Getting Tefillin Checked

I visited with Rabbi Levy yesterday to get my tefillin checked.

I learned that if there are questions about the legibility of the holy scrolls, they are given to a child to read to see in their innocence whether the tefillin are kosher or not.

Something felt very good and important about performing this mitzvah.

In the meantime, while mine are being checked, I have a loaner pair of teffilin to use and daven with.

Yet to be seen whether it is time for a new pair or not–like a bar mitzvah all over again. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pacemaker No-No!

So I learned that this is called a Van de Graaff Generator.


It generates very high voltage electricity. 


The guy setting it up asks me:

Do you have a pacemaker?


I respond in the negative and ask what’s the danger zone on this thing.


He says: 

You probably wouldn’t want to get within 10 feet of this!


Good to know. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Please note that blog is not to be taken as medical advice.)

Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 


But they are not all the same.


It’s NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it’s what is inside people’s hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

OMG, What A Beautiful Song

And Even In Hiding

By Yaakov Shwekey & Kobi Peretz

Even though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
Because you are with me
Even behind the difficult things you are going through
I stand…I stand…I stand
Even in the place which is hidden, within that which is hidden
Surely, the blessed Hashem is found there too  

My heart and soul are uplifted by this beautiful song. 😉

Purim In Israel, Chabad Style

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Purim in Israel, Chabad Style.”

We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night. We are going down Ben Yehudah Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading. Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates. He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shul (#770 of course). Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.


Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad–they understand faith, ritual, and people’s hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why We Chase Love

Being a heart alone in this world is very lonely, indeed. 


Chasing another heart, so that we can pair together makes two less lonely hearts.


Two hearts that beat as one making beautiful music together. 


When the hearts are in harmony, we sway and are uplifted flying away into the heavens.  


And when the music is discordant, we are forced to retune and to grow wings that we never even knew we had. 


Hearts that complement each other, help us face the questions we often fear to ask ourselves. 


When these hearts meet, they touch so gently, and like silk they dance a perfect dance.  


What is meaningless alone is all of a sudden meaningful with another. 


What is too painful to bear by oneself is manageable when shared between two. 


And what is joyful is magnified in sweetness when there is someone else to enjoy it with. 


One heart chases another until they embrace that long blissful embrace. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stone Faces Hide The Heart

Some people are so cold and emotionally distant.


They go around with a stone face.  


No emotion seems to seep in or out. 


The face doesn’t betray the heart in any way. 


You say something or do something, and they just sort of stare at you. 


No words, no outward response. 


Just a stone face like a poker face. 


You don’t know what’s behind it. 


But worse yet is a heart of stone–nothing impacts the inside just like the outside. 


Are some people this way because they have been so hurt in the past that they become hardened like a turtle’s shell to protect from the outside world. 


…Ain’t gonna let nothing hurt me again. 


Or are they great at using their poker face to fool, manipulate, and get what they are after. 


Perhaps the worst possibility is that they are simply a real psychopath–someone without conscience or empathy. 


Yes, that is scary because the unthinkable becomes thinkable. 


For most of us, reading verbal and non-verbal cues is critical to understanding other people. 


Hiding those cues can mean that the stone face is going to shatter someone’s world and that won’t be a pretty face at all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)