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)

Bigotry Reveals Her Stripes

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OPEN LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


What an outrageous article in the Daily News by morally-bankrupt journalist, Linda Stasi (yeah, like the repressive secret East German police in the Cold War). 


Ms. Stasi calls out as deserving of death, the single Jewish victim of terror in the latest terror attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 and injured 21, where according to Stasi only “13 innocent people are dead”, because the one “Born Again Christian/Messianic Jew” was what she judges as a bigot. 


Stasi tries to create some sort of ridiculous moral equivalency between mass murdering terrorists who pledged allegiance to ISIS and mowed down dozens of municipal employees in California with the Jewish guy who posted some stuff on Facebook. 


Vehemently anti-Republican, Stasi, lashes out at conservative, Mr. Thalasinos with posts that were supportive of  conservative political commentator, Ann Coulter and “pro-NRA” and “anti-Planned Parenthood” — neither of which are bigoted things, but are conservative political views in America!


Similarly, Stasi accuses the victim, Thalasinos of being “anti-government” for questioning things like whether politicians are “bought and paid for” or are “moron[s]” — when Stasi should be aware that approval ratings for politicians (e.g. Congress) has slipped to a dismal 11%.


Finally, Stasi goes after Thalasinos for an inappropriate negative comment about a Muslim Million Man march and for saying G-d should destroy, Axis of Evil, Iran that has repeatedly threatened to Annihilate friend and Ally, Israel as well as threatens the entire Western world. 


Apparently, Stasi is quite hateful of many many people as she is neither concerned about Iranian threats of Jewish Genocide, dishonoring victims of terror (which she has a history of doing such as with Charlie Hebdo), or accepting those with opposing political views to hers (i.e. Conservatives). 


She has defamed the memory of the dead victim of terror, Mr. Thalasinos, and the Daily News owes it to itself and its readers to immediately dismiss the one true hateful bigot in this story, Ms. Linda Stasi.


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Blake Emrys)

Amazing Chanukah Photo

Chanukah On the back of the photo is written Chanukah 5692 Judea dies says the banner Judea will live forever responds the lights.jpeg

A colleague at work showed me this photo: front and back. 


In it, the Chanukah candles in the window defy the evil Nazi banner in front of their headquarters in Germany and foretelling of the impending Jewish genocide and world war.


On the back on the photo is written:


“Chanukah 5692 [1931]. Judea dies says the banner. Judea will live forever responds the lights.”


As we are once again living in a time of brutal terrorist violence and a moral black hole in civilization, we must again turn to Hashem and the Menorah to light up the darkness of our times. 


May G-d have mercy on His people and bless them in peace. 😉

Honesty, A Great Policy

Stand On Issues

So I went to the Podiatrist today for some routine maintenance. 


This was a new doctor for me, and I was going in with a healthy dose of skepticism (until I know the person is good and trustworthy). 


Well after the doctor does all these things, I test the waters and ask him, “So how often should I come back to see you every 6 months or more often or what?”


Here’s his opportunity to put money ahead of really caring about the patient and to say to come often and more frequently so they can make more patient visits and more money.


But instead he pleasantly surprised me and goes, “Well let’s see how your doing and take it from there.”


I loved it–some genuine honesty and not just business and a money-making racket. 


Now, I really do plan to go back to this doctor regularly, because I trust him. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Good Can (And Will) Overcome Evil

Beautiful video showing that good can overcome evil. 



Next video is where the woman (empowered) takes down the would be attackers herself–with a big time, well-deserved smackdown!



Where on the right track. 😉

Might Does Not Make Right

Do Right
I heard from someone the other day…



“Do what is right–the others be damned!”



And this is right on the money.



You should always follow the dictates of your conscience.



Do not worry about pressure from others or what others will do that you cannot control. 



My dad (A”H) used to say:



“YOU do what is right–YOU be the example!”



He was my example, and I will always follow in his footsteps. 😉



(Source photo: here with attribution to cursedthing)

Live To Live or Live To Die?

Angel

In The New York Times today, David Brooks presents “two sets of virtues, the resume virtue and the eulogy virtue.”


The resume virtues are the skills you need to get ahead in the marketplace, and the eulogy virtues are “whether you were kind, brave, honest, or faithful.”


While we’d like to believe that most feel that being a decent human being is more important than how much money we earn, unfortunately our education and economic systems are geared far more toward the latter, where it’s widely acknowledged that “money makes the world go round!”


In fact, many will often sacrifice the moral high ground for landing on a bigger, cushier hill of worldly possessions and pleasures. 


Interestingly enough, my daughter asked me last week, whether it is better to personally live a happy life but die with a horrible reputation or to live selflessly, struggling with life challenges, but be revered after you die?


To me the answer was simple–live, learn, and grow regardless of momentary personal happiness. Do what’s right, period–honor and chivalry is alive and well. 


But my daughter told me that over 90% of people polled chose their happiness in life as their #1 goal.


I suppose it’s easy to say what’s the point of leaving a legacy if you were not happy living your life every day, but I would counter with what’s the point in chasing life’s daily pleasures, if you were a bum and everyone knows it?


The point isn’t even what people say about us when we are alive or dead, but rather that we know that we tried our best to live as decent, ethical human beings and that hopefully, we left the world a better place than when we got here.


Sure, there is no blessing in being poor or unhappy–but living purely to satisfy one’s voracious materialistic appetite is just being a selfish little pig–come on admit it!


On your deathbed, will you wish you that in your life you had more money and status or that you had been a better, more giving human being? 


I say forget the resume and the eulogy, just think about what will really gives you peace of mind and inner happiness and it’s more than any amount of money can buy or any seduction you can imagine.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

100 Times Harassed


After my last blog on stopping sexual assault, a colleague brought this other video to my attention.



32 million views and 120 thousand comments and counting. 


This young lady walks around the streets of New York for 10 hours in jeans and a t-shirt and is verbally harassed a 100 times–not including winks and whistles. 



Women (and men) should not have to live in fear, shame, or be abused doing nothing but living their lives peacefully and respectfully. 



Darn, can the folks out there show some respect and decency.



This could be your mother, wife, sister, or daughter…think about it.



Video sponsored by IHollaback

Stop Sexual Assault

Abuse
Saw this poster coming off the Metro today in Washington D.C. 

 
“It’s on all of us to stop sexual assault.”
 
It reminded me of this article I read in the DailyMail about this father of a 14-year girl in India that was raped in her home by a medical supply salesman. 
 
The young girl was raped and impregnated by a 45-year old man who boasted that he was “too well-connected” to ever be prosecuted. 
 
After some time passed, the father invited the rapist to dinner!
 
The rapist came. 
 
The father overcame the rapist, and repeatedly burned the man’s genitals with hot thongs.
 
The rapist died.
 
This one rapist will certainly not be doing this again. 
 
While blatant violation of the law and vigilantism is not okay, the poster is right that we need to “stop sexual assault.”
 
Statistics in this country are that 20% of college women are sexually assaulted before they graduate. 
 
Unacceptable!
 
Laws protecting women (and men) from sexual assault need to be strengthened, penalties stiffened, and we all need to be on the lookout for inappropriate behavior and speedily report this to law enforcement.
 
And no one should be above the law and basic morality. 
 
It’s on us.”  
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)