Trying To Maintain Normality


People are trying to get out of the house for just a little bit each day amidst the mandated social distancing. 



Especially difficult is to try to get some exercise with all the fitness centers, gyms, and pools closed down. 



Some people are just choosing to go for a walk around the track or get in a quick workout with a few friends or family members. 



Can we be normal when everything is abnormal? 😉



(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel 2020: Day 8

So awesome going to the Bahai Gardens today in Haifa, Israel. 


Took the train to Haifa and then a taxi ride up this big hill. 


Got out at the top and not sure what to expect. 


We go through security…


And then we see this completely BREATHTAKING view of the Bahai Gardens along with an amazing view of Haifa, the port, and up and down the Mediterranean Sea. 


The view Extended all the way up to the Crusader Castle in Akko. 


The terraced Bahai Gardens were spectacular.  


I’ve never seen anything like this. 


We walked down the terraces some 700 stairs. 


And along the way were fountains, gardens, and more beautiful landscapes and views. 


This is definitely something to see (thank you Hashem for this opportunity). 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Build Others Up

I saw this in one of the student lounges at the local JCC.


It says:

“Don’t Cut Down Others”


It’s far better to build people up then to tear them down. 


Jut like with trees, it’s better to plant a trillion trees than deforest the Amazon Rainforest. 


Trees are life and people are life. 


Be constructive and not destructive. 


Offer a nice word or compliment; provide an attentive and empathetic ear; give direction with some advice and guidance; lend a hand to someone in need; and in general, be a good influence. 


Unfortunately, too many people default to cutting down the old cherry tree! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Oh Deer!

So you really don’t want a deer ending up on the grill of your car. 

Not good for the deer (dead meat!) and not good for your car. 

My daughter and son-in-law just gave me Deer Warning Whistles. 

They are supposed to emit ultrasonic sound waves that warn the deer away. 

Anything that keeps the deer away is welcome in my neck of the woods. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nature Boy

When I was a kid and I went to the supermarket with my mom, I remember always seeing the “Andy Boy Broccoli” in the produce aisle. 


Of course, I was always curious why Broccoli was called Andy Boy–what boy or any kid for that matter likes to eat broccoli???


And like most things in life, there really wasn’t a good answer except that this company, “Andy Boy” grows and distributes it. 


Anyway, I was always a nature boy feeling most at home and at peace in the countryside. 


I love being in nature, surrounded by G-d’s amazing beauty, and at one with the universe and with G-d.  


In building all our great cities, buildings, and structures, aside from the crowding, pollution, crime and traffic that we have consequently, we have also lost something elementary to our lives with the absence of real nature. 


A park is not a forest.  A pond is not a river.  A plant is a not a lush valley.  A garden is not a farm.  A hill is not a mountain range.  A pet is not a teeming ecosystem of diverse life.  


The city is man made and fake, but nature is from G-d and real. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)