Happy Father’s Day

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So it’s Shabbat and that’s one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 


Yes, this was before digital photography!


I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive–I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 


This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 


My parents are gone now to Hashem–already 2 and 3 years–and I still can’t believe it. 


At the annual Mother’s Day and Father’s Day–it’s just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 


For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 


Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another–this is what life is all about.


Father’s Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children–to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!


So I’m crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). 😉 


(Source Photo: My Girls)

Satisfied and Bless G-d

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I loved Chabad Rabbi Schneur Kaplan’s speech today in synagogue.


It was about how we can learn to be happy with what we have in life.


The biggest marketing gimmick is to say to the guy, “Look at what your neighbor has next door!”


Jealousy, desire, greed, having more and better than the next guy/girl…


That’s what many people live for and how they think.


Some can have as much as the founders of Apple, Google, and Facebook combined and still it’s not enough.


If just one person has something more…it can drive that person crazy.


Like Haman on Purim, who had wealth, power, large family and everyone bowed down to him…


Except one person named Mordecai who wouldn’t bow.


And despite having everything, but missing that one thing drove Haman so crazy–it was his downfall!


When we eat, we can be satisfied with one slice of pizza and say grace or we can have four slices and still not be satisfied.


How do we look at things?


We can be grateful for whatever we have and say that G-d gave us just what we needed at this time and place.


Or we can look at what we don’t have, and forever be bitter and unsatisfied.


What joy we can experience in life when we realize the graciousness for what G-d has bestowed on us and we are thankful for what we have. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Poverty Stinks

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A lady dropped these placards around on the Metro yesterday with a little pack of tissues. 


It says:

“Hi, I have 2 kids and I’m a single mother and I have no job. If you can please help me for food and for rent. G-d bless you. Thank you.”


It is heart-wrenching, the poverty!


People without food or shelter. 


Many without medicine and proper clothing. 


Basic things that most of us take for granted.


It takes so little for everything to go to sh*t. 


Both individually and also societally. 


The world can be a cruel, cruel place. 


But people can open their hearts and wallets to help others. 


Also, advocate for people that are less fortunate. 


Imagine G-d looking down and what does he see from us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Curse That Is Really A Blessing

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So here is an amazing true story from this week.


My wife was in Israel. 


She went to the Kotel (Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem) to pray. 


On the way, an old, poor man stopped her and asked for food. 


My wife gave him her sandwich. 


Then after walking another block, he stopped her again and gestured for assistance. 


This time, my wife gave him some money too.


After this, she asked him if he would bless our family.


And he did and also gave a special blessing to my elder daughter who had just recently gotten engaged. 


My wife also went to the Kotel and prayed for us and her. 


That same evening back in the States here, my daughter and her fiancee ended their engagement. 


At first, the breakup seemed like a big disappointment and that a terrible thing had happened–almost like a curse–but G-d works in mysterious ways. 


When we saw the reasons for the breakup, we realized fully that G-d had indeed heard the blessings of the old, poor man (maybe an angel) and the prayers of my wife.


We wish the young man all the best in his future, but we just saw clearly that this was not the right match. 


So what at first can seem like a curse is really a blessing in disguise. 


Truly, when you give charity, you’re not only helping others, but it’s really a blessing for you too. 


Thank you to the old, poor man in Jerusalem and to Hashem who heard my wife’s prayers at the Kotel. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Lying Down and Looking Up

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So yesterday, we did something that is really fun for me…

It was such a magnificent sunny day out. 


The air was slightly warm, but at the same time there was a refreshing cool breeze.


We went outside, and just laid down in the wide open grass and looked up into the sky. 


I put some music on for us from the iPhone and just let it all sort of be.


There was a father and son flying this beautiful kite that looked like a huge butterfly. 


There was other people riding bicycles and running.


It seemed so freeing to be in the open space under the big blue sky. 


And to have the blessing of time and the luxury to relax a little and enjoy it. 


Thank you G-d for your mercy and wonderful gifts that you bestow on your people. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Tunnel From Egyptian Bondage

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On Passover, we celebrate G-d’s redemption of the Israelites and the great miracles he wrought in bringing them from slavery to freedom, giving them the sacred Torah, and taking them to the Holy Land of Israel. 


His mercy and kindness endures forever!


While many people think that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the desert…


Little do most people know that there is also this miracle tunnel that many Israelites took when G-d took them out of Egyptian bondage and exile. 


It connected them from Egypt and straight to the IRT subway train, which took them to the shuttle that then got them to John F. Kennedy International Airport and on to El Al planes to the State of Israel.


In G-d’s world, there is no limitations of time and space…and He literally brought them on wings on eagles to live in Israel and worship at his holy Temple in Jerusalem. 


For 3,500 years, the Israelite Jewish people have inhabited the land of Israel–from their days and until ours, may Judah be saved and may Israel dwell securely, and let us bless and thank G-d, and say Amen!  😉


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)