We Have To Pray Just To Make It One Day

So as we have done for ages…

We pray.

We weep.

We bless. 

We request.

We thank.  

We only control what we say and do.

The rest is in G-d’s merciful, blessed hands. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Corona Matzah Man

So this is what happens when Coronavirus pandemic coincides with Passover. 


We get a Corona Matzah Man wearing his face mask so he doesn’t get sick, G-d forbid. 


Even as we get ready to celebrate the seder tonight and recall G-d’s mercifully delivering us from Egyptian servitude, we also can be certain that He will deliver us from this dreaded Coronavirus. 


G-d is all powerful and has a purpose for everything. 


Perhaps, we just needed a reminder of who was in charge not only on Passover, but all the year round. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Children Are Our Future

There are already 32 states under lockdown orders and more surely to come.


It is good to see the children playing outside (even in smallish groups). 


It’s trying times with schools closed, many parents trying to telework, and the need to take care of the children (especially the younger ones) at the same time. 


We can’t lose sight that the children are our future. 


They are everything in this world. 


Even with the Coronavirus pounding away at our older and more vulnerable populations, we can still thank G-d that not many children have been infected


Even in challenging times, G-d shows His mercy to us. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Harris Teeter War Zone

Who would’ve thought that going to Harris Teeter would be a war zone. 


But this guy in the respirator mask is showing us how bad things can start to get. 


As an avid fan of the show The Walking Dead, I think we are entering TWD territory with the people walking around with their face’s half covered and some looking sick with fear and worry or perhaps even with symptoms–who knows!


What is amazing is how things can go from boom to bust, and not just for our economy, but for life and civilization itself at the turn of a dime. 


Yesterday, I read how the CFO of Jefferies Group Investment Bank (NYC) died at age 56 from Coronavirus. 


Even as the Navy’s hospital ships Mercy and Comfort enter the ports of Los Angeles and New York City to lend a hand and about 1,000 hospital beds each, it seems like more and more of these deadly cases are hitting the papers and social media every day.


Where does this sickness stop?   


What happens if the virus mutates again and become even more virulent?


How do we ever feel even remotely secure again?


Can we keep taxing our already overwhelmed healthcare system with more and more sick patients?


How long can we keep printing Monopoly bailout money (incredibly, there is talk of yet another multi-trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill even after we just passed this $2.2 trillion one last week)?


Eventually, as we all know circumstances can indeed overwhelm the health and financial systems, and even our governments…thank G-d we aren’t there. 


But what we are all beginning to see in the midst of crisis is that “there” isn’t really all that far away from “here.”


…That life hangs by a truly thin thread. 


And because we can only do so much, this is where we really need to look up to the heavens and ask for G-d’s help and mercy.  😉


(Credit Photo: my wonderful son-in-law, Itzchak)

Scary Model of Cancer

Saw this at a doctors office in one of the patient rooms. 


At first I wasn’t even sure what it was. 


Looks like a stomach.


What are those globs?


Oy, they represent malignant tumors (from what I understood reading the fine print). 


Really makes it hit home when you see it in front of you on display like that. 


So much suffering from illnesses like cancer.


G-d should have mercy. 


We really need to find “the cure!”  


Imagine what a day that will be.  😉

Help Victims Of Terror

Terror Attack in Israel 2017.PNG

I don’t usually do this, but I felt this situation truly merits your compassion and charitable giving. 


Niv Nehemia was the victim of terror in 2017 in this Israeli grocery.  He suffered “14 stab wounds to the head, chest, hands, and necks, including a cut in his esophagus.”


The article appealing for help to cover his mounting medical costs appeared in the Jerusalem Post last week: Don’t leave a hero behind.


I still remember this video from when it happened two years ago. Niv is truly a hero in fighting off his brutal attacker and in saving other store employees and shoppers!


Further, Niv and his wife, Sigal, have 5 beautiful children aged 18 to 4 1/2


If you can kindly open your heart to these victims of terror, here is the link for your donation as listed in the Jerusalem Post: https://www.jgive.com/new/en/ils/donation-targets/24591.


May Hashem give a full and speedy healing to Niv and may He bless this family and all of us with peace!  😉

How Are These Unlivable “Living Conditions” Allowed To Persist?

Continued to be appalled at the unlivable “living conditions” of the homeless in the Capital. 


Makeshift tents line up and down under the train tracks to Union Station. 


Spikes overhead make this an extra frightening looking arrangement. 


People walking by and to/from work–after a while, is there a mixture of acceptance and indifference?


It’s freezing outside and this is NO WAY for any human being to have to live. 


Can we put partisan politics aside for any period of time to deal with the very harsh problems facing real people?  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Hears Your Prayers

My son-in-law reminded me of a beautiful Jewish saying about prayer:

Even if a sharp sword rests upon a person’s neck, he should not refrain from praying for mercy. 


One can still hope for mercy from the Almighty even at death’s door. 


This is truly beautiful and uplifting–we can approach G-d anytime, and as long as we are alive, there is always hope.


The saving from G-d is like “the blink of an eye.” 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Roosters or Homelessness?

So I had to drive into downtown Washington D.C. 


Along the way, I saw this colorful artistic rooster. 


I appreciate this quick pick-me-up from this. 


Yet, all around the streets were homeless people. 


One was literally collapsed on a narrow island between the opposing lanes of traffic.


Some horrible-looking food, rags of clothes, and two bottles of liquor lay next to him and one of his arm hang almost into the moving traffic. 


This was just one of many that I saw in abject poverty and desperation. 


So I really feel conflicted looking at this colorful rooster. 


What good is it when the people are homeless, sick, and starving? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Beauty of Tefillin

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Beauty of Tefillin.”

Like the colorful coat that Jacob gave Joseph to wear, the mitzvah of tefillin that G-d gave us to wear is also filled with spiritual color and the love of Hashem. This is in no way intended as sacrilegious or as trying to change our holy mitzvot. Rather it is an artistic attempt to see the tefillin in a new way that perhaps excites and bring Jews back to this important mitzvah.


Over time, as I continued to learn and grow as a person and as a Jew, I found much of my way back to Yiddishkeit and to wearing my holy tefillin with love and Joy. To me they are forever colorful and full of spiritual energy that are uplifting to me as I pray with them on for Hashem’s everlasting mercy and blessings for all of us.

(Credit Image: Andy Blumenthal)