Meeting The Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Remembering Amos Oz.”


Wow, this was so awesome today–I got to shake hands with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 


We went to the memorial today for famous Israeli author, Amos Oz. 

I love Oz’s literary works–he is a genius–even as I find myself disagreeing with some of his ideology: Yes, I agree with his humanism and the need to have peace with the Palestinians, but also I am steadfast that Israel must remain strong in the face of the numerous threats it faces, especially after the terrible lessons of the Holocaust. However, as much as I came to honor Oz, I felt is was a dishonor to him that the memorial was in great part turned into a political discourse for leftists (even as it was stated that Oz himself separated his pens for literature and politics).

I am convinced that in the end, it will be the moderates, and not the proliferating extremists (left or right) that bring peace, security, and justice to Israel and the Palestinians. 


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Jerusalem’s Amazing New Bomb Shelter

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jerusalem’s Amazing New Bomb Shelter.”

Israel Railways zips passengers north-south between Nahariya and Be’er Sheva and east-west between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv…but the best thing of all is that it also serves for the strategic defense for its citizens…there are provisions for 3,000 to 5,000 people to shelter from a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on the holy city of Jerusalem

Thankfully, Israel is growing as a democracy, a Startup Nation, and as a light unto nations, yet it must remain vigilant and strong against enemies that could even attempt the unthinkable. 


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel and The Golan Heights

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “A Great Day On The Golan Heights.”

Between 1948 and 1967, the Golan was used by Syria to indiscriminately shell and harass Israeli villages in the Galilee, including in April 1967 at which time Israel shot down six Syrian MIG fighter planes as a warning to Syria. Finally, after twenty years of these continuing attacks by Syria on Israel from the Golan, did Syria finally lose the Golan to Israel in the ensuing 1967 War. Contrary to those who say that recognizing Israel’s control of the Golan endorses the forceful taking of land from other countries, the monumental shift in American policy on Purim this week actually provides critical deterrence against war by recognizing the potential consequences to those like Syria that unjustly wage war and lose.


Thank you to President Trump for setting the record straight with respect to Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and for supporting Israel’s right to peace and security.  


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Jerusalem Center of The World

I love this map by Heinrich Bunting, a German Protestant pastor and cartographer. 


This beautiful artist and thoughtful map was published in 1581.


It shows the 3 continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa as 3 leaves of a clovers with Jerusalem at the center. 


Jerusalem, Israel is the focus, nexus and crossroad between these 3 worlds of Western, Asian, and African civilizations. 


Israel is so multi-cultural and holy to the 3 major monotheistic religions of the world (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism).  


Light, healing, peace, and prosperity should emanate from Jerusalem to the whole world and G-d should bless us from his heavenly abode.  😉


(Source Photo: Wikipedia)

North Korea — No Deal!

This is sort of what I feel happened with North Korea and the U.S. at the Summit in Vietnam this week. 


We went into this thinking that the enticement of moving from war to prosperity, like with Vietnam, would set the stage for North Korea to see that truly, peace is the answer! 


But when there is no real trust between the people negotiating, then you get a lot of gesturing, but no real determination to make a commitment–like getting rid of those crazy nukes!


For now from North Korea’s perspective, “one in the nukes is worth two in the prosperity”…and they aren’t going to disarm so easily and give away what they consider their ace in the hole.  


High hopes, lots of drama, confusion and blame, and ultimately a big let down.


If North Korea would give up their nukes, and Iran would give up their pursuit of nukes…WOW, WOW, WOW, oh what a world that would be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.”

Let’s just say it wasn’t easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it’s maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate.

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari’a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change — I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the “old” historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways.

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it’s all the women’s fault).

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from.

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people.

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Shalom!

Love this picture that my daughter took in Israel of the Challahs for Shabbat. 


So fresh and delicious. 


Plenty for all. 


G-d’s blessing for a restful Shabbos.


Thank you for sanctifying us with your mitzvot. 😉


(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)