THE MIGHTY MERKAVA IV

What an amazing birthday gift from my beautiful kids. 


A model of the awesome Merkava IV battle tank from Israel. 


They know how much I love this tank which the brave soldiers of the IDF use to protect the Holy Land of Israel. 


As a son of Holocaust survivors, this gift left me so emotional and literally brought tears to my eyes. 


One of the real tributes of the Merkava is that unlike almost every other tank in the entire world which has its engine in the rear to protect it from enemy fire…


The Merkava IV has the engine in the front to protect the lives of the Israeli soldiers who man it. 


To the Jewish people, it’s not the tank that is important in and of itself, but it is its ability to protect each and every sacred life behind it. 


That is the noble creed of the Israelite people–nothing is more valuable than human life. 


70-years after the founding of the State of Israel–established from the very ashes of the 6,000,000 murdered in the Holocaust–I am so proud to say that IDF, despite being under almost constant threat from enemies near and far, protects the people and country with the utmost bravery, human dignity, and as a true light unto the nations. 


They are true heroes! May G-d Almighty bless each and every defender who stands watch over the Holy Land, and may He speedily bring a true and lasting peace to us all. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My First Article in the TOI – The Samson Dilemma

My first article in The Times of Israel.


“The Samson Dilemma”

I was struggling with what to say.  


And then the words came pouring to me when I awoke at 4 am. 


It comes from my heart, and I am grateful to G-d for bringing me to this time. 


Hope you enjoy the article. 


Andy 


(Source Photo of Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bringing Down The House

I love this silver sculpture of Samson.


And one of my favorite stories and Biblical characters. 


Samson was dedicated to G-d from birth and was an enormous warrior. 


Even when he was betrayed, blinded, and bound, he maintained his ultimate faith in G-d.


He prayed that he be given the strength one more time to bring justice to G-d’s enemies. 


And that’s when he pushed against the pillars and brought the house down on them.


On one hand, a tragic figure that trusted and was fooled by the beautiful Delilah, but a completely heroic man of great integrity, who believed in G-d and in vanquishing his enemies.


Look to the Heavens for your strength and G-d can grant you the ultimate strength to achieve your mission in life and even in death. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Thank You To The Rescuers

Houston.jpeg

With all the devastation going on around Houston and the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Harvey…


I thought it would be nice to just take a moment to reflect.


First, the pain and suffering of the people affected. 


I couldn’t believe last night when I saw this image of residents in a assisted nursing facility sitting up to the necks in flood waters.


Or this morning, when I saw a photo in the Wall Street Journal of a firefighter holding a mother with her baby daughter lying on her, rescuing them through the waters. 


With over 3,000 rescues performed for people stranded in attics, rooftops, in cars, and all over the city and surroundings, I also think it’s important to recognize all the firefighters and other emergency workers who put their lives on the line to help others. 


The Houston area is expected to get 50 inches of rain in under a week, which is what their usual annual rainfall is. 


So there is massive flooding and damage from Harvey as well as 250,000 people without power. 


My prayers go out to the people impacted and gratitude to the people who help them. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Huffington Post)

Attitudinal Fix

Good

So attitude goes a long way in shaping how we do in life. 


For some people, the glass is half full, and for others it’s half empty–it’s of course, just how you look at it. 


One colleague told me this week: 

Life is 10% what happens 

and 

90% how you react to it.”

I suppose we see that with so many people who have unbelievable daunting challenges in life, yet somehow they manage to put on a smile or give a thumbs up regardless, and just do what they need to do–they are troopers, survivors, and generally people of incredible character and caliber. 


These are the heroes that we can look up to. 


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”–and the going refers to doing what needs to get done, and not running away from your duty scared or not knowing what to do. 

Need to be courageous, resourceful, loyal, and giving to others.  


Stop the whining, the crying, the self pity, the questioning “why me”–what will any of that help?


Fight, fight, fight–that’s what we’re here for. 


Until our last breath, we can still make a difference. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Climbing The Tower, Remembering 9/11

 
Never Forget Tower Fire Truck Firefighter Little Firefighter

It’s the weekend before the anniversary of 9/11, and today in full gear, about 100 firefighters and police officers climbed the 28-story tower in Rockville 4 1/2 times today equaling the 2,000 stairs in the World Trade Centers.

This to remember the 343 firefighter and 71 police officer heroes that fell that fateful day.

Also, to raise funds for the firefighter burn fund. 

While some are war weary and would rather forget or pretend it never even happened…

It is so important that we not forget the devastating terrorist attack by Islamic extremists on 9/11 that took us by surprise and cost this nation so dearly. 

Reckless pacifism, appeasement, cowardice, and running from the fight without defeating the enemy and restoring societal order will only bring the fight to us. 

We need ongoing vigilance, investment and improvements to homeland security and our national defense, and the spread of freedom and human rights across the globe.

(The interview with the firefighter was narrated by me, Andy Blumenthal)

(Source Photos: Me as well). 

Why Have We Gone Soft On Terror?

Captain America
So today, we saw the movie American Sniper, which topped the long weekend box office with over $105 million in receipts.

Why are people loving this movie?

Because Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper) was a true patriot, and as a Navy Seal sniper fought the war on terror with 4 tours of duty overseas and over 160 confirmed kills.

Chris Kyle loved this country and what it stands for and he loved his fellow warfighters, who gave so much of themselves to protect this nation.

The people of our country are watching the world events unfold with one terrorist attack and atrocity after another…and they are aghast at how we have apparently gone soft when we are still at war!

Iran misses deadline after deadline for disarming their nuclear WMD program, and rather than leading the charge on sanctions, instead there is a vow to veto both houses of Congress on any legislation that even threatens sanctions that would only take effect if they fail to reach a deal by the July 2015 deadline.

Al Qaeda conducts series of horrific terrorist attacks in Paris on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher grocery store, and 40 world leaders and millions of citizens come together for a Unity Rally, but our leadership bows out of attending, instead of being arm-in-arm with our allies such as France, Germany, England, and Israel.



Hamas rains thousands of missiles indiscriminately on Israeli cities and digs terror tunnels to abduct and murder across the country, and in the ultimate hypocrisy of justice, the International Criminal Court protects the terrorists and investigates our ally for defending themselves in a 50-day war against those who vow to destroy them.

ISIS is capturing huge swaths of Iraq and Syria and is murdering and torturing the populace and beheading our journalists and aid workers and our response is tepid and inadequate.

– The Taliban slaughter 145 mostly schoolchildren in Pakistan and where is our indignation?

Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls and they threaten to sell them and we hold up signs to “Bring Back Our Girls,” but where is the action to actually free them.

– With terrorists hunted down and captured–at great risk to our own military and intelligence men and women–and held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, instead of locking them up and throwing away the keys, we are releasing them, while many yet return to perform more terrorist activities against us.

These are just a few to mention…yet where is the outrage at all the ongoing terrorism around us? Where is the determined action to protect our people, freedom and democracy?

We need to honor those who fought for this country–like patriot Chris Kyle–and decisively win this war on terror. Anything less is a losing strategy. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fire Truck Pride

Fire Truck
I love when I see the fire and rescue vehicles that proudly display the flag. 



Not only are the people that do these jobs heroes in putting their own lives on the line to rescue and save others, but they are patriots as well. 



It’s not only about the individuals they save, but also the country they serve. 



In democracys, there is a value for freedom and human rights–where every individual matters.



That’s a country to take pride in and something worth risking life and limb for. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)