Woman In Gold, Gold, and More Gold

What an amazing painting featured in the movie, Woman In Gold.


The painting is called the Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I and was commissioned by her adoring husband. 


That face! And surrounded by everything in gold yet you can still clearly make out her stunning dress. 


I’ve never seen anything like this: the vividness and the majesty of it. 

Honestly, I think there is a resemblance to my beautiful mother, Gerda Blumenthal who was also from Germany. 


The interesting history on this is that it was stolen by the Nazis from the Jewish owners in the Holocaust, but was finally returned to their family in America that succeeded in suing Austria for it back.


This is truly one of the greats! 😉


(Credit Photo: Gustav Klimt [Public domain])

Israel 4th Nation To Reach the Moon Surface – Mazel Tov!

What an unbelievable achievement for Israel. 



Even without a soft landing, Israel is the 4th country in the world to reach the moon surface.



The Moon Club of Just Four:

USA – The Most Powerful
Russia – The Largest by Landmass
China – The Largest by Number of People
Israel – The Holy Land!

 

Mazel Tov on this truly great accomplishment.



We are all so proud of you!  😉

Supporting Israel is Right

Please see my new article in Times of Israel called, “Dialogue with a Former Israel Supporter.”


Israel is not only the biblical and historical homeland for the Jewish people, but it is the only Jewish country in the entire world. 


Nations and terrorists have attacked, again and again, denying the United Nations declaration for the State of Israel and the modern-day geopolitical reality of its existence–and it is flourishing!


The State of Israel has successfully made peace with its neighbors Egypt and Jordan, and they seek the same with the Palestinians.


Let us hope and pray for coexistence speedily in our times. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mazel Tov On Jerusalem

Today, Jerusalem has been recognized as the capital of Israel–Mazel tov!


– 70 years after President Truman instructed the State Department to support the U.N. partition plan.


– 50 years since the Six Day War in which Jerusalem was reunified.


– 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed for relocating the U.S. Embassy to the capital, Jerusalem.


Everyone has been patient and waited a long time for this.


As President Trump stated, we are recognizing the reality, the obvious, and “it is the right thing to do!”


Yes, Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine their own capital as every nation does. 


And Jerusalem is that capital today as it has been historically from the times of the Bible. 


We are blessed to be witnessing in our time the miraculous fulfillment of G-d’s promise for the quintessential return of the Israelites to the Promised Land, and toward the ultimate redemption.


From the ashes of the Holocaust, G-d has resurrected and brought us alive again.


Many that I have spoken with today express genuine fear about the ramifications of this announcement of recognition. 


But as President Trump displayed today, we must all go forward together courageously and in celebration. 


The State of Israel is blooming from its agricultural fields to the incredible medical and technological innovations that are helping people throughout the world.


We must never forget that it is only with G-d’s blessing and under his watchful eye.


May we all pray for peace and security, and let their not be war or terrorism anymore! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via White House)

Tiny Houses Old Style

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Recently, we visited the Underground Railroad Experience Trail in Maryland. 


It simulates the route and challenges that runaway slaves had to face in seeking their freedom. 


While I am certain that the suffering endured was in no way captured here, I thought it was still beneficial to have people sensitized and thinking about these horrible historical events around slavery.


Aside from the hiking trail, there were these amazing tiny houses from the 1800’s.


The wood cabins and stone houses were so cute, but also so inviting. 


If I had to live in a Tiny House, these looked sort of incredibly charming. 


HGTV tiny living spaces–like the one we saw last night that had only 200 feet and was really awkward–have nothing on these tiny gems. 


The matching tiny trees were also a very nice effect. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

DC Lights It Up – Just Physical or More

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Wanted to share these beautiful lights from around Washington, D.C. 


They are all sort of magnificent!


But even while I am marveling at them, my mind is tearing another way…


I am thinking, there is physical light, yet in so many ways the world seems dark. 


We have lots technological progress to be proud of, and yet there are big problems all over the horizon.


Nuclear and missile proliferation, and rising cyber threats.


– Rising global terrorism and potential for military conflicts


– Spiraling national debt and the trust funds for social entitlements running out


– Rising discrimination and associated hate crimes

– Family strains and the decline of marriage

– Challenges in confidence with organized religion 


World leadership at a crossroads. 


We need light–but not just the physical type. 


Transparency, enlightenment to solve big problems and a spiritual awakening to ensure good wins out over evil are all on order. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Absence, A Big Statement

Paris Rally
We all know from psychology 101 that what we pay attention to and give to is what is really important to us. 

 
Parenting is an example of this where we give our time and efforts to our children as our most important investment of self. 
 
This last week was the historical Paris Unity Rally attended by millions, including 40 world leaders, to denounce blind discrimination and hate and the associated terror and murder that marked the terrorist attacks in Paris.
 
The Paris attacks were a striking blow on free speech and resulted in the murder of many innocent citizens and law enforcement at Charlie Hebdo magazine and numerous Jews in a kosher grocery store–it was more than shocking to see our top leadership missing in action (MIA).
 
In the Wall Street Journal today, there are many words on this from “error” to “lost opportunity.”
 
Yet, despite acknowledging the blatant absence, what we are left with are an unfortunate series of excuses, such as the incredible statement that “No one in the White House brought such a request to the the President’s attention.”
 
As if someone needs to tell the leader of the free world that he needs to be participate in the Paris Unity Rally. Did the millions who attended or the other 40 world leaders need a reminder or a nudge?
 
Or here’s another one about not being able to attend because of “security concerns.”
 
Once again, did the heads of state for France, Germany, England, and Israel not have similar concerns that their protectors were able to adequately address. 
 
What about the  apology that he “regrets his decision not to send a top White House official,”–uh, what about going himself?
 
I remember immediately after the attack of 9/11, President George W. Bush, with bullhorn in hand, standing on the rubble of what was once the World Trade Center…there was no excuses as to a need for reminders from staffers, security or health concerns, or sending surrogates–the leader was there and doing his job to lead, period.  
 
How can we fight a war on terrorism, fanaticism, and blind hatred, when we won’t give it our time and attention–from the top down. 
 
As with a parent who is absent with his children, it speaks a thousand words about what is really important to that parent and the impact on the (symbolic) child.
 
“A cat’s in the cradle with a silver spoon little boy blue and the man in the moon when your coming home dad I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then dad, you know we’ll have a good time then.”
 
In the past, the administration has been incredibly supportive in fighting terror, anti-semitism, and standing up for human rights, and with genuine commitment of time and effort, can do so again. 
 
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Doug)
 
(All opinions my own).