Our Forefathers Were Planners And So Are We

Thank you to Rabbi Haim Ovadia for his speech today at Magen David Synagogue on the topic of how our forefathers in the Bible were planners and so are we today. (Note: some of the thoughts below are directly from Rabbi Ovadia and others are added by me.)


In the Biblical story of Jacob, there are numerous examples teaching us the importance of planning.


1) Shepherds vs Hunters:  Jacob was a shepherd versus his brother Esau who was a hunter.  Shepherds have a long-term outlook with their animals, tending to them and caring for them over the long-term, while hunters go out for the kills to eat for that day. 


2) Working for Rachel and Leah vs. Selling the Pottage:  Jacob worked for 7 years for Rachel and another 7 for Leah–this was the long-term view and commitment to work for Lavan in order to marry his daughters. In comparison, Esau came in hungry from the field and sold his birthright for the immediate gratification of a bowl of pottage.


3) The Plan to Take Esau’s Blessing: Rebekah worked with Jacob to prepare meat for Isaac and put hair and clothes on Jacob that made him look and seem like Esau, so Jacob could get the blessing from Isaac, while Esau was still out hunting in the field. 


4) Dividing his Camp in Two: Jacob sent messengers (i.e. reconnaissance) to see and plan for what Esau was doing in coming to meet him. When the messengers returned with word that Esau was coming with 400 men, Jacob planned for the worst, dividing his camp in two, so should one peril the other could survive. Additionally, Jacob prayed and sent rounds of gifts to Esau and also presented himself to Esau before his beloved wife Rachel and son Joseph in the safety of the rear. 


Long-term planning has been fundamental to the Jewish people throughout history and to modern times:


1) “People of the Book” – The Jewish people are known as “the people off the book” for the devotion to Torah study, learning, and continually investing in education, which is a view for long-term investment and success.   


2) Good Deeds to Inherit The World To Come – Fundamental to Jewish belief is that this earthly world is just a “corridor” to the World to Come.  We do charity and good deeds, not only because it’s the right thing to do (certainly!), but also because we believe that these merits will help us long-term when we pass, and go to the spiritual next world, Heaven. 


3) Believing and Praying for the Return to The Promised Land – For 2,000, the Jewish people never gave up hoping and praying on the deliverance of G-d’s promise to return them from exile to the Promised Land.  This was a long-term view that helped sustain the Jewish people throughout their far-flung exile and through millennium of persecution and genocide.

Ezekiel 11:17: “Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”

4) Waiting 6,000 years for the Messiah: For 6,000 years, the Jews have maintain faith and plan for the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple and the ultimate redemption of the world.  

“(Ani Ma’amin) I believe in complete faith in the coming of the Messiah…Even tough he may tarry, none-the-less, I will wait for him.”

Like our forefathers, it is critical to maintain faith in the Almighty and practice long-term planning as keys to success in life. 


If we take the long-view, we can overcome so many short-term challenges, obstacles and even suffering–believing, praying planning, and doing for a better, brighter future. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Advertisements

613 Everywhere

So many times, I have written about the holy mystical number of 613 (the number of commandments in the Torah) and variations/transpositions on these numbers (316, 163, etc.).



My wife and I continue to see 613 all the time and everywhere!



Prices, receipts, license plates, accounts balances, stock price changes, lottery winnings, bar codes, time of day, wait times, schedules, number of email, rows in a spreadsheet, road numbers, social media views, etc. etc. etc.



– I have questioned myself over and over whether I am seeing it because I am sensitized to it or simply even looking for it at this point. 



The answer is a definite no!



Here’s a recent example, of the change in the stock price for Teva Pharmaceuticals (above)–it’s exactly -.0613!



But this isn’t a one time event or a fluke.  



As we all know stock prices fluctuate every moment on the marketplace. Yet, when I check at completely different and random times, it is up or down by a variation of 613!



Other times, I’ll check multiple stocks… and they will simultaneously be moving or priced at variations again of 613–at the exact same moment, I repeat, different stocks priced at the exact same moment.  



Here’s another non-financial example:

I did a post a few weeks ago on the critical importance of emergency preparedness. 



Look at how many views it got on LinkedIn…exactly 163!



This happens everywhere and all the time!



Here’s a third example:

A license plate. 



Here’s a fourth example:

Can you see the code on the package…613!



A fifth example:

A tracking code on a shipment. 



A sixth example: 

A bar code on a bottle of Life Water.



A seventh example:

A label on some spinach!



An eighth example:

A construction site.



An ninth example:

A public solicitation for the Department of Energy.



A tenth example:

The winning pot for Powerball. 



Hey, I am not superstitious and I am not OCD–seriously. 



But this happens all the time.



I cannot help but think that G-d is sending us an important message.



From a personal level, my wife and I have both tried to take the messages seriously and to continue to improve our lives–albeit we know, we are far from perfect human beings. 



However, we also feel compelled to share this message more broadly.



There is a lot going on in the world, and could this mean something bigger and more consequential to a lot more people?



Please, please, please, G-d have mercy on your children…we are but flesh and blood…and we desire to do good. 



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Behold, The Day Cometh

Sky.jpeg

{I don’t know what this is, but it came to me, and it just feels important to share…I start to feel spiritually overwhelmed, very emotional, and then all choked up…and so it starts}


Behold, the day cometh when the earth will open it’s mouth.


And there will be a very great slaughter. 


And the earth will shake and tremble before the Holy One blessed be he. 


He walks before the nation of Israel. 


Ready to strike with the all-powerful tip of His spear. 


Like a bolt of lightening without warning.


Magnificent in beauty and damning in tumultuous energy. 


The sky thunders before His majesty. 


The angels stir and flee before the All-Mighty Creator. 


His holiness envelopes the earth and stars. 


His eyes are full of mercy, but justice is in his mighty outstretched arm. 


Those that stand in evil before His glory will soon be buried in a very great rubble. 


The skies are darkening; the day is arriving. 


And all the people will know that G-d dost live, and His people shall live. 


Evil will be obliterated from off the face of the earth, and His holiness will manifest in peace and redemption. 


The implements of war will be smashed to smithereens, engulfed within the insides of the earth. 


And their makers buried beside them, crushed and utterly destroyed.


A mass grave to the east and to the west, and then a great rebuilding. 


From the L-rd goeth forth justice to his enemies and mercy to His children.


{The streaming stops suddenly…I want it to continue…but it’s over…I try my own words, but they are not His…I give up for today.}


(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)

And It Will Come To Pass

Daniel.jpeg

I was walking today and this is what was in my mind…


And it will be in the days of Putin king of Russia and Xi Jinping king of China that Trump king of the USA will advance peace between Israel and its neighbors. 


So that nation shall not life up sword again nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.


And you will quiet your enemies to the north, and to the southwest, and to the far east. 


None shall stand against you. 


The time is coming when great arrows will pierce the hearts of your enemies, and the eyes of the people shall see and know that G-d, the protector of Israel and the judge of all, doth live and fulfills all his promises to those that honor their commitments to Him. 


The answer is in your words and deeds to bring glory to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. 


Sharpen your swords, gird your tongue in prayer, and cover yourselves in the everlasting deeds of your forefathers and mothers. 


The time arrives for all mankind to witness the long arm of the L-rd and know his reign and mercy endures forever. 


Be of faith and good courage. 


And Israel will dwell in peace and security and the world will prosper in the redemption. 


The ambers and ash of history are still warm, but the times of evil and destruction shall give way to a renewal of the simple, the good, and the peaceful following.


He who sits on the throne that is the foundation of all that lives gazes upon his creation with a sadness and promise. 


Those who commit the worst evils will be found guilty and cleansed, and those of pure heart will be guiltless.


Evil will not stand in the presence of the L-rd of Hosts. 


Redemption is at hand and the glorious saving by the spirit that is the spirit that speaks to all with a voice of thunder and lightening, and the angels will be awakened, and man will know and serve Him once more with a full heart and mindfulness to the Almighty.


Blessed be His name and His deeds are magnificent beyond wonder, generosity, and holiness. 


Amen, Amen, Amen.   


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Today Is 6/13

613.jpeg

So today is 6/13.


Yes, check your calendar. 


It only comes once a year. 


613 is the mystical and holy number of commandments in the Torah. 


For more than 2 years (this is not a short-term phenomenon), my family and even some friends have been seeing an inexplicable number of 613 everywhere. 


Here is one from a stock I follow from the other week: Twitter was up exactly 6.13%…and I don’t follow that many stocks. 


Just yesterday, another stock (that been doing terribly…it’s a startup!) is down an enormous 61.3% since I started following it. 

And yet another major stock–of the largest company in Israel and the largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world–Teva–is down 16.03 year-to-date.


Nearly every day, we see an endless barrage of license plates, roads, train and plane schedules and physical or URL addresses, get purchase receipts or invoice totals, see number of posts, views, likes, or emails, and even the other day almost booked a hotel with the address….that’s right and only 613!


I am a rational person…maybe almost to the extreme, and what I initially laughed off as a lark or someone’s OCD thing, is beyond any reasonable explanation that I can fathom at this point.


I am left with faith that there is truly some message being sent from the One Above…the question is what is the meaning of the message?


I continue to hope and pray that the message is one of blessings and redemption for mankind…I hope you will join me in this prayer. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Communicate And Do Good In This World

Influence.jpeg

This is a really good quote by Jay Danzie:

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.”


I heard someone else say it another way:

“The only way to read your audience is with eye contact and smiles.”


Basically, it comes down to leaving people with a positive feeling through your interactions, and influencing others for the good. 


We have one chance to make a first impression–so yes, wow people with your smile, personality, integrity, and inspire them to do and speak good. 


If we all just say or do just one more good thing everyday, imagine that multiplied by 7.5 billion people. 


Now, multiply that by 365 days a years and you have 2.7 trillion more good things said and done in just a single year.


Imagine our Heavenly Father looking down at us with so much good in our souls’ bank.


We can all be an influence for good–just think about it and go out and do it! 😉


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

Ambassador of Redemption and Peace

Founding of the State oF Israel.jpeg

Thought this was so cool…


One of my friends from synagogue has an amazing replica of the letter From President Harry S. Truman recognizing the the State of Israel (with the President’s last-minute hand-written edits on it):


It reads: 

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.  

The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.” 

Harry Truman 

Approved May 14, 1948″

 And hence the Jewish people went from almost 2,000 years in exile and persecution–culminating in the genocidal Holocaust that wiped out 6,000,000 Jews–to be followed by the founding of the State of Israel and the keeping of G-d’s promise in the Bible:

Genesis 15:18: 

“On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”

Deuteronomy 30:3 

“Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”

We are living through historic times!


Now the Headquarters of the State Department is named the Harry S. Truman building…how fitting for all our diplomacy to be called for the President that recognized the State of Israel, as the Bible said. 


Then this weekend, I was truly surprised and humbled when another friend from synagogue said that he thinks with all my passion and caring for the United States, Israel and G-d that I could be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel…I couldn’t have be more moved by these lovely sentiments.


As a child of Holocaust survivors and a person of faith who believes deeply that we are witnessing the prophecies of the Bible literally being fulfilled and that we are in the time of the great redemption, I have a vision that we are ushering in the coming of the Messiah and that there will be peace in our lands and enlightenment of G-d upon the Earth. 


I hope and pray every day for it to be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)