The Traveling Chassidim

We went to Havdalah with the Traveling Chassidim at Aish HaTorah in Rockville. 


It was so wonderful and spiritually uplifting. 


At around mark 11:00, I get to wear the shtreimel hat and I get to drop the shtreimel hat (that was funny)!


These Chassidim from Monsey and Brooklyn were so wonderful. 


They leave their communities and homes to come out for Shabbat to other Jewish communities around the country and do beautiful outreach. 


So giving, loving, and caring with their whole families. 


The music, song, and joy they bring are beyond words. 


The Traveling Chassidim are wonderful and they make a terrific Havdalah at the end of the Shabbat. 😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

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From My Cats To Yours

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Diversity is a very beautiful thing.


Whether you’re an orange, red, or green cat.


It doesn’t matter–you are a cat!


All cats gotta get along. 


Might does not make a right in any catfight.


But brotherhood of cats does us all good. 


Does every cat need to stand up for it’s daily food?


Sure, but there is more than enough catfood and nip to go around. 


I like to be in a great cat sea purring and frolicking all day long.


Live and let live–and love–all cats and dogs and people and others!


And from the great Martin Luther King Jr. 

“We must learn to live together as brothers 

or 

perish together as fools.”


Shabbat shalom and happy Labor Day holiday weekend!


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Candle Holders with Gorgeous Flowers

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These are our new Shabbat candlestick holders. 


So colorful, and full of nature and life, and it makes me happy. 


I just wanted to give a callout to Mira (Pinki) Krispil from Ashdod, Israel who makes this beautiful artwork. 


Her expertise is in using polymer clay and glass and making it very special. 


You can find her Mira’s wonderful work on Etsy.


Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

Nourishment For The Soul

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So the Rabbi , a Kabbalist of mystical Torah interpretation, told my wife to concentrate on 3 commandments.

1) Shabbat

2) Kosher

3) Going to Synagogue

Today, we had a little delay and almost didn’t make it to synagogue, but my wife said, “Remember what the Kabbalist said about going every week,” so we went even though we were a little late. 

We went to a conservative synagogue today called, B’nai Israel, in Rockville – it was our second time there. 

The services there are so orchestrated down to the tiniest of details…you could tell that a lot of thought, planning, and effort goes into every service. 

I was really impressed at how meticulous they were for example: 

– Explaining everything and even handing out the sources to their Shabbat speech

– Having everyone ready for their part of the service whether leading the prayers, reading the Torah, or making the blessings over the wine and bread (which was already on a cart on the bimah–alter)

– Including a women who read the weekly Torah portion, children who led some of the prayers, an elderly lady who spoke about upcoming events for the Seniors group, and they even sang Hanukah songs in everything from Ladino to Yiddish.  

At the end of the service, we spoke briefly to the Rabbi and thanked him for such a “perfect service,” and my wife commented how he had such a cool radio voice when he leads the congregation (and he really does..like JM (jewish music) in the AM).

After service, I told my wife how happy I was that we made it to synagogue, that is was like nourishment to my spirit and soul for the week.

We have to feed ourselves physically as well as intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course spiritually.  

Like the fingers on our hand…we need them all to hold unto life itself. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Driving Your Organization Off A Cliff

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So life is generally supposed to be a series a peaks and valleys. 


There are highs, but also lows.  


No one and nothing can perform at peak all the time. 


Like the commandment to keep the Shabbat, everyone needs a rest. 


And studies have shown that getting a healthy dose of sleep, pause, and rest in life is healthy.


When we force ourselves or others to perform past their “designed” limits, then we risk a breakdown. 


Machines break and people can break. 


The risks are either explosion or implosion: some people can frighteningly “go postal” and others end up on psychiatric medication or even sick and in the hospital. 


What is key to remember is that you can push the limits of performance so far, but then no further without a healthy, recuperative rest period and down time. 


If you want to raise the bar on yourself, others, or your organization, you need to do it strategically so there is a surge forward and then a normative recovery and energy buildup again. 


As we all know, life is a marathon and not a sprint, and the journey is as important as the destination. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Alan Levine)

Some Nice Hats For Shabbat

Hats

Just some fashion festive before Shabbat.


Suggestions for some nice hats for Jewish ladies who cover their hair in synagogue or out. 


I don’t think these were designed for that purpose, but it just made me think that it does the trick.


Modesty before G-d and for the sanctification of marriage. 


It’s a nice Jewish custom that seems holy and beautiful. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Re)Kashering The Kitchen

Kashering The Kitchen

So with all the 613s that we and are our friends and family are seeing, we are taking these as a sign and important message. 


Yesterday, I posted that I would show you today how it is personally affecting us.


So one of the things that we are doing is (re)kashering our kitchen. 


New and separate dishes and cooking utensils for meat and dairy meals.  


We got these beautiful French Perle Lenox in gorgeous lilac and ice blue (of course, no one better actually use one and break it). 


Being more a part of the synagogue and community now, we are hoping to host more people for Shabbat etc.


There are other small (and large) ways that we are coming back to more of our traditions, but we are far from perfect. 


Sort of a blend of the secular world, the religious one, and just being ourselves. 


But that is our road, and we strive to do better in all aspects of our lives and pray for G-d’s mercy and blessings all along the way and at the destination. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)