The Window and The Mirror

Thought this was a wonderful story on our perspectives in life. 


And how money can corrupt our vision of what is truly important. 


This is the story:


A rich man became ill. 


He looked out the window and saw his old friend who was a poor man. 


The rich, sick man invited the poor man, his friend into his house.


After talking awhile, the rich man asked the poor man to tell him what he sees. 


The poor man told the rich man to go over to the window and asked:

What do you see?


The rich man said:

I see men, women and children in the street. 


Then the poor man took the rich man over the mirror and asked him:

Now what do you see?


The rich man taken aback for a moment, said:

I see myself.


The poor man says:

Ah, that is the difference. Both the window and the mirror are both made out of glass. But when you look into them, you see different things. The window is just plain glass.  But the mirror is glass covered in silver. When we look through just the glass, we see others!  But when we look through the glass tainted with a coating of silver (i.e. money), we only see ourselves.


Wow! Think about it a moment. Shabbat Shalom!  😉


(Story adapted from Bishvil Ha-Ivrit)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Repeal The Statute of Limitations On Child Sex Abuse

We will never be a “civilized society ” or a true “country of laws” as long as we don’t repeal the statute of limitations on child sexual offenses.

Recently, South Africa and the state of Illinois repealed this outrageous law. 

Children can’t be held accountable for coming forward on things they don’t understand, are told didn’t actually happen, they feel too ashamed of and have repressed, or haven’t come to terms with. 

It is a travesty of justice that the animals who commit sexual crimes against children are given a get out of jail free card.

Not only that but by allowing these predators of children to escape justice, we are actually enabling and encouraging their violence against innocent children. 

A child cannot consent!

A child cannot fight off the grown-up!

A child is the absolute victim of the adults who traffick, abuse, molest, rape, and pimp them out. 

Often the children are unaware and from disadvantaged families or communities–they are sold or taken, used, abused, and often murdered and thrown in a ditch or some river. 

And why is there a statute of limitations on these crimes???

So I’ll tell you one reason is that the people who are in power are often the same sick abusers, pedophiles, and sexual deviants. 

They carry child porn on their computers, they sext compromising images of their genitals, they visit the dark web to lure children to their lairs, and they buddy up with other creeps to move and f*ck up these poor kids. 

Sex is one of those areas where people are able to make every excuse in the book for what they do–it’s an urge; it’s a fetish; it’s biological; it’s a preference; maybe they’re mad at their mommies or women in general–but never that they are sick f*cks who are abusing little children who cannot defend themselves!

Any politician that isn’t standing up and working to immediately repeal the statute of limitation on sexual abuse against children–please ask them uncompromisingly why!  

Remember, you were once a child, you likely have children, and if you are a moral and upright person you have a duty to protect the innocent children who cannot protect themselves. 

G-d is watching and hearing them–are you?  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  

Beyond Money

Okay, I don’t impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.


Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this…


A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 


They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would’ve imagined that they should give it back to us. 


When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn’t stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 


They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a “Kiddush Hashem” (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d’s name in the world). 


Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don’t reflect it. 


In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.


Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 


Yes, some people are bad–do bad–and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 


So to see the good in people–extra good–it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  😉


(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

One More Of The Abusers Caught

SAR.jpeg


Above is excerpt from email (forwarded to me) sent out by SAR Academy (now with high school, but previously elementary and middle school only when I was growing up).

It is incredibly horrible what this pedophile Rosenfeld did to the innocent children there and elsewhere.

Now one more of the abusers has been caught and the truth has come out–even if after almost 40 years!

Here is a quote from blog of Luke Ford (2009) that sheds light on this evil creep:

“Stanely Rosenfeld is a former cantor and spiritual leader at Temple Am David who received a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading no contest to molesting a 12-year-old boy he was tutoring. He grew up in New York City and worked in the New York public school system for about 20 years, and worked about 10 years at a private Jewish academy in New York. In a recent lawsuit it was alleged that other Jewish synagogues had problems with Rosenfeld, but he was allowed to move from one to another and offend again. In previous probation reports Rosenfeld acknowleged constantly having to ‘fight his desire for boys.’ He said he often looks at children when driving and had ‘considered what it would be like to pursue a child’ but that he has never acted on this desire.” The report also says that, “When asked if he had molested both male and female children, [Rosenfeld] responded that his ‘preferred prey’ is adolescent boys.” Rosenfeld has acknowledged other victims within Rhode Islands well as victims in different states, demonstrating his clear propensity to commit these crimes against minors. Rosenfeld also told stated in past probation reports that he had molested boys when he was in New York, but he was never charged. Hopefully, this is the end of the line for pedophile Rosenfeld who will now rot in jail.”


How was this allowed to continue for so long and no one did anything?

Victims in those days were questioned like they were crazy or told they just imagined it or “had a bad dream”!

But to the contrary, it was very real nightmare.

#MeToo.

Fortunately, I wasn’t harmed as bad as others–as thank G-d, I woke up in time!

Yes there were others who definitely seemed to facilitate it–was it knowingly or unknowingly? Not really sure how they couldn’t have known.

People are beasts, although some have and exercise a moral conscience–others apparently don’t have the integrity or inner strength to do the right thing–or they just don’t care or dare to.

For the victims–it’s painful to see it again so real like it was just yesterday, but it’s good to know that on some level truth and justice do come out, even if too little to late.

There is much more work to do in our society to acknowledge what has gone on and been given a blind eye or even a wink and a nod instead of a resounding outcry and complete moral outrage.

It is long past time to demand the end of this ongoing evil in our communities, workplaces, and to our dear children. 😉

(Source Email: SAR Academy)

Faith Has To Win Over Worry

Anxiety is worry and fear on steroids.


Some people have separation anxiety.


Others have social anxiety.


And then there is good ‘ol generalized anxiety.


It was fascinating-scary to learn that nearly 1 in 3 will have an anxiety disorder before the age of 18.


Despite all the abundance, affluence, advancement and technological progress, people are nevertheless more fearful about their present and futures. 


Perhaps like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when people weren’t able to satisfy their most basics physiological and safety needs, they didn’t know better to worry about everything else like whether they were truly loved, integrated, on the right track in life and fulfilled.  


These days, we have more money, time, and information to know that there is plenty to be anxious about. 


We know the most horrible stories of trauma, illness, death, corruption, disaster, terror, and war–it’s plastered on the news and Internet 24/7/365.


Moreover, our “friends” and connections are blabbing about it on the social networks day-in and -out.


We are aware of our mistakes and foibles in real time as feedback is given and received with both likes as well as open criticism, marginalization, and alienation at every turn we take.


You have to ask yourself–is it meant to help anyone or to degrade and destroy the others, the opposition, the ones we don’t like anymore. 


It’s not just trolls that can make your life miserable, but everyone from your bosses to your peers and social circle who give you pause with continuous reaction and footnote–much of it driven by alternative facts and fake other world self-serving reality.


Perhaps yesterday you were a genius and on top of the world, but then all of a sudden you’re low-life garbage.


Your self-worth and future are measured by likes and dislikes, connections and reactions by people who are driven by their own agendas, power, and biases. 


It’s not just local either. 


North Korea and Iran are tweeting about destroying the world and their latest rocket launches and WMD development. 


Tomorrow maybe the end of one or of many. 


There is truly plenty to worry about in society driven by selfishness, materialism, faithlessness and a moral vacuum where truly anything goes. 


Selflessness, meaning, morality, and faith have to win over all the reasons to be anxious. 


We know too much about the bad every day, and this can only be overcome by anchoring ourselves in the good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Is Wisdom?

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Some thoughts today on what is wisdom:


– Knowing you know nothing–and you can prove it (ah, humility)!


– Knowing when to ask–like the infamous directions when you’re lost or how to use the latest new technology.


– Learning from all others (everyone has something they can teach us).


– Wisdom = Knowledge + Experience (you’ve gotten an inkling about some truth out there, and you’ve had a chance to test it out). 


– Seeing that people’s outer bodies are just the superficial, material cover for their inner souls. 


– Realizing that doing for others is so much more rewarding than doing for ourselves. 


– Following the great truths of morality and responsibility.


– Keen awareness that we are not alone in the universe–G-d is everywhere.


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Pardon Elor Azaria

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This is an open letter to Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin.


And the purpose is to ask for the kind consideration of a pardon for Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria. 


Elor has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing a terrorist that had stabbed an Israeli soldier last year. 


The terrorist had already been incapacitated and lay on the road when Elor, just aged 19, fired the final shot to the terrorist’s head. 


While I certainly don’t condone excessive use of force, I think it is important to take into consideration the context of the times when this happened, which was virtual daily terrorist attacks, including stabbings, shootings, vehicle rammings, and homicide bombings across the country, and especially in and around the eternal capital, Jerusalem. 


No one knows how to fight terrorism better than Israel, which has suffered since it’s founding in 1948 by enemies who have sought its destruction and throwing it’s entire populace–dead or alive–into the Mediterranean Sea.


The IDF soldiers who defend the people and country are heroes not only to Israelis, but to all of us around the world who support the Holy Land, and especially the establishment of a homeland for Jews, 70 years after the Holocaust wiped out 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children. 


As Jewish people, we follow the Torah’s commandments and pride ourselves on the adherence to the highest standards of morality, in all situations. 


Yet even as we cling to the strictest of moral compasses, G-d commands us to “utterly wipe out Amalek,” and the oral law teaches us the general dictum that “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”


The IDF is known as one of the most humane armies in the world, despite the circumstances where they are literally fighting for their existential survival every day.


While perhaps, we can sit in judgement and exclaim that Elor should not have taken that fateful shot that day, surely under the circumstances of the time, we can understand why he would want to fully neutralize the enemy, who very possibly could’ve been hiding explosives for a suicide bombing, which are common terrorist tactics that Israelis have suffered more than their share of.


Growing up, I remember many of the major Israeli wars as well as the Intifada, wars of attrition–and throughout, we around the world worried most anxiously, prayed to the L-rd for his mercy, and gave charity as the dead and wounded piled high to the point where basically every Israeli family has been personally and profoundly impacted. 


For a year now, Elor has suffered through the courts and the press and has also been demoted to a private…he has suffered enough in defense of his people. 


Yes even terrorists have rights, but we must remember that the victims must have more rights, and the IDF need to be given the benefit of the doubt in their self defense and the latitude to do their most difficult of jobs defending the people of the Promised Land and by extension all people of faith. 


If we don’t defend the defenders, then in essence we are aiding the terrorists and those that seek our own destruction.


I ask for the sake of people all over the world under attack by the wave of global hate and terrorism that Elor be pardoned, so that we uphold the IDF in the highest esteem and with the utmost gratitude for protecting us from the true evil that targets and threatens all of us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)