Reflections B4 Yom Kippur

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Reflections Before Yom Kippur.

“I get up in the middle of the night, and I’m still 3/4 asleep. My mouth feels dry, and I walk over to the mouthwash to refresh. I reach for the bottle, but I grab the image in the mirror…”

Hope you enjoy this true story and the parable for living our spiritual lives and not just reach for the ego image in the mirror.

May you be sealed for another year in the book of life. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Yearning for Redemption

Just an impression from my recent trip to Israel. 


There is such a yearning for people to do good and to merit the coming of Mashiach (Messiah) towards the ultimate redemption for mankind. 


It’s on every street corner and light post.  


Whether it’s eyes gazed on the righteousness of Rabbi Nachman or The Rebbe–as we used to sing as kids in NCSY:

“We want Mashiach now!”


Whether Mashiach is an actual person or a spiritual revelation in the world leading to redemption–it represents an unprecedented enlightenment, holiness and a spiritual healing, and love and peace for mankind. 


While we strive to earn our daily bread, it’s nice to have a part of us that also seeks a greater good and achieving betterment for the world. 


Any small or big things we can do in our lives to contribute to Tikkun Olam (“fixing the world”), it’s purposeful, hopeful, and uplifting to try. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Power of Speech

I loved this magnet on this wonderful old Jewish ladies refrigerator who lives in our community.

“If you have nothing good to say…
Say nothing.”

I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too. 


It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.


I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim’s books.


And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:


– Not to hurt anyone.


– Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)


– But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good. 


Kind words.


Gentle words.


Complimentary words.


Words of love and caring. 


Holy words. 


The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good. 


The old saying of “The pen is mightier than the sword,” can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general. 


Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it’s full of love and caring for others. 


Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Contribution To Love

So I saw a casual work friend the other day doting around what looked like his girlfriend. 


They looked really cute together.


And this guy is in his 60’s and lost his wife a number of years ago to cancer, so I was really happy to see him happy, and playful in love again. 


After a while, I took the opportunity to play cupid best I could. 


I told her how nice this guy was and how well he takes care of his customers. 


I ended by saying how we really love having him around and how it wouldn’t be the same without him. 


I could see him behind her smiling ear-to-ear–this lady really meant something to him.


When I saw him again today, I asked innocently, “so was that your girlfriend?” and like a young teenager in love, he smirked and nodded. 


It was obvious how much it meant to him that I spoke well of him to her. 


What can I say, I am really happy to make a little contribution to love–and I am really happy for them. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Your Everlasting Timeline

Timeline.jpeg

So I wanted to share this really smart thought about life and death:

“What is the most important part on a person’s tombstone?
The dash!
Why the dash?
Because it represents what a person has done between the date they were born and the date they died!”

We tend to wildly celebrate birthdays.


Also, we perform a remembrance (or memorial) on the date of a person’s death. 


But what is truly the significant part is what the person did during their life–the kind words, the good deeds, the positive influence that they had on people and the world around them. 


A simple dash between the DOB and DOD.


The small things are really the big things. 

No, an elaborate timeline of life events and doings.


Our time on Earth abbreviated, but not trivial at all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)