Shame As An Effective Motivator

This last week protesters against Justice Kavanaugh came up against Senator Manchin (D. WV) in a head on confrontation. 


He was being interviewed by the media. 


But the protesters drowned him out with chants of “Shame” and “Shame on you!”


Similar to the series Game Of Thrones, where the evil Queen Cersis must “Take the walk of shame” for sleeping with and having a child with her own brother. 


She must walk through the city with all the people yelling “Shame” at her, spitting on her, throwing rotten vegetables at her, etc. 


There is no place to hide. 


Her hair has been shorn off. 


Her clothes have been stripped from her. 


Without her clothes and pretense, she is naked, but she is also naked because her soul is bearing her sin before everybody.


This week life imitated art and the protesters stood in judgment over Senator Manchin’s decision to vote yes for and support Kavanaugh.


He was surrounded by shame. 


It was not meant to be politic, respectful, or open any sort of dialogue, but simply to tear the Senator down and humiliate him for his decision. 


I could imagine how he must feel being surrounded by all these people telling him he was a disgrace and that should be completely ashamed of himself. 


There seemed no one left to strand up for him, defend him, and let him save face. 


I am not saying his decision was right or wrong, just that when seemingly everybody passes judgment on you as evil and a disgrace, there is no where to hide or anyone to defend himself in this mob lynching. 


I imagine that this feeling of shame is sort of what happens when we die and we must face everyone we dealt favorably and unfavorably with.  


For those who we wronged, the chant of shame echoes through G-d’s heavenly court. 


There is no place to hide as we must now pay the piper for each and every thing we did or didn’t do.  


Our deeds are no longer hidden, but exposed for everyone to see. 


We cannot pretend to be good when we were not.


The veil and pretense of righteousness disintegrates.


We are exposed for who we really are. 


Our true selves and our sins are there in full sight and for which we must bear out our ultimate shame. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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An Arrogant Model Who Defiles The Holy Temple

Please see my new article, Naked Before G-d, in The Times of Israel. 

“In such a G-dly place [as the Kotel], where we are all spiritually naked for our actions before our Maker, [Belgian model,] Ms. Papen displayed not soul, but her haughty flesh.”


And like the Sotah in the bible, who drinks of “the bitter waters” for defiling the sanctity of her marriage, Ms. Papen will most certainly come to see the consequences for her defilement of the most sacred place of Judaism. 


I wouldn’t want to be her, seriously! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Blessings and The Curses

L-rd, Bless your loving children. 


And do swift justice to the wicked that seek their destruction. 


Bless those that stand guard at your heavenly and earthly gates. 


Curse those evil ones that make a mockery of your lofty kingship. 


Bless the humble and faithful to you and your laws.


Curse those that stand in arrogance and spread hate and vileness before you. 


Bless those that bless you and seek to do good. 


Curse those that curse you and do harm to your creations. 


Bless the righteous people with all that is good. 


Curse the wicked and tear them asunder so that they are utterly destroyed. 


L-rd, please hear your lowly servant and bring the ultimate redemption to your people. 


And verily discomfort, smite and throw to the depths of punishment and exile the cursed wicked. 


None can stand before you in their shame and disgrace. 


Do it for your name’s sake; do it for your children’s sake, do it for your justice’s sake, do it to make things right in your beautiful and perfect world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

They Really Think They Deserve It

Sometimes I come across people with enormous wealth and power. 


Many wield it like they own it and deserve it. 


I wonder sometimes with billions of other people in the world without adequate food, water, plumbing, medicine, or a solid roof over the heads, how the mighty can think they are above it all. 


Do they look around–do they see anyone else but themselves?


They seem drunk with themselves and what they have–and very overconfident.


Worshipping self and all the honor and materialistic success–they forget where it comes from and what they are supposed to be doing with it to help others. 


Yet, G-d and His angels can strike in but a split second. 


Those that are high and mighty can be brought low and those that are in the depths of despair can be uplifted. 


But at the will of G-d Almighty.


At the top, people may erroneously think and come to believe that they are smarter or more deserving–and so what’s theirs is theirs for the taking and keeping. 


They think “To hell” with everyone else–they are the little people. 


Perhaps, they even come to enjoy squashing them underfoot.


They really believe and savor the power and even think it’s forever. 


Yet the wheel of life turns and often abruptly–illness, accidents, misfortune…it comes seemingly from nowhere when G-d breaths justice. 


How silly of the powerful and wealthy to think they are the untouchable and the forever mighty. 


G-d sees the good and the bad in the people–and ultimately, there is no escape from the King of Kings. 


Wealth and power are earthly and fleeting, but the will of G-d is all that endures. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Suicide Back To Go

So I spoke to someone who tried to commit suicide.


This is what they told me:


“When you try to commit suicide, there is no light; there is no Heaven; there is only darkness.”


Basically, even though they were desperate and tried to kill themselves, their experience was not one of finding relief, but rather of going to Hell!


So while I really don’t know anything, this is what I imagine happens when you try to commit suicide. 


Yes, there is no light–there is only darkness. 


Yes, there is no Heaven.


But I don’t believe you go to Hell for being desperate, depressed, alone, and feeling like you have no other way out. 


Instead, what I believe is that you “Go back to GO and you do not collect $200.”


In other words, you have to start the Game of Life all over again. 


Since you didn’t complete your tests, trials, challenges, and mission…you go back to the beginning. 


You have to relive your life and go through it all over again. 


Who is to say, whether it is a better life or not. 


Presumably, whatever lessons you were supposed to learn the first time around, you still have to complete those lessons. 


So I would think you have to relive a lot of the same. 


I don’t know about you, but one of the things I hate worst when things go wrong is to have to go back and redo what I’ve already done. 


It seems so fruitless, such a waste of time and effort. 


How is that for frustrating–working just to redo what you already did. 


Perhaps that is quite the measured “punishment” for those who end their life prematurely–before G-d says it’s time. 


While we frequently say things about wishing to be young again or do it all over again–I think rarely does someone mean having to go thru the same pain points again. 


I assume it’s nice to live again, but it’s got to be a value-add life–not just a do-over!


So in my mind, while someone on the edge may not have a real choice in what they are doing and in making a decision to take their life–it’s probably not a purely rational moment in time–I do think that in so taking their life, they are not doing themselves any favors in the end. 


Because, suicide isn’t game over, but rather the game begins all over–from the beginning again. 😉


(Note: I am not talking about assisted suicide here for someone who is at the end of life and in absolute pain and suffering and it is truly time to go–I am sure that is perfectly okay). 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Holocaust Bar-Mitzvah

Little Boy Holocaust.jpeg

So there was a bar-mitzvah in synagogue today. 


It was very memorable, I think not only for the young man and his family, but for many of the congregants–and frankly, it brought me to tears.


The family was from the Israeli embassy, and they did something that I had never seen before. 


When the father got up with his wife and son at the pulpit to speak, he didn’t talk about how great his son was.


Instead he spoke about a young boy from the Holocaust who never made it to his bar-mitzvah.


The father told of the just 12-year old that lived in Europe and was murdered by the Nazis in the Jewish genocide that killed 6,000,000!


The father presented a certificate from the Remember Us program with the name and information of the murdered boy to his son. 


The message of this father and Israeli official on his son’s bar-mitzvah was very clear–Never again!


Never again–the hate, prejudice, discrimination, and murder of Jews just because they are Jews.


The people that were murdered by the evil Nazis and other hating bigots throughout history showed no mercy towards G-d’s creatures–in fact, quite the contrary–they relished in the absolute torture and killing of each and every one.


Never again, is not just a phrase, but it is a determination and a commitment to be a “light unto nations” not to forget how some can fall under the evil influence and not to allow it to happen again that people engage in the most outrageous and vile atrocities against their fellow man. 


Unfortunately these days, hate and bigotry comes in many colors, races, genders, orientations, and affiliations–and the haters may often pretend–like the Nazis did as the “Aryan Nation”–that they are superior, better, and even righteous in their (evil) cause. 


However, we have to know better–we have to be able to discern good from evil–raise up good over evil–and fight for good to win against evil. 


It is not just a single battle, but a long intergenerational war, and one that will be won.


G-d Almighty will most assuredly see to it that those who hate on and perform the vilest of deeds against their fellow man, they will end up paying the ultimate price not only with their rotting flesh, but with the eternal burning of their sickening souls. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to the Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team–HEART)

Duck The Bullet

Firing Squad.jpeg

So I learned that there are at least 2 things to be mindful of when it comes to a firing squad:


1. Never get between a man and his firing squad — sometimes, the judgment has already been passed, the victim blindfolded and tied, the trigger(s) already pulled back and the victim is too far gone to save.  Don’t step in front of the bullet!


2. When it is a circular firing squad, rise above it! — when people are engaged in self-destructive, internal disputes, recriminations, and taking pot shots at each other,  you need to either duck or rise above the fray and be the bigger man/woman.


Shooting the messenger, the interventionist, or each other just leaves a lot of spilt blood.

  

Save yourself and stay focused and determined to fight for the issue, when others are simply determined to take someone out back and put the bullet through their head. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)