Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, “Avraham, The Ultimate Mensch.”

The Rabbi asked why did Hashem who is omnipotent even need to create us? And he answered because in G-d being the ultimate good, He “had to create us”—this in essence being the ultimate expression of good by sharing that goodness with us to learn and be good as well. In short, what could be a greater good than extending that opportunity to be be good to others.


Like our forefather, my Hebrew name is Avraham, and for me personally, this has been a critical life lesson: learning to see challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and consistently be a person that tries to do what is right even when it is hard or the lines seem to be grey. In the end, I believe that G-d put us in this world in order for us to choose good over evil and demonstrate kindness to others. With the Torah as our blueprint, and Avraham, our forefather, as our role model, we must apply the great teachings of the Torah and always strive to act as a proper mensch!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Going With Happiness

The Rebbe and Me
We went to synagogue yesterday and the Sukkot celebration today at Chabad in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

 
Such lovely warm and welcoming people–thank you Rabbi and Rebbetzin Schneur for your very gracious hospitality.
 
My wife and I both cried at the services and in getting in touch with our inner Torah spirituality.
 
Somehow, Chabad brings out the best in others, and they did it with us as well.
 
Here I stood next to the picture of the Rebbe and I looked into his eyes and was strengthened.
 
I remember many years ago, Dossy and I went to visit at Chabad headquarters in Crown Heights, New York and we received a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
 
He told my wife to always go with happiness (“B’sever panim yafot”).
 
Today was a little fulfillment of that. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)

Mickey Isn’t Smiling On Everybody

Horror Mickey
Orlando, as you know, is home to Disney’s amusement park, one of the biggest employers in the area–70,000 people.


That’s nice you say…only Bloomberg reports that Orlando has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation @ 20%–and that’s not amusing!


Even though Disney just upped their minimum salaries to $10 an hour, they have thousands on the rolls (ride operators, bus drivers, maids, etc.) earning less than $25,000 a year (and that is similar to 40% of all the jobs in Orlando), and for that even Mickey Mouse couldn’t buy any cheese.


Funny though that Disney costs a family of 5 about $1,500 for a 4-day pass, and they just earned a profit for the quarter of $2.2 billion.


Maybe next time you go to the fun house at Disney, you’ll think for a moment that it’s really a house of horror for tens of thousands of hardworking, decent people. 


Mickey Mouse is a louse and Donald Duck is a F-unny character, indeed.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)