The Beauty of Tefillin

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Beauty of Tefillin.”

Like the colorful coat that Jacob gave Joseph to wear, the mitzvah of tefillin that G-d gave us to wear is also filled with spiritual color and the love of Hashem. This is in no way intended as sacrilegious or as trying to change our holy mitzvot. Rather it is an artistic attempt to see the tefillin in a new way that perhaps excites and bring Jews back to this important mitzvah.


Over time, as I continued to learn and grow as a person and as a Jew, I found much of my way back to Yiddishkeit and to wearing my holy tefillin with love and Joy. To me they are forever colorful and full of spiritual energy that are uplifting to me as I pray with them on for Hashem’s everlasting mercy and blessings for all of us.

(Credit Image: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel Must Leave No Stone Unturned

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Israel Must Leave No Stone Unturned.”

Over the last decades since 1973, Israel has taken strong actions again to beef up their defenses and leave no stone unturned including taking the bold steps in destroying the menacing nuclear reactors of Iraq in 1981 and the Syrian reactor in 2007. Now Israel is facing a similar decision on action with Iran and their weapons of mass destruction. Israel and the United States need to leave no stone unturned in trying to find a path towards a peaceful resolution with Iran, but if that stone threatens potential annihilation of Israel and other western allies, then there should be no doubt whatever that Israel and other civilized nations must act once more to remove the threat and turn that stone into harmless dust again.


Whether towards peace or G-d forbid to war, Israel must be courageous to act and leave no stone unturned to secure its peace and security, or the ultimate defeat of its unrelenting enemies. Israel must be like Joseph, and be able to interpret the dreams and events unfolding before them, and like Pharaoh to make the decision to act and restore the meticulous butler, hang the negligent and dangerous baker, and save the nation from otherwise assured destruction. May G-d give us the wisdom, courage, and strength to do what we must eventually do and let it be for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “And There Came A New King Who Knew Not Joseph.”

As we commemorate Passover, we remember that:

In Egypt, the Jews rose to the highest ranks, with Joseph being second only to the Pharaoh, and “Israel settled in the land of Egypt in the region of Goshen; they acquired property in it and they were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” (Genesis 47:27) But then: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8) Similarly, in Europe, the Jews had risen to the highest ranks of society, they were free and prospered. They prospered and thrived religiously, and built synagogues and yeshivas to worship and learn in. Moreover, the Jews thought they were Germans (and other European nationalities), like everyone else, and that they were fundamentally safe. That is, until there arose a “new king,” Adolf Hitler (may his name be cursed forever), “who knew not Joseph.”

What will happen in America that we all love–will the pendulum swing once again to hate and anti-Semitism, where there comes a new king that does not know Joseph? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nice Coat!

Just wanted to share this awesome coat by Paris designer, Yves Saint Laurent. 


The colors are so standout, and the plushness is amazing from head to toe…beautiful.


The label is a little fuzzy, but I think the original price on this was over $30,000!


And even at deep discount it’s close to 10 grand!


I wonder if it’s real fur?  😉


Shabbat Shalom!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Biblical Art

Biblical Art

So we turned the clock forward this morning and spring was here…it was warm enough to go hiking again. It was a long one, but great to be back outdoors.

After the hike we stopped at Max’s in Silver Spring for their famous shawarma sandwiches…OMG are they amazingly good (I got mine extra spicy and mixed with the tahini sauce and fresh meat right off the spit…it is delicious!

After paying, I noticed there was this beautiful wall hanging between the register and pickup counter…I started to take a closer look and there were these gorgeous scenes from the bible:

– Creation and the 7th Day of Rest

– Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

– Noah and The Ark, Cain and Abel, The Tower of Babel, and Abraham

– Joseph, Moses, The Exodus from Egypt, and The Ten Commandments

– The Promised Land of Israel, The Fall of Jericho, King David, The Temple, Hezekiah, and Jonah and The Whale

The detail, colors, and flow on this artwork was absolutely amazing.

It is called “A Celebration of Spirit” and I believe that the artist is Charles Fazzino.

The lithograph was tall and narrow, and I would love to see it as a whole wall mural…it is really beautiful and brought the bible so alive.

I found out today that not only the shawarma is good at Max’s… 😉