Nightmares All Night


Been watching the HBO miniseries on the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.


HBO has done an excellent job with showing what happened. 


Maybe too good…I was up with nightmares all night. 


Last night’s episode 3 showed in gory detail the initial causalities from the facility and first responders suffering with acute radiation syndrome, and was completely horrifying. 


In the end, the people were in unimaginable pain and were left as mounds of decomposing flesh from the cellular degradation rather than recognizable human beings.  


(The photo here was just a precursor to that end state.)


The ultimate death toll has been estimated at between 10,000 and more than 100,000. 


The effects of the the radiation was described in the show as like trillions of bullets penetrating everything it comes in contact with for the next 50,000 years.


So far we’ve had Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2012)…OMG, let’s hope and pray that we don’t have any others, because this was truly looking at hell on earth. 😉


(Source Photo: Official Trailer here)

Lessons In Teshuvah – Near-Death Experience


Great Video on the incredible Near Death Experience (NDE) of Rabbi Alon Anava. 



What he experiences, sees, and is told can change lives forever. 



What a perfect learning right before Rosh Hashanah. 



Teshuvah, Tefillah, U’Tzedekah.



Shannah Tova! 😉

 

The Blessings and The Curses

L-rd, Bless your loving children. 


And do swift justice to the wicked that seek their destruction. 


Bless those that stand guard at your heavenly and earthly gates. 


Curse those evil ones that make a mockery of your lofty kingship. 


Bless the humble and faithful to you and your laws.


Curse those that stand in arrogance and spread hate and vileness before you. 


Bless those that bless you and seek to do good. 


Curse those that curse you and do harm to your creations. 


Bless the righteous people with all that is good. 


Curse the wicked and tear them asunder so that they are utterly destroyed. 


L-rd, please hear your lowly servant and bring the ultimate redemption to your people. 


And verily discomfort, smite and throw to the depths of punishment and exile the cursed wicked. 


None can stand before you in their shame and disgrace. 


Do it for your name’s sake; do it for your children’s sake, do it for your justice’s sake, do it to make things right in your beautiful and perfect world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Devil Wolf Attack

So I had one of the scariest dreams that I’ve ever experienced–and it is a true story from just last evening. 


It was so completely real, I can’t even tell you.


There was a devil wolf that attacked me from the the back and literally jumped on me. 


It’s claws were wrapped around my neck and I could tell that with any movement whatsoever, they would immediately slice and sever my arteries completely.


His huge jaws were at the backside of my head, it’s hot breath searing my flesh, and his sharp gnawing teeth were ready at any moment to snap into my neck. 


His full weight, incredible strength, and evil presence were heavy on me and ripping into my back and shoulders. 


It was clear how close I was to the very end of it all. 


The pure evil of this devil wolf being and the ferociousness of the attack was the most fearsome that I could ever imagine. 


What happened next I will never tell anyone, except that I am alive to tell the story.


But this experience of undeniable and terrible evil so close and foreboding has left me a different person forever. 


There are forces of true evil out there–for sure–and we must never let our guard down for a second. 


But as Rabbi Nachman says, it is a narrow bridge, but with the good of G-d, we must never fear at all. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Efraim Stochter)

Suicide Back To Go

So I spoke to someone who tried to commit suicide.


This is what they told me:


“When you try to commit suicide, there is no light; there is no Heaven; there is only darkness.”


Basically, even though they were desperate and tried to kill themselves, their experience was not one of finding relief, but rather of going to Hell!


So while I really don’t know anything, this is what I imagine happens when you try to commit suicide. 


Yes, there is no light–there is only darkness. 


Yes, there is no Heaven.


But I don’t believe you go to Hell for being desperate, depressed, alone, and feeling like you have no other way out. 


Instead, what I believe is that you “Go back to GO and you do not collect $200.”


In other words, you have to start the Game of Life all over again. 


Since you didn’t complete your tests, trials, challenges, and mission…you go back to the beginning. 


You have to relive your life and go through it all over again. 


Who is to say, whether it is a better life or not. 


Presumably, whatever lessons you were supposed to learn the first time around, you still have to complete those lessons. 


So I would think you have to relive a lot of the same. 


I don’t know about you, but one of the things I hate worst when things go wrong is to have to go back and redo what I’ve already done. 


It seems so fruitless, such a waste of time and effort. 


How is that for frustrating–working just to redo what you already did. 


Perhaps that is quite the measured “punishment” for those who end their life prematurely–before G-d says it’s time. 


While we frequently say things about wishing to be young again or do it all over again–I think rarely does someone mean having to go thru the same pain points again. 


I assume it’s nice to live again, but it’s got to be a value-add life–not just a do-over!


So in my mind, while someone on the edge may not have a real choice in what they are doing and in making a decision to take their life–it’s probably not a purely rational moment in time–I do think that in so taking their life, they are not doing themselves any favors in the end. 


Because, suicide isn’t game over, but rather the game begins all over–from the beginning again. 😉


(Note: I am not talking about assisted suicide here for someone who is at the end of life and in absolute pain and suffering and it is truly time to go–I am sure that is perfectly okay). 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Responding To Foolish Holocaust Denial

Holocaust Remembrance Candle

So I just watched a video where the radical Muslim speaker tries to explain how it is not the Earth that rotates around the Sun, but rather how really the Earth is fixed in space, and it is the Sun which rotates around it. 


His logic and proofs include things like the following:


– If the Earth was really moving, and you tried to fly to China, the plane shouldn’t have to move, since China would just come to the plane. 


– Also, if the Earth was moving in the same direction as the plane, and you were flying to China, then you would never get there, because you’d just be chasing a moving China. 


This is how people’s inner darkness, ignorance, and evil can attempt to extinguish the light. 


Similarly, this past week, the “leader” of Iran took the opportunity on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27)–of all days –to once again express his vile denial of the Holocaust.


Khamenei declaring: “It’s not clear if the Holocaust is a reality or not.


And calling for the “dear people of Iran” to “stand up to the ignorance” of the West.


Wow, who is calling whom ignorant and trying to brainwash the good people of Iran. 


It’s funny, but there are so many nice people from Iran that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and befriend, and one of them is an elderly man who is a swimming buddy of mine– and he is such a nice person–I really enjoy talking with him (despite some of our differences of opinion). 


The point is that when the leadership is corrupt, evil, and insecure, then they try to extinguish the good in the masses of the people, so that the people stay in the dark, blinded by scare tactics, scapegoats, and hatred–this is how they stay in power


When it comes to Holocaust denial though, I think this is definitely going way too far, and I imagine the souls of the Six Million righteous who perished in the Holocaust–under the worst genocide the world has ever known–that they are watching and they are listening. 


And Khamenei and his cohorts of evil doers will most certainly have to contend with all these very real martyred righteous souls. 


So in their warped ignorance, foolishness, and hatred–where the sun rotates around the earth and with utter darkness they attempt to extinguish the light of the good people–I imagine with the strongest and most vivid of images and sounds that certainly Heaven does not await them…but a very fiery Hell of their own making indeed. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to slgckgc)

Insomnia Hurts Like Hell

Insomnia

Insomnia is a horrible ailment that many people suffer with and they do this in the dark and in silence. 


Because when the rest of the world is sleeping, you are lying in bed like a log awake–and not sure how you going to get to sleep or stay awake the next day.


What follows are sleepless nights, sometimes groggy days, and anxiety about even going to bed at night. 


How do I know this?


I’ve been battling insomnia since my hip’s deteriorated painfully, and I had a number of hip replacement surgeries, and a lengthy recovery process, including lots of swimming. 


Despite melatonin, warm baths, and even some sleeping meds, my nights were filled with plenty of staring at the ceiling alternating with tossing and turning in bed. 


I was almost at the point of giving up hope on being able to sleep normally again, and then something occurred to me. 


Stop the meds and just pray!


Over a few days I weaned off the sleep meds, and was feeling really crappy and headachy. 


But the real difference was when I got into bed, I remembered and recited the prayers of my youth from before bedtime. 


And I added for G-d to please help me sleep normally again.


The very first night…I slept perfectly!


Now, it’s been three nights in a row–in Judaism, we call that a chazakah (something that is established). 


I am so grateful to G-d for returning me to restful sleep-filled nights–thank you Hashem!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)