, a rich history everywhere, and a formidable military. 


There is so much to be proud of and to thank G-d for.


Oh G-d, we praise you in that you have returned your children to Zion as you promised from Biblical times and breathed fresh life into their dry bones. 


Only you can revive an entire people and a land.


Only you can create a blooming Garden of Eden from barren desert. 


Only you can make a strong and just a nation from one that once was carted away of crowded train cars to the death camps and crematoria 


Throughout 2,000 years of exile, we remembered your promise and we prayed for redemption, and you showered your gracious mercy on us and brought us back on wings of eagles. 


For 70 years now, nations have risen up against Israel to try to destroy it, but only you have saved it through the brave arms of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 


Praise to G-d Almighty.  Praise be to G-d in Heaven and on Earth. Praise be the creator and sustainer.  


We honor you through keeping your Holy Torah commandments and remembering that you Hashem, are our G-d and you are One. 


It is our job to live a life of integrity, to do good whatever we do and wherever we go, as your children and as a light along with America unto the other nations. 


As we sang in the Holocaust, “I believe with a full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and thou he tarries, I will never-the-less wait.”


The waiting was over 70-years ago, and we are living in the age of redemption. 


Miracles abound and the world progresses scientifically and technologically and with a spirit of doing good and justice. 


The nation of Israel lives!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why We Fight?

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Well first of all, let me say that I really liked this image on Google the other day. 


Beautiful to see the diversity and brotherhood (and including those with disabilities)!


I had a an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day about why people often don’t get along. 


She said something that I thought was really astute:


“If there were unlimited resources, then no one would have a reason to fight!”


Think about that a moment…


Everyone feels they don’t have enough or someone else has more then them or they are afraid they won’t get their share, and so what happens?


Like jealous little children, we fight for the pail and shovel in the sandbox. 


Only as adults, our sandbox is a lot bigger and it involves hate, bigotry, racism and deadly weapons including guns, knives, and even nukes!


So this isn’t the Garden of Eden where everyone prances around free and with plenty and nothing to worry about. 


Instead, everyone has to work “by the sweat of your brow,” and there are limits to what we have, and there is fighting over who has what.


Yes, truly “greed is the root of all evil.”


What we need to learn and internalize is that it’s more important how we act towards each other than what we have and that the real gold in life is the good we do and not the plenty we amass. 


Sure we each need enough to be able to survive and excel as human beings, but it’s fool’s gold that prevents us from seeing each other as the real brothers and sisters we all are. 


If only we had enough–in both perception and reality–then peace could reign among mankind. 😉


(Source Photo: Google)

Future Home For Mankind

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Thought these artist renderings of the Trappist-1 Star were awesome. 


NASA discovered this star and 7 Earth-size planets around it that could conceivably have water and sustain human life. 


As we continue to gobble up Earth’s resources and build incredibly powerful weapons that may one day soon destroy it, we need to have a viable Plan B.


Hence, the race to find another planet(s) with resources and environmental conditions where human civilization can survive and thrive.


I’m not sure what is more exciting than finding that magic planetary home of the future, where everything is new and pristine again like the Garden of Eden.


A place to go where hopefully we take not only the bits and bytes of our current world, but also the lessons learned to do it better again. 😉


(Source Photo: NASA JPL here and here)

Special Blue Bird

blue-bird

Just wanted to share a photo I took of this beautiful blue bird that I came across in Florida. 


This bird was something special. 


I couldn’t help admiring his amazingly blue feathers punctuated by the yellow around his smart eyes 


He wasn’t the only beautiful animal or flower that we saw there, there were many.


They all just left me in wonderment at the unbelievable beauty that G-d created for us in this world.


No one is going to tell me this is all random by evolution, and that there is not a profoundly wise and all-knowing Maker behind it.


Perhaps, we never really left the physical Garden of Eden, but being expelled from there meant more of a mentality where we have to work and fight hard to keep it all pristine.


Mankind’s inclination is to take and use abundantly almost without thought as to the sustainability of his actions.


– Cities expand and encroach on natural rural areas. 


– G-d’s beautiful creatures are in retreat and often in danger of extinction. 


– Resources are used willy nilly as we dig and dig, chop and chop, and burn and burn. 


– Garbage is expelled and piles up virtually anywhere and everywhere.


– Pollution fills the land, air, and waterways.


Eden is still here, but people must act more like angels and less like snakes if G-d gracious gifts to us are to survive. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Awesome Drumbeat of Life

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Just thought this was such an awesome drum. 


On the top of the drum was a painting of a drummer. 


And on the side was a picture of a beautiful lady dancing. 


It was so simple, yet so eloquently done.


There is something amazing when you can literally feel the art come so alive.


Almost like seeing and feeling the vision of the artist as if looking directly through his eyes.


Our experience her on earth is that of our soul moving and acting in a surreal physical world.


But in so interacting, we leave behind and impact this world with artifacts, and deeds to others, that last beyond ourselves and the moment. 


What a wonderful world G-d has placed us in to experience his wonders and to learn and grow.


I can feel the drumming of my heart and the dancing of my feet all along the way.


And even though I don’t comprehend everything I am experiencing or the decisions that I must make, in it contains not only deep intrigue, but also genuine surprise and challenge, and ultimately meaning, every step  along the marvelous path of G-d’s garden. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)