‘Uncut Gems’ Cuts Deep

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Uncut Gems Cuts Deep.”

Yesterday, we went to see the new Adam Sandler movie, Uncut Gems….Ratner’s life is full of shlemazel of his own making. While he has a good wife, kids, and extended family (maybe with the exception of his loan shark uncle), a fancy-schmancy home in the suburbs with a newly renovated pool, his own jewelry business that even caters to some big-league sports players, and a shiksa girlfriend on the side (who seems to love him), Ratner is never satisfied or happy and is always pushing for more!


In the movie, Howard Ratner was driven by greed and made bad life choices, and to me, it was a shame that the he was portrayed as a Jew, which can feed the vicious cycle of discrimination and hatred that has often been anchored around money. With the vicious machete attack on Chanukah at a Rabbi’s house in Monsey this week (after a slew of other anti-Semitic incidents, including an attack on a student for wearing a yalmulke on the NYC Subway to beatings and tire slashings of Jews in Brooklyn), we are reminded that there is once again a resurgence of prejudice and hate against Jews, but also that it’s the light of Chanukah that “drives out the darkness,” and that money and materialism are a mere shabby substitute to finding true security and success whether you work in the dense NYC Diamond District or live in the sprawling suburbs of America.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Faith Chases Out The Fear

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Faith Chases Out The Fear.

It’s interesting that faith and fear are incompatible and they cannot coexist. Where one is, the other is not. Just like the light chases away the darkness, so too does faith expel fear from our lives. When we believe that G-d is in charge of everything that happens, and that he loves us and ultimately wants what is good of us then what is there for us to fear?


No matter in what danger we find ourselves and no matter how scared we feel, we are not alone. The Master of the Universe is watching over us, waiting for us to raise our eyes to the heavens in faith, and to take a stand and do what’s right. If we do, then G-d will manifest himself to us and indeed “will carry, and will deliver” us.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rainbow Card Display

Thought this was a cool, even if rudimentary, museum display. 


Instead of postcards in the display holder, they put colored glass. 


Then just let the sun shine in and look at the awesome wall display. 


Might be fun to swap around to get different patterns and blends. 


As a kid, I always used to turn the display to see what just around the bend, in this case you get the disco effect. 


Color and light play nice together.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Where Are We Going

Just thought this was an awesome provoking painting. 


To me, it begs the question of where are we going in our lives. 


The terrestrial landscape combined with the light at the end of the tunnel effect as the sky is provocative and at the same time almost hypnotic. 


It also makes me feel the enormity of the universe versus the smallness of just a man.


I see myself standing on the red hilltop looking into that big sky and wondering about so many things. 


In the end, believing that we don’t have all the answers, but that we are in G-d’s good hands. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Magnificent Room Divider

Wow, this is a completely amazing room divider. 


The brilliant colors and the vibrant circular swirls make this outstanding to take in. 


So simple in a way, yet it brings so much magnificence to any space. 


Staring into this has an almost heavenly effect of traveling through that final tunnel before reaching the heavenly essence of light at the end of it all. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Good Father

I know it’s not Father’s Day yet, but I had a beautiful dream about my dad the other day that I wanted to share. 


In my dream, I was looking at this ledger.


And at the top of the ledger, it said:

“A Good Father”


I understand that good didn’t mean like good vs. great, but rather like good vs. evil in this universe. 


Beneath it, there were lists and lists of signatures of people who knew my dad. 


Their signatures were an attestation that he was not only a good dad, but a good and righteous person. 


I remember in the dream his presence was there with me as I looked at the ledger. 


Then there was an astoundingly bright light that I was basking in.


Now I could feel I was in the presence of the Master of the Universe. 


I looked up to the center and most intense part of the light, and lifted my arms upward in complete supplication to it…towards G-d.


And I felt myself crying out to G-d, and as I cried out louder and more intensely, I was transported back–whooshed through a tunnel at light speed…to awaken from this incredible dream.


Unlike most dreams, this one I remembered and it stuck with me even days later now. 


My dad was truly a great father and a great man!


I am grateful to Hashem for letting me see him this week, and I miss him greatly. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stained Glass Majesty

There is something about stained glass which is so beautiful and amazing. 


It’s not only artistic and colorful, but also it’s a magical combination of opaqueness and translucence.


It provides cover and privacy from the outside world, yet it plays with the light that comes in through it to give a wonderful effect to any room.


If I could, I would make every room in every building with stained glass. 


I would bask in the light and the color. 


It would feel warm and holy–the light of G-d on me. 


It’s as if G-d and His holy host are streaming in from the Heavens, and surrounding me all about. 


I feel lifted up in space and time stops, all is safe and wonderful in the world. 


Beautiful and holy spiritual energy celebrating, dancing, and singing all around me. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)