The Cave Tree

I just think this is such an amazing tree (at work). 

It’s like a cave. 

You go in through the overhanging branches.

And there is a whole seating area with tables, chairs, benches underneath the shade of this lovely tree. 

It’s like the tree was created for giving shade to people. 

What miraculous creations G-d has made for us. 

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Doggie On Nervous Lookout

Dog
So this dog is outside Starbucks.



And looking anxiously for its owner. 



The problem is the lady is inside the store and the dog doesn’t see her behind the glass window. 



Lady says to us, “Bang on the glass…so he’ll know where I am.”



We “obediently” bang, but the dog is still looking off down the block.



Lady is getting her coffee, dog is NER-VOUS jumping up and off the chair armrest to get a better look. 



Nope lady is not there.



An occasional bark, but no answer.  



Hope the dog doesn’t pee the seat. 😉



(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal–she had the better angle)

Hippie Bus Menorah

Hippie Bus Menorah
I took this photo today of a Menorah made on the top of a VW Bus. 



Inside, the bus still had the seats, and outside it had these cute Hippie flower pedals. 



It was unique, fun, colorful, nostalgic and it rolls. 



Plus you can fulfill the commandment (mitzvah) of lighting candles at Chanukah time. 



What a novel piece of Judaica–love it! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

L@@king The Other Way

Metro Crowds

So recovering from surgery and with my cane in hand the last number of weeks, I’ve had a chance to see the worst and best of people. 


Especially on the Metro, I’ve had people who quite simply refused to let me sit down–can you say look the other way or ignorance is bliss?


One guy the other day saw me holding on to the overhead rail with one hand and the cane in the other, he looked me in the eye, and then looked back down again to work on whatever notes he was writing…certainly more important. 


And even early on a couple of times (this was when it was still hard to really stand up for long) when I asked for one of the special access seats from completely healthy people sitting there, I usually got the stone cold kvetchy faces like “You talking to me?”


At other times, waiting to get on the Metro, I’ve had people rush in front of me, try to push me aside, or even nearly trample me when they felt I just wasn’t moving my limp leg fast enough. 


I think this has been particularly disheartening especially when I see this behavior coming from people of different faiths who were clearly observant at least in other ways…uh, don’t we answer to an even higher authority?


When some empathic folks at work recently asked me, how people were treating me on the Metro (yes, they know how it is!), I said feeling frustrated one day that the only difference between DC and NY is that in NY there was probably a greater chance of someone trying to actually push me (G-d forbid) in front of an oncoming train–yeah, at times it seriously felt that way. 


I will say that thank G-d not everyone is such a you know what!


Although truly it’s been the exception and not the rule, there have been some very nice people that did offer me a seat, let me go first, or didn’t rush me on/off the moving escalator. 


One lady in particular was extraordinarily wonderful, and when I was crossing a very wide two-way street with lots of cars and the light was getting ready to change, she walked by my side–literally shielding me from the oncoming traffic, and she said “Don’t worry, they won’t hit both of us!”


I remember learning in yeshiva some very basics of human decency…get up before the aged, remove an obstacle from before a blind person, and to take off a heavy burden from even your enemy’s stumbling animal.


I think these and other lessons in school and at home sensitized me to people’s pain and suffering and where possible to try and help–not that I am a saint, I’m not, but at least I feel my conscience talks to me.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Leading the Blind

Blind

Waiting for the train this morning–on the platform, there is a blind woman.

The train pulls up, and I help the blind lady to the train door, saying “it’s just to the right.”

The blind lady gets on and staggers herself over to where the seats usually are right next to the door, but on this model of the train, it is just an empty space.

She goes across the aisle to the other side to try and sit down, and reaches out with her arm, but ends up touching this other lady’s head.

But the other lady is quite comfortable in her seat and doesn’t flinch or budge.

The funny (read sad) thing about this is that there an empty seat on the inside right next to her–but she doesn’t move over, nor does she direct the blind lady to the empty seat next to her or anyplace else either.

Actually, the lady sitting all comfy–doesn’t say a word–to the contrary, she nudges the blind lady away from her seat.

The blind lady is left standing there–groping for somewhere to go.

As the train lurches forward–beginning to moving out of the station–the blind lady make a shuffled dash heading for the other side of the train to try to feel for another seat–and she begins to stumble.

I jump up from the other side and having no time, awkwardly just grab for her hand, so she does not fall.

The lady is startled and pulls back, and I explain that I am just trying to help her get safely to a seat.

I end up giving her my seat–it was just easier than trying to guide her to another vacant one, and she sits down.

I was glad that I was able to do something to assist–it was a nice way to start out the week–even if only in a small way.

But honestly, I also felt upset at the other lady, who so blatantly just disregarded the needs of the handicapped.

I do not understand the callousness–doesn’t she realize that a person with a disability or handicap could be any one of us–even her.

My mind starting racing about what I had heard from the pulpit about sins of omission and commission, and I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help sort of staring at the lady who was all smug–wondering again and again about who she was, what was she thinking (or not), and basically is that what most people would do.

I watch other people help each other every day, and I’ve got to believe inside that most people are better than that.

(Source Photo: adapted from herewith attribution to Neils Photography)