Happy Father’s Day

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So it’s Shabbat and that’s one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 


Yes, this was before digital photography!


I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive–I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 


This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 


My parents are gone now to Hashem–already 2 and 3 years–and I still can’t believe it. 


At the annual Mother’s Day and Father’s Day–it’s just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 


For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 


Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another–this is what life is all about.


Father’s Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children–to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!


So I’m crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). 😉 


(Source Photo: My Girls)

How Much Can You Love Something?

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Notice that the title of this blog is not how much can you love G-d or someone…


Those can be virtually infinite. 


I remember my dad was so devoted to G-d and his family. 


He used to say:


“I would go through fire for my family [and of course G-d].”


And we all knew from his daily actions that he meant it! 


But how about for things–how much do some people love their things?


I read today in the Wall Street Journal how David Rockefeller’s estate of paintings, porcelain, and silver was slated to sell for $700 million!


That’s a lot of prized possessions of [lovely] material things!


But even things that aren’t so pricey are incredibly beloved to many people. 


In these photos, someone who must really love bowling has adorned their home and property with dozens of bowling bowls. 


Literally on the fence and in big piles as decoration in the yard all around the home. 


True, it’s colorful, novel, and sort of interesting, but really you love bowling that much!


Yes, we are want to be comfortable with our special things especially when they provide good memories and sentimental feelings.


But whether a bowling bowl house or a Rockefeller estate, it’s only truly worth something if there is G-d and loving people in it with you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Better A Mensch Than Money

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Here is a lesson that I learned when it comes to love…

Better a mensch than all the money in the world.

Some people think that money is their Golden Calf.

They literally and practically worship it.

They are so greedy for it, hoard it, protect it, and believe in the power of it.

But what I say is you can choke on all the money!

Those who put the emphasis on money are sick and empty with materialism that means nothing in the end.

Better the love of a good, decent human being and best friend than all the money in China.

For money you can buy lots of meaningless things, but with a mensch you can have a potential for a life of real togetherness and even a chance at some soulful bliss.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Love For Every Reason

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So in synagogue, there was a bat-mitzvah today.


And the 12-year old girl spoke to the congregation. 


She quoted from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and said:

“If you can hate for no reason, 

then why not love for no reason.”

This seemed like a very smart idea to me–we have a choice between hate and love, so why not choose love!


Later at the luncheon after services, I sat and made a new friend with this very nice person who happened to be an Evangelical Christian preacher. 


I asked about his faith and learned more about the Evangelical belief in the strict words of the Old Testament/Torah. 


This wonderful man had taught in a Jewish school in South America, been to the Holy Land, was friends with our Rabbi, and spoke so highly of the Jewish People, Israel, and his faith in G-d. 


I asked about the differences from his perspective between the different sects of Christianity, and he told me a bit of the history of the movements.


But what was also really interesting was that in contrast to the Evangelical’s strong support for Israel, he explained that there still to this day was some anti-Semitic remnants in the Catholic Church, even though the Pope, himself, has called it “wrong and unjust”


I asked why some still then blame the Jews for the murder of Jesus (who was Jewish himself), when it was the Romans that actually tortured and killed him and also, why the historical animus to the Jews if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and this was his divine mission?


He explained that it was wrong and unfair, and that it was misguided scapegoat thinking that “someone had to take the blame.”


He then went on to tell me about this great shirt that he liked that had a chart of all the various nation empires of the world that had risen against the Jewish people (from the Egyptians to the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Nazi’s) and next to each one it said, GONE!  And then it said, Iran with a TBD–Yep! 


And even Venezuela’s, hateful Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said, “I want to condemn from the bottom of my soul, from the bottom of my guts, damn you State of Israel,” and then by 2013 he was dead from stomach (gut) cancer!


So from their day until ours, the One G-d of Hosts continues to looks after Israel and manages the destiny of man–and this is evident throughout the Bible and the prophecies. 


I was so impressed how he was emphatic about the strong Judeo-Christian shared values, beliefs, and faith and that this was the true future for Christianity.


It was understood from the conversation that in all religions, we share more in love of G-d and of each other, and in doing good then in hate, bias, bigotry, and discrimination…and together, we can make it a better world. 


Together, love can conquer. 😉


(Source Photo: Twitter)

There’s No Shield Against Loneliness

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Loneliness is empty, hollow, a panicky void, and depression. 


It’s like being in the ocean and feeling so small in its massive depths…almost like drowning. 


In the end, you are alone in the universe. 


No one can truly feel your pain or joy or experience all of you.


You’re a world unto yourself. 


You connect and form relationships with others–there is learning and growth and love and caring in that. 


Talking and reaching out and being part of someone and something washes away parts of those scary feelings and creates a greater purpose of being and meaning. 


But there is also silence and solitude and the darkness of the night. 


And in that there is just the faith in G-d Almighty. 


He alone is what comforts us as we stare into the vastness out there as well as the evil and loss that we come face-to-face with and combat in life. 


The soldier girds his sword for battle and carries a shield to protect himself.


But there is no shield for the loneliness we experience in life and ultimately in death itself. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why We Fight?

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Well first of all, let me say that I really liked this image on Google the other day. 


Beautiful to see the diversity and brotherhood (and including those with disabilities)!


I had a an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day about why people often don’t get along. 


She said something that I thought was really astute:


“If there were unlimited resources, then no one would have a reason to fight!”


Think about that a moment…


Everyone feels they don’t have enough or someone else has more then them or they are afraid they won’t get their share, and so what happens?


Like jealous little children, we fight for the pail and shovel in the sandbox. 


Only as adults, our sandbox is a lot bigger and it involves hate, bigotry, racism and deadly weapons including guns, knives, and even nukes!


So this isn’t the Garden of Eden where everyone prances around free and with plenty and nothing to worry about. 


Instead, everyone has to work “by the sweat of your brow,” and there are limits to what we have, and there is fighting over who has what.


Yes, truly “greed is the root of all evil.”


What we need to learn and internalize is that it’s more important how we act towards each other than what we have and that the real gold in life is the good we do and not the plenty we amass. 


Sure we each need enough to be able to survive and excel as human beings, but it’s fool’s gold that prevents us from seeing each other as the real brothers and sisters we all are. 


If only we had enough–in both perception and reality–then peace could reign among mankind. 😉


(Source Photo: Google)

A Sexless Generation

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Oy vey, the statistics are not good. 


Sex in America is on the decline (and no, this is not an April fools’ joke)!


Based on this who can argue with President Trump that we need to “Make America Great Again”–and that should include sexual vitality along with military might, economic competitiveness, and social justice.


In the early 1990 and 2000’s , Americans had sex on average about 60 to 65 times a year.


Moreover, for married couples, who are at the high end of the sexual spectrum, this is down from 67 in 1989 to just 56 times a year now.


This is a reduction of 9 , which doesn’t sound like much–however that actually comes to 14% less nookie!


And geez, that’s less than once a week! 😦


What’s weird is that the statistics show that Americans working longer hours and watching more pornography actually is tied to a “busier sex life.”


To me the obvious answer is that people are living too much in a virtual world of loneliness and nothingness. 


And they have lost touch with each other in the real world and have become more selfish and less giving personally and sexually. 


So while some people are busy infighting and infatuated with reading and generating all the fake news these days, it seems like they are missing the real disheartening and unloving American news of the times. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)