Israel To Space

Please see my new article in Times of Israel, “Israel’s Ladder To Space.”


So proud of Israel’s planning to join the Big 3 countries (U.S., Russia, and China) to land on the moon.


Amazing what even a relatively small in size and new nation like Israel can set their sights on and please G-d accomplish with G-d’s help.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Advertisements

The Blessings and The Curses

L-rd, Bless your loving children. 


And do swift justice to the wicked that seek their destruction. 


Bless those that stand guard at your heavenly and earthly gates. 


Curse those evil ones that make a mockery of your lofty kingship. 


Bless the humble and faithful to you and your laws.


Curse those that stand in arrogance and spread hate and vileness before you. 


Bless those that bless you and seek to do good. 


Curse those that curse you and do harm to your creations. 


Bless the righteous people with all that is good. 


Curse the wicked and tear them asunder so that they are utterly destroyed. 


L-rd, please hear your lowly servant and bring the ultimate redemption to your people. 


And verily discomfort, smite and throw to the depths of punishment and exile the cursed wicked. 


None can stand before you in their shame and disgrace. 


Do it for your name’s sake; do it for your children’s sake, do it for your justice’s sake, do it to make things right in your beautiful and perfect world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Absolutely The Times Of Mashiach

So I love going to the Chabad synagogue down in Fort Lauderdale


The Downtown Jewish Center Chabad.


They are so welcoming and genuine.


Rabbi Kaplan and his wife Devorah are absolutely charming, wonderful people.


The davening is traditional and I love singing all the prayers exactly as I remember them as a child.


The speech is always relevant bringing the Torah’s message to what’s going now.


For example, tonight is Shavuot and the celebration of the getting of the Torah and our obligation to live up to the mission we’ve been given.


This is similar to the big story this week with Meghan Markle marrying into British Royalty with Prince Harry–thereby she becomes royalty.  So too the Israelites entered into a marriage contract with G-d Almighty at Sinai, and they became royalty to G-d entrusted to keep his commandments and as a “light unto the nations” to always do the right thing. 


The Rabbi is a true inspiration and today, we talked with him about living in the amazing times of Mashiach.


There is so much polarization and confusion in the world.


From people to countries looking for a guidepost–whether individuals, corrupt organizations, extremist politicians, or fascist and warring countries.


I so agree with the Rabbi that we are living in miraculous times and redemption is right around the corner.


Everything we do is an opportunity to make a kiddush Hashem and turn the tides in the war of good over evil.


Married to G-d, but in humility, we serve him and do good and help bring the world to love, peace, and Tikkun Ola m. 😉


(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)

Beautiful Israel Architecture

Just wanted to share some of the beautiful architecture from Israel. 


Side by side…


The old and the new.


The proud and the natural.


The strong and the spiritual. 


Obviously, I’ve only had a chance to see a very little bit.


But everywhere just seems marvelous.


So much achieved, and still such great potential. 


A people who survived the genocidal Holocaust and faced down the devil himself, with G-d’s help have rebuilt their ancient homeland.


Miracles everywhere, I can attest to it with my own eyes and soul. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

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)