Suicide Back To Go

So I spoke to someone who tried to commit suicide.


This is what they told me:


“When you try to commit suicide, there is no light; there is no Heaven; there is only darkness.”


Basically, even though they were desperate and tried to kill themselves, their experience was not one of finding relief, but rather of going to Hell!


So while I really don’t know anything, this is what I imagine happens when you try to commit suicide. 


Yes, there is no light–there is only darkness. 


Yes, there is no Heaven.


But I don’t believe you go to Hell for being desperate, depressed, alone, and feeling like you have no other way out. 


Instead, what I believe is that you “Go back to GO and you do not collect $200.”


In other words, you have to start the Game of Life all over again. 


Since you didn’t complete your tests, trials, challenges, and mission…you go back to the beginning. 


You have to relive your life and go through it all over again. 


Who is to say, whether it is a better life or not. 


Presumably, whatever lessons you were supposed to learn the first time around, you still have to complete those lessons. 


So I would think you have to relive a lot of the same. 


I don’t know about you, but one of the things I hate worst when things go wrong is to have to go back and redo what I’ve already done. 


It seems so fruitless, such a waste of time and effort. 


How is that for frustrating–working just to redo what you already did. 


Perhaps that is quite the measured “punishment” for those who end their life prematurely–before G-d says it’s time. 


While we frequently say things about wishing to be young again or do it all over again–I think rarely does someone mean having to go thru the same pain points again. 


I assume it’s nice to live again, but it’s got to be a value-add life–not just a do-over!


So in my mind, while someone on the edge may not have a real choice in what they are doing and in making a decision to take their life–it’s probably not a purely rational moment in time–I do think that in so taking their life, they are not doing themselves any favors in the end. 


Because, suicide isn’t game over, but rather the game begins all over–from the beginning again. 😉


(Note: I am not talking about assisted suicide here for someone who is at the end of life and in absolute pain and suffering and it is truly time to go–I am sure that is perfectly okay). 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

5-Minute Intervals

This was sunrise at 5-minute intervals. 


All I can think is how glorious G-d is and how marvelous his creation.


– The light of the L-rd chases the darkness away.


– The might of the L-rd brings forth a new day. 


– The right hand of the L-rd shows us all the correct way. 


How are your works so majestic indeed. 


All we can do is gaze with eyes wide.


Truly the perfection of the L-rd is shown in his creation. 


We are blessed to see and experience it.


Every day is a miracle that we have in this world.


Even with pain and sorrow, our soul clings to this life. 


Until such time that our Maker calls us home to Him once more. 


Then we gasp our last breath and enter his Heavenly abode. 


For this world is just a corridor to the true world that is to come. 


And so just imagine what that must be like to be even closer to G-d and his endless loving majesty. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Darkness Will Come Light

darkness-to-light

In response to continuing hateful and anti-Semitic resolutions by the UN and supported by President Barack Obama, here is what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu thoughtfully said:

“Here on the first night of Hanukah, I stand next to the Maccabees of our times, IDF soldiers and wounded IDF heroes. 

I salute you and say to you clearly: The light will dispel the darkness. 

The spirit of the Maccabees will overcome.
Happy Hanukah!”

Israel is a tiny democratic nation, the size of New Jersey, surrounded by hostile nations and terror organizations, but by continuing to shine a light on the desire for true peace and security for a people that were decimated by the Holocaust, we can dispel the darkness of thousands of years of hate and discrimination. 


I believe in my deepest heart of hearts that most people in the world, and especially in the shining light of nations of America and Israel, are good and decent.


And together, we can overcome the darkness of bigotry, intolerance, and hatred with the light of good and righteousness in this world. 


Faith, caring, and love can overcome.  😉


(Source Graphic Andy Blumethal)

It’s Got To Be

Tunnel

So I read a book review the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. 


The book was by an atheist who had 2 near-death experiences. 


And while for other people, they see the light at the end of the tunnel–and are reunited with family loved ones and are in bliss from being with the Heavenly Father…


This guy saw nothing but blackness and said it was empty and nothingness. 


And he was dead serious about it. 


He said there is nothing after we die, absolutely nothing. 


Now, while I have always believed in life after death and even in reincarnation if we still have more growing and learning to do, I had heard others say contrary beliefs in the past.


One guy in synagogue when I was a young adult used to say, “When you die, you’re as dead as a dead dog!”


Lovely thought (not), but I never took any of that seriously. 


Yet, this guy’s book somehow got to me on a deep level. 


Maybe because I lost my beloved parents over the last 2+ years and am still deeply mourning them, and the only thing that can possibly console me about that is the notion that I will one day be reunited with them and see them again. 


So the opposing idea that it’s really over–that I will never see them again–experience their love and laughter again–is beyond my comprehension–it literally blows my mind in a bad bad way. 


Also, I said to my wife, if this atheist is by any chance right (not about G-d) but about there being no afterworld, then what is the purpose to anything we do–who cares?


Without G-d, without Divine will and justice, and a world-to-come, there really is nothing but darkness and not just after we die, but now too–because it would all be purposeless. 


No, I cannot believe that!


The atheist saw nothing afterwards, because he believes in nothing–it’s a measure for a measure. 


For those who believe that there is more, much more–there really is. 


It has to be that way…for anything to make sense. 


For us to try so hard. 


For us to go on.


For us to have a purpose.


For there to be justice.


For there to be us. 


My dad used to tell me that “No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us what’s there.”


So it really is the ultimate mystery of life…but I choose to believe in life now and in life later. 


The miracles of my own life and those around me show me again and again that there is design, there is order, there is a plan, there is a purpose and I will find mine. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Amazing Chanukah Photo

Chanukah On the back of the photo is written Chanukah 5692 Judea dies says the banner Judea will live forever responds the lights.jpeg

A colleague at work showed me this photo: front and back. 


In it, the Chanukah candles in the window defy the evil Nazi banner in front of their headquarters in Germany and foretelling of the impending Jewish genocide and world war.


On the back on the photo is written:


“Chanukah 5692 [1931]. Judea dies says the banner. Judea will live forever responds the lights.”


As we are once again living in a time of brutal terrorist violence and a moral black hole in civilization, we must again turn to Hashem and the Menorah to light up the darkness of our times. 


May G-d have mercy on His people and bless them in peace. 😉

A Being Of Light

Being of Light 2

So last night, I dreamed about my beloved dad. 


He was in synagogue praying–something he did every day.


I was telling my dad that it was time to go.


But he didn’t want to leave–synagogue was his favorite place to be close to G-d and his friends. 


My dad was in the front of the synagogue elevated on the steps before the Holy Ark (where the Torahs are kept).


I looked at my dad and somehow knew/felt that he was near death. 


I ran to him and threw my arms around him in an incredible completely loving hug–clutching on to him to stay with us, longer.


In this embrace, I could feel his total and undying love for me.


Now he no longer looked like my dad but like a being of light–such as I had never seen.


He had died, but was still somehow alive in another way. 


I miss my dad–he was a truly holy man (a Tzadik) and a loving husband, father, and grandfather, who would do anything for us. 


I wish I could sit and speak with him again, hold his hand, hear him sing when we came over, and see him smile. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Taltopia.com)

Orange Spiral, Going Up

Spiral Staircase
What an absolutely gorgeous staircase.



A modern spiral with vivid orange and white. 



When I look at this, it’s almost as if the staircase is in motion, like a spinning drill bit. 



The person sitting to the right of the stairs seems like they will be swept away or crushed in the next spin of the stairs.



Next to the big windows, the incoming light hits the stairs and creates shadows that give it even more life. 



Excellent job by GW University in their new Science and Engineering building. 



You’d expect to see something like this in the Museum of Modern Art…it’s awesome! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Divine Light and The Soul Of Man

Divine Light and The Soul Of Man

I took this picture today in the nursing home.

It hangs over the memorial of names for people that have passed.

The saying as translated here from Proverbs is: “The Divine light illuminates the soul of man.”

But the meaning of the hebrew words themselves are more like: The light of G-d is the soul of man.

What is a person’s soul?

– Their consciousness.

– The knowledge of right and wrong.

– The part of us that yearns to learn, grow, and be better.

– The part of a human being which is eternal

– The part of a person that can be reunited with loved ones in the afterlife.

– The part of a person that can be resurrected (to try again).

– The spiritual, inner, real you!

G-d breathed into man life.

The physical body is the shell, the exoskeleton, and the vehicle that houses our soul.

The soul is the part of us that drives the vehicle, that makes decisions–good or bad, that navigates the world, and that expresses emotion from the depths of our inner being.

Our soul loves, cares for, empathizes and has mercy on others or it can be angry, jealous, hateful, and cruel–these are expressed through our bodily actions.

G-d’s light is powerful indeed–and inside each and every one of us–it powers us to do good or bad, depending on how we take care of the gift.

Do we let ourselves run rampart driven by carnal wants and desires or do we elevate these impulses and use these to serve our master through good deeds and selflessness?

The divine light illuminates who we are and can be.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dyson Vs. Dirt Devil

Vacuum

For those of you neat freaks out there, you probably have been sold on the King of Vacuum cleaners–the Dyson!

Dyson, a British company has built a vacuum cleaner (and fan and hand dryer) empire with 4,000 employees and $1.5 billion in sales.

For a number of years now I have used Dyson including their super powerful (and expensive) “Animal” bagless cleaner–this thing actually ate up one of my phone cords and tore it to shreds.

I’ve also had other Dysons and my experience has been that while they look really nice in their bright yellows and grays, and sort of sleek for a vacuum, but they tend to break down–especially the motor for the brushes that work on the floor that I find accumulates hair and dirt around the spinner until it stops working.

The other thing that I’ve found with the Dyson is they come with so many annoying attachments, many with no place to actually attach them all–I think it is overkill for most people’s basic cleaning needs.

After going through a number of Dysons, I finally got fed up with paying so much and getting so little, and we decided to stop “investing” in short-lived Dyson vacuum cleaners.

Instead we said let’s get a simple, cheapo, Dirt Devil for like 50 bucks and run it into the ground. If it stopped working we could replace it 6-10 times for the cost of a single Dyson!

We purchased the Dirt Devil, and my expectations were very low–I actually considered it an experiment in purchasing this low-tech machine, and just seeing what we would get.

Well, it’s been about 3 months and I can’t believe the amount of vacuum you can get for so little money with the Dirt Devil–it is bagless like the Dyson and without scientifically measuring the amount of dirt it picks up, I’d say it is almost equivalent in getting the dirty job done.

Additionally, the Dirt Devil–doesn’t come with all the useless attachments–a case where more is less–and it weighs only around 8 pounds, which is 1/3 of what the Dyson weighed–so it is much easier to use around the home.

Similarly, when I look at the cool Dyson fans without blades, it seems almost magical how they actually work, but frankly who cares if it cost $300-$450 and doesn’t work as well as a basic floor Vornado that sells for about $120.

My opinion is that Dyson is generally overpriced and underperforms–but at least you’ll have the image of innovation and performance, even if not the reality at the price point.

Anyway, If I had a vacuum cleaner dream, it would be to one day get one of those “commercial” vacuum cleaners that you see being used in the huge buildings–almost non-stop use–and they may cost a little more, but they actually give you more as well. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Molly DG)