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)

Beautiful Solar Power

Thought this was a beautiful rendition of solar power. 

You can have energy. 

And you can have art. 

Here you can have both. 

It’s functional to harness the sun’s energy and it’s designed to look sleek and fit the landscape. 

Nice job by Florida Power and Light (FPL)!  😉

(Credit 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)

Beautiful Currency For A Thriving Modern Nation

Money

So why is our dollar bill so darn green, grimmy, germy, and generally ugly-looking?


I took this photo of a painting of a pretty nicely designed (mock) $2 bill. 


Red, white, and blue–that’s cool. 


Distinct, bold, shiny, and clean–now we’re talking. 


We could have other bills in other color combinations, like Canada does–and it would be befitting to have a nice gold/silver combination for the really big bills.


And how about some modern representation of our republic–our technology, space exploration, medical achievements, advanced manufacturing, military prowess, world philanthropy, etc. 


Also, please-please weave in some antimicrobial agents to protect the people from all the sick germs being spread around on these things. 


If we already need physical currency and won’t accept the transition to credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and bitcoins, then at least make the dollar bill something to be proud of. 


We’re so worried about whose picture (and gender–okay, it really is time for a women to be honored) is on or off the bill that we forget what the rest of it actually looks like. 


Obsviously with physical money, you need to build in security every which way to Sunday, but it’s still a counterfeiting and money laundering nightmare, and we should be focused on cybersecurity where literally our whole financial system (and democracy) is in peril. 


Who really needs the physical greenback anymore unless your a bad person doing black market, under the table, shady deals anyway–for the rest of us, it’s time to get with digital currency.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Orange Spiral, Going Up

Spiral Staircase
What an absolutely gorgeous staircase.



A modern spiral with vivid orange and white. 



When I look at this, it’s almost as if the staircase is in motion, like a spinning drill bit. 



The person sitting to the right of the stairs seems like they will be swept away or crushed in the next spin of the stairs.



Next to the big windows, the incoming light hits the stairs and creates shadows that give it even more life. 



Excellent job by GW University in their new Science and Engineering building. 



You’d expect to see something like this in the Museum of Modern Art…it’s awesome! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Finals Week

Finals Week
This was a funny (-sad) picture right outside the new Science and Engineering Building at the prestigious George Washington University today. 



It looks much like a noose and is lit up by the glass and modern finishes of this new building. 



So a colleague says jokingly to me “Is that because of [the stress of] finals week?”



Now execution and suicide are definitely not a laughing matter…



But what a juxtaposition of this gorgeous new building going up and the old time hangman’s noose (almost) hanging down. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)