Growing Fears Of Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to infect more and more people, the fear is continuing to grow.


Today, Apple announced that the outbreak will imagine their sales


And I read yesterday that airlines, even Israeli El Al, is warning of the impact


But how you know that the people, as individuals, are getting seriously worried are by the level of precautions they are starting to take.


These include: canceling travel arrangements, wearing (antiviral) face masks and latex gloves, and ever more frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizers. 


The picture here shows a couple of ladies waiting on line for some gelato at the airport, and they have masks over their faces and this is in the Holy Land, and not even where the outbreak is in China!


I hear official figures of 70,000+ infected and 1,800 dead, but on the street people are saying these are grossly understated. 


Let us pray that this virus is brought speedily under control, that a cure is found, and that no more people are sickened or killed by it. 


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel 2020: Day 3

Went to the Holy city of the Kabbalists today, Sefad.


Saw the beautiful 15th century Abuhav Synagogue, the Candle Factory, the artist colony, and the of course, the holy graves of the Tzadikim to pray.


It was a marvelously spiritually uplifting experience (as well as being up high in the mountains) and is an overall beautiful and unique city of ancient winding alleys and treasures at every turn. 


So grateful to have had this opportunity to visit there, thank you Hashem!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Hears Your Prayers

My son-in-law reminded me of a beautiful Jewish saying about prayer:

Even if a sharp sword rests upon a person’s neck, he should not refrain from praying for mercy. 


One can still hope for mercy from the Almighty even at death’s door. 


This is truly beautiful and uplifting–we can approach G-d anytime, and as long as we are alive, there is always hope.


The saving from G-d is like “the blink of an eye.” 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Beauty of Tefillin

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “The Beauty of Tefillin.”

Like the colorful coat that Jacob gave Joseph to wear, the mitzvah of tefillin that G-d gave us to wear is also filled with spiritual color and the love of Hashem. This is in no way intended as sacrilegious or as trying to change our holy mitzvot. Rather it is an artistic attempt to see the tefillin in a new way that perhaps excites and bring Jews back to this important mitzvah.


Over time, as I continued to learn and grow as a person and as a Jew, I found much of my way back to Yiddishkeit and to wearing my holy tefillin with love and Joy. To me they are forever colorful and full of spiritual energy that are uplifting to me as I pray with them on for Hashem’s everlasting mercy and blessings for all of us.

(Credit Image: Andy Blumenthal)

The Best of Jewish Nigunim


Shlomo Carlebach was a master of Jewish Nigunim (melodies).



With his music he could literally move one’s soul to reach for G-d Almighty in the Heavens and on Earth. 



Thank you Eitan Katz for bringing this alive again.



I hope you can feel it as I do.



Hashem lives!

Jews, The People of Thanksgiving

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jews, The People of Thanksgiving.”

This week was Thanksgiving (חג ההודיה), but for Jews we are already called, “The People of Thanksgiving. “We are named יהודים (Yehudim) after יהודה (Yehudah), the son of Isaac and Leah because Leah said (Genesis 29:35): “הפעם אודה את יהיה.” (“This time let me thank G-d”). Also as Jews, we are not just called the People of  Thanksgiving, but we are actively supposed to say 100 blessings a day thanking G-d, so in the true sense of the word, everyday is Thanksgiving Day for the Jewish people.


Jews are the People of Thanksgiving not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. We are thankful for being the chosen people and for our redemption and return to the Promised Land of Israel; we are thankful for the life and opportunities that G-d has given to us; we are thankful in good times and G-d forbid, in the bad times; and we are thankful because, yes, ultimately everything from G-d is for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:

There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 

The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples’ hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can’t Sit, Can’t Stand

So I’ve been having this excruciating lower back pain for about a week. 


I literally cannot sit or stand without shooting pain. 


When I sit, it hurts the lower back so much to get up. 


And when I stand, all I want to do is relieve the pressure and sit down. 


I feel like the warning from G-d in the Torah where He says (Deuteronomy 28:67):

In the morning you will say ‘”If only it were evening!” and in the evening “If only it were morning!”

The only real relief so far is lying down or going in the pool. 


Planning to see the doctor to check it out and hopefully with G-d’s mercy it will be better very soon.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

It Spills Over

Sometimes the glass is not half full or half empty. 


But rather is spills over entirely. 


There is nothing, nothing left inside. 


Worse even is when the glass completely shatters.


Then there isn’t even a vessel anymore. 


All that’s left is to pick up the pieces. 


As humans, we try to fill up the water, stop the water inside from spilling out, and to save the glass.


The rest is in G-d’s hands. 


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Celebrating With Security

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Celebrating With Security.”

Take a look around you at the new security measures and people risking their lives for yours and your family. Take a moment to thank them. But also, recognize that the security isn’t there just for show, it’s there because the hatred and threats have tangibly increased along with the ever present means to carry them out. It is critical that we continue our vigilance and the strengthening of our security measures, because those that hate us for who we are and for our faith are not going away, and unfortunately, they may even continue to grow in numbers and resolve. However, none of us should live in fear and be forced to stay away from our religious institutions, our Torah study, and prayer, but rather to the contrary, we need to stand up strongly–in defiance and in faith!


While I don’t know what specific security measures we will see next Rosh Hashanah, I can say with almost absolute certainty that it will be more and not less and that you should definitely be taking notice.

(Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay)