Something Better In Store For You

So I recently had what I thought was a big opportunity slip by me.


My first reaction was to be disappointed, upset, angry, and question why.


But then I remembered something I heard the other day:

“If something doesn’t work out then it’s because something even better is coming.”


Wow, that’s powerful!


Think about it…


What do we mortal human beings really know?


We think something is right for us–but only G-d really knows what the future will bring.


Perhaps with this or that thing that we think we so want, instead of joy and fulfillment, it’s really just heartache or disaster in the waiting.


My father used to say and was so right about it:

“Better to cry now then to cry later.”


G-d loves us and has our best interests at heart–He saves us and has something better in store for us. 


My father also taught me:

“What can any man do to us when we have faith in G-d.”


And he really lived that way!


He never worried about what any person or event could do to him–faith always protected him and even when he was sick and was dying, and I asked how he was, he told me:

“I have no pain.”


And I could see truly with his deep faith in the Almighty, he really did not feel any pain–it was amazing and miraculous!


Like my dear father, when I remember that G-d has the whole world in Hands, and He watches over us then my heart is uplifted and all I want to do is sing His praises, and that is what I will do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The All-Knowing (Not)

Knowing.jpeg

Check out this guy’s shirt:

“Those who think they know EVERYthing
annoy those of us who do.”


What would make this grown man put this handwritten sign on his shirt like this?  


It’s funny some people really do think they know everything. 


And they are the hardest and most annoying people to listen to, because their pompous arrogance blinds them to what others think, feel, and have to say. 


The only way to really know many different things is to learn from others and then incorporate that into your brain matter. 


Progress (societal and self), including thinking, is incremental–that’s why education is so important!


No one (except G-d, of course) knows everything, but everyone knows something. 


So we can learn from everyone!


Don’t fear other’s people knowledge, skills, and abilities–we are a community and we really only work well when we function together. 


It’s like on most of the survival shows I’ve seen–one or two people (even those highly trained) fail miserably at long- (or short-) term surviving, because “it takes a village!”


Overall, I like my father’s humble version on life much better:

“I know nothing and I can prove it.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Special Blue Bird

blue-bird

Just wanted to share a photo I took of this beautiful blue bird that I came across in Florida. 


This bird was something special. 


I couldn’t help admiring his amazingly blue feathers punctuated by the yellow around his smart eyes 


He wasn’t the only beautiful animal or flower that we saw there, there were many.


They all just left me in wonderment at the unbelievable beauty that G-d created for us in this world.


No one is going to tell me this is all random by evolution, and that there is not a profoundly wise and all-knowing Maker behind it.


Perhaps, we never really left the physical Garden of Eden, but being expelled from there meant more of a mentality where we have to work and fight hard to keep it all pristine.


Mankind’s inclination is to take and use abundantly almost without thought as to the sustainability of his actions.


– Cities expand and encroach on natural rural areas. 


– G-d’s beautiful creatures are in retreat and often in danger of extinction. 


– Resources are used willy nilly as we dig and dig, chop and chop, and burn and burn. 


– Garbage is expelled and piles up virtually anywhere and everywhere.


– Pollution fills the land, air, and waterways.


Eden is still here, but people must act more like angels and less like snakes if G-d gracious gifts to us are to survive. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Did G-d Create The World?

Globe 1
So we met the Rabbi at Starbucks for a coffee and conversation. 



We talked about such a wide variety of topics–the Ten Commandments, the laws of Shabbat, driverless cars and smartphones, women’s minyan (prayer services), and even LGBT.



Not sure how this came up, but at one point the Rabbi turns to us and asks, “Why did G-d create the world?”



Taken a little off guard by this very big question, I blurted out, “To get to the other side!”



I thought he was going to fall off his chair, and then we all laughed. 



But then we started to discuss some of the traditional answers like G-d out his infinite love created us with a spark of himself.



In very mortal terms, I guess maybe it’s not so fun to be G-d (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent) but be alone in the universe.



By creating us, His children, he gave the gift of life, learning, and growth for us to emulate the Divine. 



What about all the terrible suffering?



Perhaps just part of our tests, trials, and tribulations to ultimately grow our souls. 



Still it’s a tough world. 



I wonder maybe “to get to the other side”–for us to get to Heaven–isn’t such a bad answer after all (even if it comes from the chicken crossing the road joke). 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Bunch Of Dummies

Dummies
Took a photo from this children’s book that someone left in the kosher Chinese restaurant–and it was sort of priceless.



There is a drawing of a ventriloquist with his puppet.



And it says, “All my friends are dummies,”



Often, it’s tempting to think that we’re so smart and “we’re all that”, but everyone else is just a dummy.



But we need to remember that in a way, really we’re all just a bunch of dummies–now you didn’t think I was going to say that, did you?



We are human, frail, mortal…and no one knows everything (hey, not even close).



My father used to joke saying, “I know nothing, and I can prove it!”



The truth is that all we really know is what G-d wants us to know; we say, what G-d permits our tongues to speak, and ultimately, we do, what G-d commands of us–there is no escaping it. 



In the big picture, we are but puppets and dummies in the hands of the omniscient creator.



For those with mega size egos (and usually nasty to match)…what G-d gives, he can easily take away, so don’t be a real dummy. 😉



(Source Photo: The Blumenthals)

Kurzweil, Right and Wrong

Kurzweil, Right and Wrong

Ray Kurzweil the famous futurist is an amazing person, but like everyone he has his good and bad days.

When it comes to the Singularity–Kurzweil had a very good day.

With the accelerating speed of technology change, the advent of super intelligence and superhuman powers is already here (and continuing to advance) with:

Smartphones all-in-one devices give us the power of the old mainframe along with the communication capabilities to inform and share by phone, text, photo, video, and everything social media.

Google Glass is bringing us wearable IT and augmented reality right in front of our very eyes.

Exoskeletons and bioengineering is giving us superhuman strength and ability to lift more, run faster and further, see and hear better, and more.

Embedded chips right into our brains are going to give us “access to all the world’s information” at the tip of our neural synapses whenever we need it (Wall Street Journal).

In a sense, we are headed toward the melding of man and machine, as opposed to theme of the Terminator movie vision of man versus machine–where man is feared to lose in a big way.

In man melded with machine–we will have augmentations in body and brain–and will have strength, endurance, and intelligence beyond our wildest dreams.

However, Kurzweil has a bad day is when it comes to his prediction of our immortality.

Indeed, Kurzweil himself, according to the Journal “takes more than 150 pills and supplements a day” believing that we can “outrun our own deaths.”

Kurzweil mistakenly believes that the speed of medical evolution will soon be “adding a year of life expectancy every year,” so if only we can live until then, we can “Live long enough to live forever.”

But, just as our super intelligence will not make us omniscient, and our superhuman powers will not make us omnipotent or omnipresent, our super advances in medicine will not make us, as we are, immortal.

Actually, I cannot even imagine why Kurzweil would want to live forever given his fear-inspiring Singularity, where advances in machine and artificial intelligence outpaces man’s own evolutionary journey.

Kurzweil should knock off some of the pills and get back to humankind’s learning and growth and stop his false professing that humans will become like G-d, instead of like a better humans. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Eyes Wide Open

This is an interesting video on Plato’s Allegory of The Cave.

It is long-winded, but if you watch a little I think you will get the point.

In the video prisoners who are kept in the dark, chained, and with no real view of the outside world, have a limited perception of what exists out there.

They see shadows, but what is a shadow compared with the reality of true people, places, and things.

When one prisoner is released outside into the light and the wonders of the world, he sees and experiences the greatness, the complexity, and the beauty of it all.

The world, he sees, is much more than a shadow on a darkened wall.

Watching this video, I think how fortunate I am to be able to have an education (and I am actually in a class this week).

It is wonderful to learn and grow–and have one’s eyes opened to all there is out there.

True, not all the topics that I encounter and learn about are of great interest to me (sometimes, like everyone, I feel like I just want to get some Zzzzzs), but just being exposed to different topics and ways of thinking is a great opportunity in and of itself.

I think sometimes, how lucky I am to live in the 21st century in an age of globalization, opportunities for advanced education, and all the technology to bridge time and space and see more than many who came before us.

I imagine that compared to G-d, we are like the prisoners in the cave who only experience and see a minutia of reality, and G-d is out there over us, omniscient.

Someday, G-d releases us from our mortal bodies and we ascend to heaven to partake of his greatness and then our eyes are truly opened as well. 😉