3 Months of Social Distancing

Here is a link to the modeling for Covid-19:

https://covidactnow.org/


You can click any state to see the impact of 3 months of social distancing or 3-months of Shelter in Place.


Basically, it looks like this first round of coronavirus will last until around the beginning of June. 


The hope is that we can keep the hospitals and medical system from being overwhelmed while we try to come up and test an effective vaccine. 


Of course, vaccines are helpful, but look how many still get the flu every year because viruses mutate and the vaccine misses the mark.


Also, there is a risk that the virus comes back even more virulent again, so we all need to continue to pray! 😉


(Thank you to my sister for sharing this with me.)

Getting Tefillin Checked

I visited with Rabbi Levy yesterday to get my tefillin checked.

I learned that if there are questions about the legibility of the holy scrolls, they are given to a child to read to see in their innocence whether the tefillin are kosher or not.

Something felt very good and important about performing this mitzvah.

In the meantime, while mine are being checked, I have a loaner pair of teffilin to use and daven with.

Yet to be seen whether it is time for a new pair or not–like a bar mitzvah all over again. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

North Korea and Iran–No Time For Nuke Time

nukes.jpeg

We are at a unbelievably critical moment in history. 


North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons capability and are threatening and maniacal enough to use them. 


Negotiations, incentives, and phony deals have led to nothing but advancing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with our enemies and their continued vows to kill us. 


As Iran vows to annihilate Israel and chants:

“Death to America”


North Korea vows a nuclear attack saying Washington will be:


“Engulfed in a sea of fire.”


The Talmud (Sanhedrin 72a) teaches the principle of self-defense:

“If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.”


Preemption is justifiable if the threat is real and imminent. 


North Korea and Iranian threats are very real and getting ever more imminent as their capabilities increase–and if anything, they have been underestimated and underreported.


They have continued to build and test nukes and the missiles to deliver them to the U.S. and our allies, despite pleas as well as carrots and sticks to cease their menacing actions.


The prior administration’s position of “strategic patience” has meant nothing but indecision and a do nothing approach as things get worse and not better.


Now, we have the opportunity to destroy the deadly nuke sites before these despotic regimes hit us and our population of nearly 320 million people with a nuke first strategy!


We are a peaceful nation that believes deeply in freedom and human rights, but we cannot live under constant threat of nuclear attack on our cities and allies. 


A preemptive strike is a very, very serious decision, but we cannot wait indefinitely and let ourselves become victims of the most horrific weapons and their destructive capabilities and aftermath. 


What do we do if North Korea and Iran refuse their endless pursuit weapons of mass destruction and their threats to use them on us?


Perhaps, this is soon to be a rhetorical question if not the most dire of all decisions to make and the time to make them. 


May G-d have mercy  on us–if ever their was a time, now is the time to pray and mean it.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ambassador of Redemption and Peace

Founding of the State oF Israel.jpeg

Thought this was so cool…


One of my friends from synagogue has an amazing replica of the letter From President Harry S. Truman recognizing the the State of Israel (with the President’s last-minute hand-written edits on it):


It reads: 

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.  

The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.” 

Harry Truman 

Approved May 14, 1948″

 And hence the Jewish people went from almost 2,000 years in exile and persecution–culminating in the genocidal Holocaust that wiped out 6,000,000 Jews–to be followed by the founding of the State of Israel and the keeping of G-d’s promise in the Bible:

Genesis 15:18: 

“On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”

Deuteronomy 30:3 

“Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”

We are living through historic times!


Now the Headquarters of the State Department is named the Harry S. Truman building…how fitting for all our diplomacy to be called for the President that recognized the State of Israel, as the Bible said. 


Then this weekend, I was truly surprised and humbled when another friend from synagogue said that he thinks with all my passion and caring for the United States, Israel and G-d that I could be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel…I couldn’t have be more moved by these lovely sentiments.


As a child of Holocaust survivors and a person of faith who believes deeply that we are witnessing the prophecies of the Bible literally being fulfilled and that we are in the time of the great redemption, I have a vision that we are ushering in the coming of the Messiah and that there will be peace in our lands and enlightenment of G-d upon the Earth. 


I hope and pray every day for it to be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Work For It

Hard Work

This was an astute fortune cookie this weekend:


“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”


It reminded me of what my dad used to tell me that:


“Nothing, in life, is easy.


Or as my mother-in-law says:


“The world owes you nothing!”


Basically, the messages are similar that we have to work hard for what we want in life.


You have to believe in your goals and your mission. 


And follow through with rock solid determination and perserverance.


It seems in life that almost as soon as one challenge is over the next is ready to begin.


Got to have faith, pray for G-d’s guidance, and be strong. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Relating To G-d Through Rules And Relationships

Arches

So we had some friends come visit last night. 


They are religious Christians (brother and sister) who love the Jewish people, and one of them actually attends our synagogue on a regular basis. 


We had a nice time talking and eating, and I also learned an interesting religious lesson.


The man told me how he understood that Judaism is very focused on rules (i.e. laws) that people are supposed to follow as laid out in the Torah.


But he said, it is also important to build a relationship with G-d.


The relationship being about sincerely knowing that G-d is there for us, that we are bound to him, that we express our gratitude for everything he does for us, and that we ask him for what we need. 


I think the main difference in how he described it was that is was not in a rote and ritualistic type of way, but rather as in a real relationship, where we talk to G-d naturally and recognize him benevolently and lovingly. 


As Jews, we know we cannot substitute a loving relationship with G-d for doing what we are commanded to do, but perhaps we can do both. 


We can follow the rules–the do’s and don’ts–AND we can bind with G-d in a one on one relationship–where we are and feel bound to him not just because we must, but rather because we really love him for creating us, sustaining us, and he is the ultimate good in universe.


When we are in a “relationship” with G-d, it’s because he is someone we want to cling to, relate to, talk to, and yearn for. 


This is a just little different than how I learned about this in yeshiva, where it was much more about loving and fearing G-d in a  rule-based way–again because we are commanded to do it.


But perhaps it is nice also to love and fear G-d, because he is G-d and we are in a deep and growing relationship with him. 😉

Cancer 101

Cancer Incidence Stages of Cancer
I saw this in a doctor’s office and thought it was very educational on Cancer.



The first diagram has a brief definition of cancer and the incidence of cancer type for males and females.



The second explains the stages of cancer, I through IV, and is shown in the small intestine, as an example. 



This stuff is so scary and horrible. 



The “C” word…we should never hear it, say it, or know from it anymore!



G-d should help us find a cure to rid this world of this disease.



Save us from that which afflicts us, and send us a complete healing of body, mind, and soul, Amen!!!



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)