The 11th Commandment

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The 11th Commandment.”

How many times do I hear about fellow Jews trying to “out-frum” (i.e. be holier than thou) other Jews: whether it’s in terms of Kashrut, Shabbat or even who stayed up the latest for the Passover Seder. Recently, when it came to coronavirus, I was more than a little shocked to read that someone actually attributed the disease to it being a punishment from G-d because women’s skirts are not being worn long enough. While certainly it’s good to be introspective and there is a strong concept of reward and punishment in Judaism, there is something about us Jews where we tend to want to go a little more and a little farther. In some cases, we are doing “hiddur mitzvah” (beautification of the Mitzvah) which is praiseworthy, but in other cases, we may be adding unnecessary “chumras” (i.e. stringencies) than can backfire religiously. My unequivocal preference is to follow my father’s teaching to me of the Rambam’s “Shvil Ha’zahav” (i.e. the golden path) and not go too far to the left or to the right, but keep a healthy middle of the road approach to life.


In the end, the number of commandments are what they are, and with 613 throughout the Torah, there is enough to keep us all busy going what is right with G-d and our fellow man. While we may like to overachieve in our careers, our education, and our pedigrees, it is not necessary to try to outdo each other religiously. Religion is a matter between us and Hashem and G-d knows what is in our hearts and counts up all our deeds according to His holy Torah with nothing added and nothing subtracted.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Times of Mashiach

Truly, we are living in the times of Maschiach. 


Someone contacted me with a friend request on Facebook, and his profile included that he is a:

Torah-Observant Gentile


Wow! 


It’s truly like we say in the Aleinu prayer every day:

All Mankind shall invoke Your Name, to turn to You all the wicked of the earth.  They will recognize and know–all the inhabitants of the world—that every knee should bend to You…The L-rd will be King over the entire earth; on that day the L-rd will be One and His Name One.

We are on the way and I hope we all get to see and cross over the finish line soon. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Am Yisrael Chai!

I love the Merkava IV, Israel’s main battle tank. 


The shape, the versatility, the power! 


Complete fighting awesomeness. 


The new “Merkava IV Barak” (scheduled for deployment in 2021) will even have artificial intelligence (AI) for advanced battle management systems. 


I wish we had the Merkava during the Holocaust and could’ve given the Nazi bastards what they rightfully deserved. 

 

Never again! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Matzo Ball Soup For The Soul

It’s a pretty well-known Jewish tradition that Chicken Soup is almost like an cure all. 


Our moms for centuries have preached chicken soup whenever you didn’t feel well or felt like you may be coming down with something. 


Hmm…I wonder if it even works on Coronavirus. Heck, I’d try it for sure. LOL


From an alternative medicine perspective, like it says on the package:

It’s penicillin in a pot.


Anyway, I thought this package kit of matzo ball soup was pretty cute. 


With the old lady that looks like she’s about to fall in the soup saying:

Good. Not as good as mine. But good. 


Hey, I guess there is no package matzo ball soup that is going to be as good as homemade. 


Especially as I was taught that the magic ingredient is not chicken, but love!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Shalom and Stay Healthy!

Beautiful Shabbat is almost here again. 


A time for rest and rejuvenation. 


Each of us has to take care of and nourish our body, mind, and soul. 


Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!

Please stay safe and healthy. 😉

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations

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Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Towards Peace and Freedom Among Nations.”

Natan Sharansky showed tremendous personal strength and integrity to respond with humor and wit while suffering under the Soviets in prison, separated from his wife, deprived of all outside contacts, placed in “punishment cells” cold, hungry, and sleep-deprived, and regularly interrogated to try to get him to incriminate himself and his fellow refuseniks and human rights activists. Sharansky is truly a hero who stood up as a Jew persecuted in the Soviet Union and as a human rights activist leading the way to help other refuseniks to get released, with eventually millions escaping through the “Iron Door” to emigrate to freedom in Israel and the United States.


Yesterday, we celebrated Israel’s 72nd Independence Day, so I will add that for too many years since the founding of the State of Israel that the Soviets armed and supported the Arab League nations in warring against Israel and in seeking its destruction. However now, Israel and Russia not only have an anchoring of social idealism in common, but also Israel has 15% of it citizens from there. Further, as Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan decades ago, and has a warming of relations with the Gulf States, perhaps Russia will also continue to come around to growing a mutually beneficial friendship with Israel.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)