Feeling Blue, Feel Better

Life is filled with so many wonderful marvels and joys–thank you G-d!


Yet interspersed is what feels like a series of non-ending life challenges. 


Yes, of course we wouldn’t recognize or appreciate the good, if we didn’t have the bad to compare it to. 


But just when you think you’ve gotten through one obstacle and are cruising nicely down Life Lane, then it seems like it’s time for the next speed bump.


I know that having faith through thick and thin is a huge part of it. 


Also, challenging oneself to be strong and work through the next life dilemma. 


Sure, not everything is life and death, thank G-d.  


But even daily upsets can be frustrating.


I know inside though that in a weird sense, this is really what life is all about. 


It’s not paradise we are living in–that comes later when we get our angel wings!


This is a world that challenges, teaches, and grows us. 


We are not here just to have a merry ‘ol good time day in and day out. 


While that may be nice for a while, it would get pretty tiresome and pointless. 


Life is like a puzzle–a very big puzzle–and we are here to help solve it and in the process, we have the opportunity to become better souls for it.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Does Every Problem Have A Solution?

Hands

So someone said something interesting to me yesterday.


They were going off about this and that problem in the world. 


Then seemingly exasperated by the current and desperate state of affairs, they go “You know what? Not every problem has a solution.”


And that really took me aback.


As a student and then a professional, I have always prided myself on looking for a solution to every problem. 


Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t, but I was always taught to try!


Now someone says to me this earth-shattering news that maybe there is not a good solution out there for every catastrophic problem.


So this got me thinking…


Maybe some problems are just too big or too complex for our mortal minds to even understand or our supercomputers to really solve. 


Or perhaps sometimes things have gone too far or are too far gone, and we can’t always easily just turn back the clock.


Are there some things that we can’t really make right what we did so wrong for so long, despite the best intentions now. 


And in life are some things just a catch-22 or a zero-sum game–where every way forward is another dead end or it has consequences which are too painful or otherwise unacceptable. 


This sort of reminds me of the sick brutal Nazi in the Holocaust who took a women with two beautiful young children to the side and said, “Choose!”


“Choose what?” she innocently replies.


And the sadistic Nazi pulling out his gun says, “Choose which of your children will live and which will die, you have 30 seconds or I kill them both!”


Indeed, some problems have no good solution as hard as that is for me to hear or accept.  


All we can do is our best, and even when we can’t satisfactorily solve those completely vexing problems to us (because some things are not in the realm of the possible for mere mortals), we have to continue to go forward in life because there really is no going back. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

King Kong Puzzle

King Kong

I took this photo in the local hobby store. 


It’s a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building and at the top, King Kong holding onto the antenna!


Looks like a few pieces fell out of the building about 3/4 of the way up.


Or is that where ISIS terrorists blow their next hole in our skyscrapers again (G-d Forbid). 


With our retrenchment from the front lines all over the world–with the exception of some targeted drone strikes (actually very well done)–we are again at risk of letting the terrorists get the upper hand. 


We need strength and resolve–not lifting of sanctions, closing of Guantanamo, and withdrawal from the fight. 


Take them down, before they come to our shores–this is a fight that is multigenerational and there is no retreat from the top of the world when fighting for freedom and human rights. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Even If You Can’t Get To The Beach

Puzzle
During the big snow storm this week, what better to do then to cozy up with a nice 500 piece puzzle set of an Island Beach (and dream of being there–somewhere warm and fun). 



The challenge with this puzzle was in differentiating the oodles of pieces making up the blue sky from those of the blue water. 



Similarly, with all the green pieces for the palm trees and all the white ones for the sand. 



It seemed as if all the pieces were just shades of similar colors, and hard to differentiate between them. 



But my daughter is so smart and determined.



First, she strategically separated out the pieces with the edges and put the whole frame together.



Then, she organized the rest of the pieces by their associated colors, so sky blue pieces would be in one pile and distinct from ocean blue pieces in another one and so on. 



As you can see, all that’s left is to finish off the sky, and it’s done.

I was able to find a few pieces, but I’m better laying at the beach, then putting one together. 



Just two more weeks to Spring…thank you G-d. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Western Wall 1000

Western Wall 1000

About 20 years ago, we took on a little family activity to put together this 1000 piece puzzle of the Western Wall (“The Kotel”) in Jerusalem.

We all sat around the dining room table in my parent’s house working to put the puzzle together.

It was a pretty tough puzzle, since the pieces of a large part of the puzzle, The Wall, looked so similar.

But it was something we all rallied around, had fun with, and figured out as a family.

The only problem we couldn’t readily solve, came down to the last piece of the puzzle, and almost smack center–it was missing.

A 1000 piece puzzle with only 999 pieces.

My dad, ever the innovative one, took out a marker and colored in the missing piece.

He framed the picture of the holy Kotel and hung it in their living room.

I was amazed that he took such great pride in the puzzle we worked on, since it was imperfect.

But it taught me that while nothing in life is perfect, it is our bonding together in love that creates a type of spiritual perfection.

It was also interesting to me that like Jews now-a-days put little pieces of paper (“Kvitels”) with their deepest prayers into the crevices of the Western Wall, my dad put the families last piece into the representative puzzle picture of it.

Finally, the Western Wall is itself just a piece of the destroyed (twice) holy Temple (“Beit Hamikdash”) that stood in Jerusalem, and one day hopefully it will be rebuilt with all the pieces through the loving bonding of the people that yearn for that special connection to the Almighty again.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)