What’s Your Fantasy Synagogue

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “What’s Your Fantasy Synagogue.”

We all go to synagogues that we like in some ways and don’t like in others, but have you ever thought about what your fantasy synagogue would be like if you could make one?Last Shabbat, we were invited for lunch by some wonderful friends who had been sports writers, and the topic of fantasy football came up, where people compete for coming up with the best team by picking their own players and forming their ideal team. I said, half jokingly, wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same thing with synagogues and pick the best aspects of each and make an ideal house of worship for ourselves where we could pray, learn, grow, and experience holiness and community. 

In the article, I detail “the best of the best” when it comes to synagogues and the ultimate ideal synagogue is of course, in the coming of the Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Temple. 


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Purim In Israel, Chabad Style

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Purim in Israel, Chabad Style.”

We had the privilege to be in Israel for Purim night. We are going down Ben Yehudah Street in Tel Aviv looking for a synagogue for Megillah reading. Out of nowhere comes this Rabbi in Purim costume dashing down the sidewalk on roller skates. He pulls up in front of me and asks me to join them at the Chabad shul (#770 of course). Who can say no when Chabad is not only so cool and inviting, but also always helping to keep our minds focused on doing another mitzvah and towards the ultimate coming of Mashiach.


Over and over, I find you just gotta love everything about Chabad–they understand faith, ritual, and people’s hearts and for that and their acceptance of all Jews, I truly appreciate them. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 


So fresh and delicious. 


Plenty for all. 


G-d’s blessing for a restful Shabbos.


Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. 😉


(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)

Who Is More Religious?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Being Super Duper Kosher.”

Of course, I am sure many good people are trying to do the right thing and genuinely practice to be better servants of Hashem. However, this should never become an excuse to use religious practices to misguidedly “compete”–hurt or shame–and somehow “one up” their neighbor’s religiosity or status as fellow Jews. That would be to erroneously think that G-d can’t see all His children as good and deserving in their own ways, even though the creator can certainly see what is in the heart and in the doings of all of us.


Hope this resonates with many of you who are kosher but feel unfairly (mis)judged by all the latest variations these days. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

613 Stock Market

613 S&P

Someone challenged today about the number 613 (mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah).

They said, “I would argue that you can pick any 3 digit number and get the same results.”

They went on asking that it be “No variations in sequence, no breaks between numbers, no mathematics.”

So here is perhaps an answer from Heaven–check out the closing change down in the S&P 500 today: Exactly 6.13!

You’re turn. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with attribution to CNBC)

613 Lottery

613 Lottery.jpeg

On the way into the office today, this was the sign for the lottery jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball.


251 and 110. 


Combine the numbers and yes, it is exactly 613 again!


Mystical, holy number of commandments in the Torah.


Please G-d for blessings. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

613 Calories

613 Exercise

So today I tested out a hypothesis about seeing 613. 


I tried to do it intentionally. 


I was getting my activity, and lo and behold, I see that I am at 612 calories burned so far. 


Oh, how cool–I can capture 613 in a another second or two. 


And I continue my activity looking intently at the Apple Watch monitor. 


Okay, 613 now!


No, now!


How about now? 


But it doesn’t come. 


I am waiting for it.


It can’t come on my terms.


Next thing I know, the calorie counter jumps from 612 to 616.


I can’t believe it. 


I couldn’t capture the 613 when I wanted to. 


Every other time so far has been–we’ll it’s just been. 


And maybe that’s the whole point. 😉


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)