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)

Going To Bed Hungry

So lots of people like to drink tea. 


But the other day, a nice person was telling me how they drink tea all the time. 


It’s not just that they like tea, but there was an important true story behind it. 


You see, they said, when they were young growing up in a foreign country, they often didn’t have enough to eat. 


So instead, they had resorted to drinking lots of tea. 


They went on to say, that as children, they often had to go to sleep hungry. 


It is truly a wake-up call for those of us who, thank G-d, have what to eat and so much choice and plenty in this great country. 


Not everyone in the world is so blessed to eat heartily and go to sleep with a full and satisfied belly. 


It is especially saddening and tragic when we are talking about innocent children in this world. 


As we go from the workweek to the weekend, perhaps it is a good time to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for and to wish blessings of peace, health, and prosperity on all our fellow mankind, here and all around the world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumethal)

The Bright Side

My daughter, Minna Blumenthal, received this beautiful and hopeful message online, and I want to thank her for sharing it with me.


In turn, I am paying it forward to you all, and hope that you enjoy it’s meaning, which is really quite profound and inspiring. 

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.

She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her.

She told her boyfriend, ‘If I could only see the world, I will marry you.’

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?’

The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: ‘Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.’

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.

Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life is a gift.

Today before you say an unkind word – Think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food – Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife – Think of someone who’s crying out to Almighty G-d for a companion.

Today before you complain about life – Think of someone who died too young.

Before you complain about your children – Think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn’t clean or sweep – Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive – Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job – Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another – Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one Maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down – Put a smile on your face and thank G-d you’re alive and still around.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Satisfied and Bless G-d

Fancy Car.jpeg

I loved Chabad Rabbi Schneur Kaplan’s speech today in synagogue.


It was about how we can learn to be happy with what we have in life.


The biggest marketing gimmick is to say to the guy, “Look at what your neighbor has next door!”


Jealousy, desire, greed, having more and better than the next guy/girl…


That’s what many people live for and how they think.


Some can have as much as the founders of Apple, Google, and Facebook combined and still it’s not enough.


If just one person has something more…it can drive that person crazy.


Like Haman on Purim, who had wealth, power, large family and everyone bowed down to him…


Except one person named Mordecai who wouldn’t bow.


And despite having everything, but missing that one thing drove Haman so crazy–it was his downfall!


When we eat, we can be satisfied with one slice of pizza and say grace or we can have four slices and still not be satisfied.


How do we look at things?


We can be grateful for whatever we have and say that G-d gave us just what we needed at this time and place.


Or we can look at what we don’t have, and forever be bitter and unsatisfied.


What joy we can experience in life when we realize the graciousness for what G-d has bestowed on us and we are thankful for what we have. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why We Fight?

Google Diversity.jpeg

Well first of all, let me say that I really liked this image on Google the other day. 


Beautiful to see the diversity and brotherhood (and including those with disabilities)!


I had a an interesting conversation with my daughter the other day about why people often don’t get along. 


She said something that I thought was really astute:


“If there were unlimited resources, then no one would have a reason to fight!”


Think about that a moment…


Everyone feels they don’t have enough or someone else has more then them or they are afraid they won’t get their share, and so what happens?


Like jealous little children, we fight for the pail and shovel in the sandbox. 


Only as adults, our sandbox is a lot bigger and it involves hate, bigotry, racism and deadly weapons including guns, knives, and even nukes!


So this isn’t the Garden of Eden where everyone prances around free and with plenty and nothing to worry about. 


Instead, everyone has to work “by the sweat of your brow,” and there are limits to what we have, and there is fighting over who has what.


Yes, truly “greed is the root of all evil.”


What we need to learn and internalize is that it’s more important how we act towards each other than what we have and that the real gold in life is the good we do and not the plenty we amass. 


Sure we each need enough to be able to survive and excel as human beings, but it’s fool’s gold that prevents us from seeing each other as the real brothers and sisters we all are. 


If only we had enough–in both perception and reality–then peace could reign among mankind. 😉


(Source Photo: Google)

G-dly Tattoo

Tattoo

So my daughter took this photo of someone on the train.


They had a tattoo that said Elokim–G-d’s name in Hebrew–on their hand along their thumb.


Also, they had a second tattoo on the top of their hand that had the Star of David. 


Pretty dramatic, I think. 


But what a way to remember G-d and your religion all the time.


And I thought wearing a yarmulke on my head was something!


Anyway, just another thought for the day.


I was talking with a young person this week.


They said, how hard it was to be young and not know what was going to happen–what life had in store for them. 


I agreed that it was, but also added something that I had heard a number of years ago that:

When your young, you have health, but no money to enjoy it 

and when your old, you have money, but no health to enjoy it. 

The point is that at every point in life, we have our challenges, and we just have to make the most of what we got, when we have it. 

Ideally, of course, we have plenty of health and money–and the time to enjoy it with our family and friends.  

Happy Passover!

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Only Game In Town

Only Game In Town.JPeG

This was a funny sign up in Harpers Ferry yesterday, Thanksgiving Day. 


Outside this restaurant, it says, “Only OPEN Place in Town, GREAT Food.”


I suppose if it’s the only game in town, then whatever food they have is by definition “great”-compared to going hungry that is. 


Life is very much like this–where everything is relative. 


If I have too many choices–how do I choose? 


Whatever I choose, I may second guess myself that maybe another one would’ve been better. 


It’s like when I go out with my daughter to eat, somehow whatever she orders is always better than what I got!


But when choice is limited or non-existent, well then “beggars can’t be choosey.”


Essentially, your happy with what you have– perhaps, something is often better than nothing. 


But really it’s much more than that, because if you look closely at others, you realize that what you have is actually a pretty darn good lot in life–so don’t be envious, jealous, or be too quick to want to change places with your neighbor. 


Obviously, this was a very apropos sign for Thanksgiving–where we need to learn to be grateful for everything we have in life. 


It is our basket, and we wouldn’t want to trade it for anything in the world (and if you did, you’d be sorry afterwards). 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)