Yearning for Redemption

Just an impression from my recent trip to Israel. 


There is such a yearning for people to do good and to merit the coming of Mashiach (Messiah) towards the ultimate redemption for mankind. 


It’s on every street corner and light post.  


Whether it’s eyes gazed on the righteousness of Rabbi Nachman or The Rebbe–as we used to sing as kids in NCSY:

“We want Mashiach now!”


Whether Mashiach is an actual person or a spiritual revelation in the world leading to redemption–it represents an unprecedented enlightenment, holiness and a spiritual healing, and love and peace for mankind. 


While we strive to earn our daily bread, it’s nice to have a part of us that also seeks a greater good and achieving betterment for the world. 


Any small or big things we can do in our lives to contribute to Tikkun Olam (“fixing the world”), it’s purposeful, hopeful, and uplifting to try. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Power of Speech

I loved this magnet on this wonderful old Jewish ladies refrigerator who lives in our community.

“If you have nothing good to say…
Say nothing.”

I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too. 


It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.


I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim’s books.


And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:


– Not to hurt anyone.


– Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)


– But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good. 


Kind words.


Gentle words.


Complimentary words.


Words of love and caring. 


Holy words. 


The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good. 


The old saying of “The pen is mightier than the sword,” can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general. 


Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it’s full of love and caring for others. 


Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Traveling Chassidim

We went to Havdalah with the Traveling Chassidim at Aish HaTorah in Rockville. 


It was so wonderful and spiritually uplifting. 


At around mark 11:00, I get to wear the shtreimel hat and I get to drop the shtreimel hat (that was funny)!


These Chassidim from Monsey and Brooklyn were so wonderful. 


They leave their communities and homes to come out for Shabbat to other Jewish communities around the country and do beautiful outreach. 


So giving, loving, and caring with their whole families. 


The music, song, and joy they bring are beyond words. 


The Traveling Chassidim are wonderful and they make a terrific Havdalah at the end of the Shabbat. 😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Shower Us With Peace

Oh L-rd, we pray that you shower your people with an abundant and complete peace. 


A peace of mind, spirit, and body.


A peace that permeates every aspect of our being and knows no limits to time and space. 


May You grant us a complete saving and healing. 


As threats loom large on the horizon, we look to the Heavens to ask for your merciful saving grace. 


Enemies rise against us, and only you can reach down and lift us up.


We stand in your presence, naked and humbled.


As the winds blow and clouds gather, only you can protect and save. 


While some men look arrogantly at their own strength and smarts, these are nothing to the Master of the Universe.


G-d uproots the wicked and plants his faithful children in their stead. 


Peace is the ultimate blessing, and only G-d can grant it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

613 Everywhere

So many times, I have written about the holy mystical number of 613 (the number of commandments in the Torah) and variations/transpositions on these numbers (316, 163, etc.).



My wife and I continue to see 613 all the time and everywhere!



Prices, receipts, license plates, accounts balances, stock price changes, lottery winnings, bar codes, time of day, wait times, schedules, number of email, rows in a spreadsheet, road numbers, social media views, etc. etc. etc.



– I have questioned myself over and over whether I am seeing it because I am sensitized to it or simply even looking for it at this point. 



The answer is a definite no!



Here’s a recent example, of the change in the stock price for Teva Pharmaceuticals (above)–it’s exactly -.0613!



But this isn’t a one time event or a fluke.  



As we all know stock prices fluctuate every moment on the marketplace. Yet, when I check at completely different and random times, it is up or down by a variation of 613!



Other times, I’ll check multiple stocks… and they will simultaneously be moving or priced at variations again of 613–at the exact same moment, I repeat, different stocks priced at the exact same moment.  



Here’s another non-financial example:

I did a post a few weeks ago on the critical importance of emergency preparedness. 



Look at how many views it got on LinkedIn…exactly 163!



This happens everywhere and all the time!



Here’s a third example:

A license plate. 



Here’s a fourth example:

Can you see the code on the package…613!



A fifth example:

A tracking code on a shipment. 



A sixth example: 

A bar code on a bottle of Life Water.



A seventh example:

A label on some spinach!



An eighth example:

A construction site.



An ninth example:

A public solicitation for the Department of Energy.



A tenth example:

The winning pot for Powerball. 



Hey, I am not superstitious and I am not OCD–seriously. 



But this happens all the time.



I cannot help but think that G-d is sending us an important message.



From a personal level, my wife and I have both tried to take the messages seriously and to continue to improve our lives–albeit we know, we are far from perfect human beings. 



However, we also feel compelled to share this message more broadly.



There is a lot going on in the world, and could this mean something bigger and more consequential to a lot more people?



Please, please, please, G-d have mercy on your children…we are but flesh and blood…and we desire to do good. 



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s With The Water

Water.jpeg

At this time of some major hurricanes hitting the USA (first Harvey, and now approaching IRMA and Jose)…


I have been remembering from the other day when I was in the pool, but I had a very different experience from usual. 


Yes, I was swimming hard and disciplined doing my laps.


But my mind decided to focus on the water.


Just the water…nothing else. 


I literally blanked out the world around me…no pool, no exercise, no other people, no current events, no random thoughts.


I just put all my senses unto the water itself. 


The cool softness of the water as it glided over my hands and body. 


The subtle resistance of the water, yet the buoyancy it provided. 


The waves and current as the water flowed around my body moving crisply through it.


The healing purity of the water physically and spiritually. 


I imagined the clearest and cleanest water, and how it quenches our thirst and washes everything in the world clean again. 


Water, earth, wind and fire…the wisdom and perfection of them and us cannot possibly be random events, but they are testament to the genius of our Creator. 


Thank you G-d especially for the water in the time, place, and amount that is for a blessing–and as a series of strong hurricanes continue to roar towards your people, let it be merciful. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning Of Pain

Buddha.jpeg

Wow, I am so impressed with my daughter.


I spoke with her this evening and she has grown into such a smart, mature, and good person. 


We were talking about some hard times.


And she said to me so smartly (and I am so proud of her):

“The reason that we have pain is to avoid more pain.”


Wow…think about that for a moment. 


Everyone gets physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain in their lives. 


Even little things like stubbing your toe, getting a small burn, or a paper cut–these things give you a instant or more of pain…but it jolts you into attention of what to avoid and to action how to protect yourself to prevent further and worse pain down the road. 


A little pain now can fortunately save you a lot of pain later!


(Or in the gym they say, “No pain, no gain.”)


My father used to say about difficult life lessons:

“Better to cry now than to cry later!”


He was right–bad situations generally don’t get better with age. 


Continuing the discussion with my lovely daughter tonight, she said to me:

“A person becomes better when they struggle. I’ve become better by struggling.”


Again, like little pains, even larger struggles in life challenge us to learn, grow, and become better and stronger people. 


I remember as a kid–when we went through those growth spurts–it would actually hurt a little–some muscle aches here and some cramps there–whew, a few inches taller already. 


Growth hurts, but it’s kind of a good hurt that only someone with the emotional intelligence to understand maturity and betterment can really grasp. 


No, I’m not advocating for self-flagellation–just that we know when pain and struggle is a defining moment in life–like shaping and sharpening a great sword in fierce fire. 


It’s hot, but the heat is healing and necessary sometimes to grow as human and spiritual beings. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)