An 80-Year-Old’s Life Philosophy

So today an 80-year-old Algerian man sat our table for the Kiddush lunch after synagogue services. 


And he talked quite a bit about his life philosophy and told me I was a good listener. ūüôā


1) TRUE LOVE IS LIKE AN ORANGE:

A man and women that are meant to be together are like two sides of an orange.¬† With his hands, he showed us putting the two sides together, twisting, and he goes, “You see it just clicks!”


2) WHEN LOVE IS NOT TRUE ITS LIKE TWO BIRDS IN A CAGE:

When a man and woman are not soulmates, maybe they just are meant to be together for a time to have children or make a home temporarily. But then, the birds need to leave the cage, and be free!


3) BURIED TOGETHER:

“When people are soulmates, they are buried together, next to each other. Otherwise, one is buried in Greece and the other in Hawaii, and it makes no difference because they are going their own ways in Heaven.”


4) 80 HERE AND 20 HERE

He pointed to his belly and said, “I’m 80 here.” And then pointed to his groin area, and said, “But I’m 20 here!”


5) WOMEN ONLY UNDER 40:

While he is 80, he claims to be robust in the bedroom, and “will never be with a woman over 40…not a day over!”¬† He said, “It’s like an old Cadillac!” Moreover, he said, if a woman is “not perfect” and has a scar like from having her appendix out, “forget it!”


6) WRITING, PLAYING GUITAR, AND DANCING:

He said, “I like to write, play¬†guitar and dance.” And with his arms, he makes some swoops like he is on the dance floor having a good time.¬†


7) PEOPLE ARE LIKE CANDLES:

People are like candles.  The body is like the wax that burns down, but the soul is the flame that always rises up.  In the end, the soul ascends to heaven just like the flame. 


8) INFINITELY STUPID:

He pointed to the yarmulke on top of his head and said:¬† “You know what that means?¬† This means that there is¬†no¬†limit to how stupid some people can be!”¬†¬†


8) YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK:

I asked what he did for a living, and he said “Real estate, Jewelry, and even fashion salons.”¬† I said, “Wow, you’re very fortunate!”¬† He said, “No, in life, you make your own luck!”


10) RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT:

“You respect me, and I respect you. But frankly, I don’t care if you respect me or not. You can do what you want, and so will I!” I said, “Ok, see you next week and we’ll talk again.”¬† He said, “Maybe I will or maybe I won’t talk to you ever again.”


Like his philosophy or not, I never saw an 80-year-old with so much energy, life, and personality. Honestly, there are a lot of people half his age, who act more dead than alive. It was incredible to see this ageless person and hear what that’s like. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal 

Together 4Ever

In elementary school, the children sing about love and romance. 

“The spades go.
Two lips together.
Twilight forever. 
Bring back my love to me.”


When 2 people are together, it’s as if the angels in heaven themselves are dancing and singing.¬†


Love seems to make everything in the world right again. 


Recently, an old person from my building lost his wife of over 60 years!


I see him around and while he continues to go about doing his everyday things, I can see that he misses his wife so much. 


He is broken, and his strength is gone. 


I remember my grandfather and father the same way when they lost my grandmother and mother, respectively. 


Completely devastating to them–their wives were their lives and what made them complete– afterward, they were never really the same.¬†


Our companions are truly our other halves. 


When someone asked the old man from my building how he was doing late last week, he simply responded:

“I’m getting along the best that I can.”


He said it was such sadness and loneliness for his wife who passed that his words literally cut right through me. 


People need each other–no one is an island–and especially loving couples who have been together for decades and decades–they are for each other and with each other, even if “together forever” is just a song that children sing…it is what we all ultimately wish for. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Unmarried

marriage

So I know like everything, marriage is a choice. 


But more and more people are choosing to be unmarried. 


Today, in the Wall Street Journal, 48% (almost half) of American eligible voters are unmarried. 


And almost 40% of births are to unmarried couples. 


The average age for getting married for women is 27 and for men 29.


While of course, it is tough to find (and keep) your soulmate and a lot of it has to do with mazel, it seems like there is not enough appreciation for marriage. 


Everyone who is or has been married, I am sure, has had their share of disagreements and fights with their “better half,” and certainly some abusive and cheating relationships are way better off undone!


But for the most part, I believe that life is greater and fuller with someone special to share it with, and it is part of our learning and growth to couple, care, give, and love. 


I remember when my Opa (grandfather) lost my Oma (grandmother) and when my dad lost my mom and those where some of the most heart wrenching traumas, I think I have ever witnessed. 


“What G-d has joined together, let no man break apart.”¬†


When I got married, the Rabbi blessed us that we should be Ra’im A’huvim or best friends, and that is a very beautiful blessing to have.¬†


My advice is to try it and hopefully like (or love) it–I think it’s worth even all the I Love Lucy moments. ¬†ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Coupling, The Beauty Of

Couple

So just a couple of birds, right?


Not to me!


There were a number of reminders to me today about how special and fortunate it is for any of us to be with someone we love.


It’s not just that two heads are better than one.¬†


Pretty much, everything is better with a partner who looks back at us and smiles. 


We magnify the joy and we share the sorrow, together.


What my dad used to call my mom, his “better half!”


What we are lacking in, often our soulmate can fill in the blank. 


And planning and executing is as a team, rather than flying solo. 


There is someone who keeps our lofty ideas in check and at the same time challenges us when it’s time to think bigger.¬†


We learn from the other person, at the same time that we teach them maybe a little thing or two from our repertoire. 


Strategically, divide and conquer makes everything from routine tasks to complex projects easier to achieve, especially when we agree on the goal and the approach. 


Even the “occasional” disagreements and fights helps us to learn to control our temperament and to work things out or when to take a break and think things through afresh.¬†


Someone to reach out to.


Someone to hold unto. 


Someone to caress.


Someone to buttress. 

 

Someone who makes us a better person than the one we see in the mirror naked and mortal. 


Like 2 by 2 in Noah’s Ark or in the birds and the bees, we are committed to that special someone.¬†


The Bat Kol calls out “so and so shall be married to so and so” like only the L-rd in heaven can decree from the rib of man to the flesh of a women. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Panda Love Express

Panda.jpeg

This was interesting on the sign in Washington, D.C.

An advertisement for a dating site with a picture of a panda bear apparently with love in it’s eyes.

(Note: I don’t know what Panda.com site is as it wasn’t working when I tested it–hopefully, nothing bad.)

Juxtaposed with the sun glaring off the window on the building next to it, made it seem like it was just calling out to the singles–who are looking to meet Mr./Mrs. Right–for a new beginning.¬†

Bees do it. Birds do it. Of course, even panda bears do it. 

Everyone should have a chance to find their soulmate and live happily ever after. 

Social sites, gatherings, or personal introductions, whatever brings people together–it’s a beautiful thing. ūüėČ

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can’t Live With ‘Em & Without ‘Em

Marriage.JPeG

Remember the funny comedy show, Married with Children.


The theme song is playing in my head, “Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage.”


Love and marriage–it’s something we all aspire to.¬†


Like in Noah’s ark, we all want to couple off and be with that special person that complements us, can finish our sentences, helps us grow and develop and reach our potential, and of course raise a family!


This last couple of days for me the overarching theme has been the importance of a good marriage.


First I saw this funny sign that said, “Get married once, and do it right.”


Well, okay…


Then the wonderful Rabbi Kaplan of Chabad, here in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, spoke to us about the great joy and “naches” (pride and gratification) of marriage and family.


And once again, when my wife asked this classy lady she met in Florida, how she stayed so thin, the lady responded, “It’s the divorce diet.”


Ah, eat your heart out baby…that’s not the best way to lose weight now, is it?¬†


Anyway, it’s a true blessing to find that great match, and when there is an overall healthy relationship built on respect, trust, good communication, and of course being best friends.¬†


I wish I had that (just kidding…). ¬†:-))


Perhaps a nice New Years wish is for everyone to find their soulmate and live happily ever after. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Story Of Modesty

Lady

There was an very interesting article in the New York Times last month called “The Orthodox Sex Guru” that¬†examined the life of Bat Sheva Marcus, an Orthodox Jewish Sex Counselor.


Yes, you can be a religious person, but also be sexual!


In Judaism, sex is not only a physical act of procreation, but also of love and intimacy between two people within the larger framework of personal spirituality and G-dliness in the home.


Judaism teaches that sexual relations is a holy act and a “blessing, a union full of Shekinah, of G-d’s light.”¬†In this holiness, husband and wife, as true soulmates and beloveds, live each one for the other, and always together with Hashem.


Part of this special relationship entails women maintaining a spiritual modesty by physically covering up their femininity and behaving with propriety, especially in mixed company. 


Of course, men need to behave with sexual rectitude as well (although just not as often–just kidding).


The article describes however that with extreme chastity perhaps, some people may become constrained in their sexuality and develop almost a type of “sexual aversion,” rather than healthfully being able to experience the natural joy of love that G-d provided for us.¬†


In terms of proper modesty, there is a beautiful story recounted, as follows: 


One time, when the Jews were being persecuted by the Cossacks, there was a Jewish girl that was to be “roped to a horse and dragged through the streets” to death. ¬†


But before the verdict was to be executed, “she manages to pin or sew her skirt to her lower legs, stitching fabric to flesh,” so that she could maintain her modesty even under these¬†unbelievably¬†tortuous conditions.¬†


It is an amazing story to think how someone about to face such a cruel and horrible edict could still think about maintaining their modesty and dignity in the face of such horror.


Whether you cover yourself with a tichel (headscarf), a sheitel (wig) or everyday hat, dress modestly, and act with decency, the point is to remember that we are G-d’s children and are to behave in a manner befitting soulful beings, and not mere animals.¬†


We can experience the love and joy between people, and do it with devotion for each other and in spiritual connection to the Almighty. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)

Can You Love A Robot

Lollypop
Pew Research reports that by 2025, “Robotic sex partners will be commonplace.”



While I certainly understand loving (new helpful) technology, actually making love to a machine is taking things a little too far.



Even with great advances in artificial intelligence (AI), a robot can be nothing more than an artificial partner…a humanoid is not a human!



Despite portrayals in the movie¬†Her (2013) of a nerdy writer who falls in love with his life-like operating system, the reality of human and machine love is more a desperate call for companionship and understanding than a real connection of equals–physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.¬†



While a computer may be programmed to say the things you want to hear, to laugh at your jokes, and even to succumb to your advances, love cannot be programmed or even artificially learned. 



The complex dynamics between two real people locked-in the emotional roller coaster of life with its ups and downs, pulling together and pushing apart, of shared experiences, challenges, and conflicts, can only be met head on with a best friend, soulmate, diametric opposite, and at the same time congruent equal. 



Only another human being can love you and be your love.



A machine, however beautiful designed, charming, and learning of you, can be just a poor surrogate for the sad person screaming out for connection in a large lonely world. ūüėČ



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

2 Eggs Are Better Than One

Aside from the cholesterol, generally speaking two eggs are better than one.Two eggs here, as you can see, are two friends–in it together, working together, putting their heads together, sharing life together.My father always told me that with that special someone the joys in life are twice the joy, and the sorrow in life is half the sorry–he is a smart man!

When it comes to friendships though, I have learned there are many types of friends and we have different names or references for them:

Childhood friends–“We go way back.”

Best friends forever–or BFF; often you’ll see this on bracelet charms, necklaces, or even t-shirts–this is reserved for your closest buds.

High school sweethearts–“first comes friends, then comes marriage, and then comes a baby in the baby carriage.”

Confidant friend(s)–these are people we feel we can talk to, connect with, and trust with our personal and emotional secrets. Ummm, don’t tell, but…

Neighbor friends–you live near or next to each other, so might as well bring over some welcome muffins or borrow some sugar–then again, “tall fences, make good neighbors.”

Casual friends–these are friends you keep in touch with “every so often” and share some laughs or have a “cold one” with.

On again off again friends–people you are friends with one minute and alienated from the next–often an endless cycle–you like somethings about the person and other things drive you mad!

Work friends –these are associates that you work with day in and out–40, 50, 60 hours a week or more–and who you share work experiences, challenges, projects, and sometimes frustrations with–and don’t forget “happy hour”.

Friends with benefits–this is a naughty friendship and is what it sounds like–at your own foolhardy risk!

Marriage partner and best friends–the most fortunate people are those who find their “beshert”–the one true one that they are destined to be with–and who is not only their life partner, but their soulmate and best friend.

Good luck finding and keeping your friends of all types–these are precious and make life worth living.

(Source Photo: Meme shared with me)