Beyond Money

Okay, I don’t impress easily, but I got to tell you somebody really did.


Tring to keep their confidentiality, let me just say this…


A couple returned some money to us, but they went truly above and beyond. 


They returned some money that technically they were entitled to, and I never would’ve imagined that they should give it back to us. 


When I saw the check and what they did, I really couldn’t stop myself saying how amazing this couple is. 


They are a religious Jewish couple, and I just feel that what they did was such a “Kiddush Hashem” (their behavior is a sanctification of G-d’s name in the world). 


Some people pretend to be religious on the outside, but inside their behaviors don’t reflect it. 


In this case, the people were generally religious not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.


Their doing righteous literally was uplifting for my soul to see that there really are such incredible people in this world. 


Yes, some people are bad–do bad–and we can get not only disappointed but depressed that they seem to thrive anyway. 


So to see the good in people–extra good–it renews my hope in mankind and in G-d Above who shows us the way and can inspire us to behave morally and ethically amazingly.  😉


(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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@The Great Kotel in Jerusalem

So we made it to the Kotel in Jerusalem yesterday.


What an amazing experience.


It’s been too many years.


Definitely, one of the top moments of my life.


As we entered the old city and walked through the narrow ways toward the Western Wall of the Temple, my heart and breathing was racing and I could feel the spiritualness getting closer and closer. 


When we finally arrived at the Holy Wall, I was just completely overwhelmed and saying over and over, OMG!


We took some photos, and then immediately when to pray at the wall. 


I think I got lost in prayer and didn’t realize how long I had been standing and clutching the Holy Wall of G-d’s ancient Temple. 


I truly believe that our prayers ascend to Heaven at this special spot of G-d’s earthly abode. 


I wanted to fall to my knees, but stopped myself repeatedly as this is not generally the Jewish custom. 


But in my mind, my body, and soul was prostrated completely before G-d Almighty.


I put myself in His hands.


We can only do our best, and the rest is all in His control.


We can try to make the best decisions we can, but the real guidance in life comes from Him and His will for us. 


We learned in Yeshiva, not to ask in prayer for specific things in life to happen for us, but rather to ask G-d to do what is right in His eternal mind for us. 


This is right…submit to the King of Kings and let Him show us the way for us.


What are the right words to say to G-d?


At the end, thank you and please continue to help us, your children. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful Israel Architecture

Just wanted to share some of the beautiful architecture from Israel. 


Side by side…


The old and the new.


The proud and the natural.


The strong and the spiritual. 


Obviously, I’ve only had a chance to see a very little bit.


But everywhere just seems marvelous.


So much achieved, and still such great potential. 


A people who survived the genocidal Holocaust and faced down the devil himself, with G-d’s help have rebuilt their ancient homeland.


Miracles everywhere, I can attest to it with my own eyes and soul. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Time For Everything

Being in Israel this week has reawakened the essence of my Jewish soul. 


Today, we took a long Shabbat walk–winding through the beautiful and ancient streets to reach the beach of Tel Aviv.


It was awesome seeing and hearing Hebrew everywhere–just like in the Bible/Torah.


The street names of famous people and things like Menachem Begin, Shaul HaMelech, Weizman, Ben Yehuda, Shalom Aleichem, Bar Kokhva, Ha-Nevi’im, Yona HaNavi–it all had so much historical and identifying meaning as a proud Jew and Levite servant of the L-rd. 


Already, when I awoke this morning–my brain was reciting and my voice signing from Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything.”


And I don’t know why, but I was humming it and mouthing over an over again:

“A time to love.
A time to hate.
A time for war (shuttering).
A time for peace (extended and deep longing).”


I pray to you my G-d to protect, guide, and show us–your faithful servants–the way ahead.


In my head, I understand that we do not choose the situations and challenges we face, but that they, in a very strong sense, choose us.


And we must rise to each and every occasion, even as our soul longs for a true and lasting peace. 


May G-d grant us to utterly confuse, scatter, torment, and defeat our enemies.


And may we merit a time when we will fully achieve and forever experience and dwell in love and peace, Amen. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Realness and My Dreaminess

Just a quote from the show Homeland that I wanted to share:

“My dreams have a realness…
My Reality has a dreaminess…”

This is so true!


Dreaming and reality have a definite touchpoint and carryover between them. 


In Judaism, their is a saying that:

“Sleeping is one-sixtieth of death.”


Life-sleeping-death all exist along a continuum. 


The elements of our being cross all three of these domains. 


When we are alive, there are elements of dreaminess–and it often doesn’t feel quite real. 


When we are asleep, our dreams can often seem so real that we actually feel them and physically react them–we may even scream and wake up an incredible fright. 


When we are dead, I believe that we live on–that our soul never ceases–that it is a part of our everlasting G-d. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Eyes Give It Away

Have you ever noticed that eye contact gives it away. 


Even for the best poker-faced folks out there–the eyes are the conduit to the soul. 


Here’s how it works:


– When someone is plotting to do you harm, they avoid looking you in the eye.


Why?


They are afraid, they are going to give themselves and their evil intentions away. 


And so they attempt to hide their evil intentions behind closed eyelids, turned heads, and avoided gazes. 


They think by avoiding eye contact, you won’t be able to read them–seeing into their eyes and their malevolent thinking and planning.

Probably also even the worst of them may actually feel a little guilty (somewhere in there is a soul even if it’s mucked up in dirt, corruption, and absolute sin). 


– Yet the opposite is true when someone is executing their evil plans–attacking you and wanting to severely hurt you or worse. 


Then, they look you straight in the face and in the eyes.  


They are staring intently and honing in for the kill. 


And in their wide open eyes, rage and evil burns, as they raise their voice and their clenched fists. 


Seeking to execute their plots, their eyes come at you, tracking you, targeting you, and attempting to shoot/hit you first and hard. 


When evil is there–the eyes are the giveaway–and the person’s soul burns dark and deep. 


But remember, G-d–the King of Kings–is forever light and He will chase the darkness away. 


The L-rd executes darkness.


The L-rd will blind the haughty.


The L-rd will render a mighty justice.


The L-rd will save his faithful. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)