Lucky Cat

Lucky Cat.jpeg

So a retail establishment opened in the area.


They had all these cat symbols hung inside. 


I asked the owner what it said, and she told me:

“Lucky Cat”


Why a cat symbolizes luck I don’t really know.


But the bigger question is whether there is any such thing as luck in the first place.


We constantly wish people good luck on any and every aspect of their lives: from birth to bar/bat mitzvahs, engagements, weddings, graduations, new jobs, journeys, and basically anything we embark on. 


That’s what Mazel Tov means–good luck!


But I thought we believe in G-d and not luck?


We strive through prayer, charity, repentance, and all sort of good deeds to try and move the scale of justice in our favor. 


With the Jewish high holidays approaching next month–Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–we do everything to atone for our sins and commit to being better in the future. 


We seek G-d’s mercy and his blessings. 


There is no arbitrary luck or fortune. 


Life is what we make out of it. 


What about the Massachusetts women who won $758 million in Powerball last week or the person that gets cancer or some other horrible tragedy–did they deserve it?


I suppose it’s impossible for us to judge why some people have amazing fortune and others have schlimazel (misfortune).


As it says in Genesis (18:25):

“Shall not the judge of all the Earth do justly?”


Surely, G-d has the bigger picture and the omniscience to know what is good for us and what is not. 


How he tests us and tries us and to what ends…that is a matter of faith and conviction–and we believe that it is all ultimately for our best. 


The judge of all Earth…please have mercy on us and bestow your blessings on us, your faithful children. 


As to the lucky cat–wave us some good vibes–all long as we realize that we all need G-d’s grace! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The Success Iceberg

Success Iceberg.jpeg

Thought this was really so true.


Under the tip of the iceberg of success lay all the factors that most people don’t see.


The vast mass of persistence, failures, sacrifices, disappointments, good habits, hard work, and dedication. 


Success really is an iceberg!


Don’t be jealous of the success at the tip of the iceberg of others unless you put in all the ingredients beneath–plus a prayer to the Almighty Above for his blessings.


Have a Shabbat Shalom!


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

The Unmarried

marriage

So I know like everything, marriage is a choice. 


But more and more people are choosing to be unmarried. 


Today, in the Wall Street Journal, 48% (almost half) of American eligible voters are unmarried. 


And almost 40% of births are to unmarried couples. 


The average age for getting married for women is 27 and for men 29.


While of course, it is tough to find (and keep) your soulmate and a lot of it has to do with mazel, it seems like there is not enough appreciation for marriage. 


Everyone who is or has been married, I am sure, has had their share of disagreements and fights with their “better half,” and certainly some abusive and cheating relationships are way better off undone!


But for the most part, I believe that life is greater and fuller with someone special to share it with, and it is part of our learning and growth to couple, care, give, and love. 


I remember when my Opa (grandfather) lost my Oma (grandmother) and when my dad lost my mom and those where some of the most heart wrenching traumas, I think I have ever witnessed. 


“What G-d has joined together, let no man break apart.” 


When I got married, the Rabbi blessed us that we should be Ra’im A’huvim or best friends, and that is a very beautiful blessing to have. 


My advice is to try it and hopefully like (or love) it–I think it’s worth even all the I Love Lucy moments.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Coupling, The Beauty Of

Couple

So just a couple of birds, right?


Not to me!


There were a number of reminders to me today about how special and fortunate it is for any of us to be with someone we love.


It’s not just that two heads are better than one. 


Pretty much, everything is better with a partner who looks back at us and smiles. 


We magnify the joy and we share the sorrow, together.


What my dad used to call my mom, his “better half!”


What we are lacking in, often our soulmate can fill in the blank. 


And planning and executing is as a team, rather than flying solo. 


There is someone who keeps our lofty ideas in check and at the same time challenges us when it’s time to think bigger. 


We learn from the other person, at the same time that we teach them maybe a little thing or two from our repertoire. 


Strategically, divide and conquer makes everything from routine tasks to complex projects easier to achieve, especially when we agree on the goal and the approach. 


Even the “occasional” disagreements and fights helps us to learn to control our temperament and to work things out or when to take a break and think things through afresh. 


Someone to reach out to.


Someone to hold unto. 


Someone to caress.


Someone to buttress. 

 

Someone who makes us a better person than the one we see in the mirror naked and mortal. 


Like 2 by 2 in Noah’s Ark or in the birds and the bees, we are committed to that special someone. 


The Bat Kol calls out “so and so shall be married to so and so” like only the L-rd in heaven can decree from the rib of man to the flesh of a women. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Now You See It and Now You Don’t

Mother and Child.jpegthrowing rocks.jpeg

Took a little hike on Sunday through Sligo Creek. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. 

Walking along the creek, we saw a mother and child wading in the water. 

(Not sure that I would do that based on how clean or not it is, but they seemed to be cooling off and having fun). 

Then crossing a little footbridge, we came across someone tossing this pretty big bolder over the side and into the same creek. 

There was another guy at the bottom who seemed to be looking out for the big splash (or perhaps anyone happening by who would get clobbered by this thing). 

Anyway, this was just a stark juxtaposition of people (including children) having fun in the water and the potential hazards from above.

This is life, one minute everything can be sunshine and roses, and the next bing bong!

Got to be grateful for every minute of peace, health, and prosperity-they are truly gifts and nothing is owed to anyone from the Almighty. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)