Too Much Violence

There is too much violence in the world.

Physical violence.

Verbal violence.

Emotional violence.

When there aren’t body sores.

There are emotional and mental ones.

So much suffering.

The silent masses.

Their doors close.

But behind them.

And outside.

In the chaos of the streets and on the subways.

You can see it in the eyes.

And hear it in their voices.

Maybe they are black and blue.

The people are troubled.

The world is insane.

The children are especially innocent.

The weak at the hands of the strong.

Anarchy reigns where G-dliness is absent.

Why? Why? Why?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Holding Back The Tide

These rocks are holding their own against the tide. 


They are also standing the test of time. 


We all need to push back against the tide when wrong is pushing forward. 


Whether its corruption or violence.


Be like a rock!


Choose good over evil in every situation.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We Impact Each Other’s Souls

Finishing Natan Sharansky’s book Fear No Evil


And I rarely write twice on a book or movie, but this was so impactful. 


First on our souls, Sharansky writes:

The law of attraction, interconnection, and interdependence of human souls…there is a universal gravitational pull of souls, of the bond between them and influence of one soul on the other. 


Wow, Sharansky understood the deeper meaning of the soul and how they all emanate and are pieces from G-d and they are all connected to their source and each other, and what one person says or does impacts all the others (and thereby G-d himself). 


Literally, I experienced this the other day…when I personally made amends on something I felt that I had done wrong, and I could literally feel somehow righting a wrong in the universe and G-d, Himself, smiling down on me. 


It was the best feeling I think I have ever had in my life. 


Second on fear, Sharansky writes:


My inner freedom [is] more powerful than the external bondage…[and] fear of the L-rd…is a necessary prerequisite for man’s achieving inner freedom, and is also the prerequisite for spiritual resolve, the fear of the L-rd is the only thing that can conquer human fear.


Wow again. Sharansky through his nine years of suffering and hardships in Soviet prisons and labor camps found his deep inner strength to resist the tyranny of the KGB worldly masters and overcame them with his finding his fear and faith in G-d and was able to overcome. 


These are two amazing heavenly lessons that Sharansky shares with us from enduring and overcoming his incredible worldly hardships.


I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this and am with G-d’s help continuing to quench my thirst for this type of wisdom and true enlightenment.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations

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Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations.”

Natan Sharansky showed tremendous personal strength and integrity to respond with humor and wit while suffering under the Soviets in prison, separated from his wife, deprived of all outside contacts, placed in “punishment cells” cold, hungry, and sleep-deprived, and regularly interrogated to try to get him to incriminate himself and his fellow refuseniks and human rights activists. Sharansky is truly a hero who stood up as a Jew persecuted in the Soviet Union and as a human rights activist leading the way to help other refuseniks to get released, with eventually millions escaping through the “Iron Door” to emigrate to freedom in Israel and the United States.


Yesterday, we celebrated Israel’s 72nd Independence Day, so I will add that for too many years since the founding of the State of Israel that the Soviets armed and supported the Arab League nations in warring against Israel and in seeking its destruction. However now, Israel and Russia not only have an anchoring of social idealism in common, but also Israel has 15% of it citizens from there. Further, as Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan decades ago, and has a warming of relations with the Gulf States, perhaps Russia will also continue to come around to growing a mutually beneficial friendship with Israel.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)

You Can Overcome It!

I like this runner’s shirt a lot. 


It says:

Courage is endurance for one moment more.


Just when you feel that you cannot go on for another moment.


Just when you are at your very limit.


Just when you’ve reached your total breaking point. 


Then…


You take that deep breath and focus your mind intently. 


You disassociate yourself from the pain and struggle. 


You see the challenge in front of you for what it really is and you raise yourself above and beyond it.


Your inner spirit is so much greater than its power over you. 


You have the inner faith and can endure whatever it is. 


You can overcome it! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Hears Your Prayers

My son-in-law reminded me of a beautiful Jewish saying about prayer:

Even if a sharp sword rests upon a person’s neck, he should not refrain from praying for mercy. 


One can still hope for mercy from the Almighty even at death’s door. 


This is truly beautiful and uplifting–we can approach G-d anytime, and as long as we are alive, there is always hope.


The saving from G-d is like “the blink of an eye.” 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Operation Thunderbolt: Fighting Prejudice and Persecution

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Operation Thunderbolt: Fighting Prejudice and Persecution.”

No people should suffer blatant prejudice and persecution and everyone should be “entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These are part of the foundational values that America and Israel share. We stand as friends and allies for respecting and valuing human rights, always to be underscored by peace and security for our peoples. Isn’t it an amazing “coincidence” that the rescue in Entebbe occurred on America’s 200th anniversary, July 4, 1976!


The raid on Entebbe and the miraculous rescue of the hostages stands as an everlasting symbol of courage and triumph of good over evil. As we continue to work and pray for a genuine peace in the Middle East for all its inhabitants, we also must stand resolutely and say “Never Again.”

(Credit Photo: Government Press Office Israel via Flickr)

Faith Chases Out The Fear

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Faith Chases Out The Fear.

It’s interesting that faith and fear are incompatible and they cannot coexist. Where one is, the other is not. Just like the light chases away the darkness, so too does faith expel fear from our lives. When we believe that G-d is in charge of everything that happens, and that he loves us and ultimately wants what is good of us then what is there for us to fear?


No matter in what danger we find ourselves and no matter how scared we feel, we are not alone. The Master of the Universe is watching over us, waiting for us to raise our eyes to the heavens in faith, and to take a stand and do what’s right. If we do, then G-d will manifest himself to us and indeed “will carry, and will deliver” us.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Jews, The People of Thanksgiving

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jews, The People of Thanksgiving.”

This week was Thanksgiving (חג ההודיה), but for Jews we are already called, “The People of Thanksgiving. “We are named יהודים (Yehudim) after יהודה (Yehudah), the son of Isaac and Leah because Leah said (Genesis 29:35): “הפעם אודה את יהיה.” (“This time let me thank G-d”). Also as Jews, we are not just called the People of  Thanksgiving, but we are actively supposed to say 100 blessings a day thanking G-d, so in the true sense of the word, everyday is Thanksgiving Day for the Jewish people.


Jews are the People of Thanksgiving not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. We are thankful for being the chosen people and for our redemption and return to the Promised Land of Israel; we are thankful for the life and opportunities that G-d has given to us; we are thankful in good times and G-d forbid, in the bad times; and we are thankful because, yes, ultimately everything from G-d is for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, “Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch.”

The Rabbi asked why did Hashem who is omnipotent even need to create us? And he answered because in G-d being the ultimate good, He “had to create us”—this in essence being the ultimate expression of good by sharing that goodness with us to learn and be good as well. In short, what could be a greater good than extending that opportunity to be be good to others.


Like our forefather, my Hebrew name is Avraham, and for me personally, this has been a critical life lesson: learning to see challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and consistently be a person that tries to do what is right even when it is hard or the lines seem to be grey. In the end, I believe that G-d put us in this world in order for us to choose good over evil and demonstrate kindness to others. With the Torah as our blueprint, and Avraham, our forefather, as our role model, we must apply the great teachings of the Torah and always strive to act as a proper mensch!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)