Striving To Be Good Enough (This Time Around)

Please read my new article in The Times of Israel called, “When Are We Good Enough?

I too believe strongly in reincarnation. I think that is partially what G-d means by doing justice in this world. If you bomb out in life and don’t fulfill your true potential than G-d sends you back for another try.  And this can happen as many times as it takes to get it right!

I hope I am getting it right in my life this time around. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cat Nap

What a great place to take a cat nap!


So many gorgeous cats in Israel. 


They don’t run away either. 


So friendly and happy. 


Sort of got a feeling like they were old souls inhabiting these cats. 


Old souls are very often wise souls.


Cute and wise cats.  


Enjoy!


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Feeling Good Vibes

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So what a nice compliment…


I’m talking with someone this week.


They’re new, and so I tried to be generally nice and ask about them, show interest, and just be overall friendly and welcoming.  


It was amazing–these little things, and they made someone else feel comfortable and happy. 


They are smiling and go to me:

“I get good vibes from you!”


Wow, good vibes–awesome!  


And now I was happy too. 


I thought to myself, how often we goof and give off the wrong vibes and how easy it really is to just treat most people decently and sincerely, and get a good reaction. 


Yes, not everyone is easy to get along with and not everyone is nice.


But generally, I think it’s good to try to be the type of person that others feel good vibes from. 


I’ll take that and continue to try and spread the wealth. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

@Takoma Park Folk Festival

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So today we were at the Takoma Park Folk Festival. 


It was a combination of food, chachkas, art, dance, and music–thank G-d, it was a good time!


When we were going through the booths, I came across this one artist pictured here. 


A little scary looking at first, but actually seemed nice enough and he stopped to speak with us. 


I asked about his very cool jacket.


And he told me, how he had actually made it with all the artistic things on it, including spikes, skulls, medals, patches, and even a pair of teeth!


Then he took off his jacket and turned around to show me his vest. 


On the back was this awesome fighting foe.


I said feigning surprise:

“Oh, and it says RESIST on top?”


He replies:

“Yeah, never miss an opportunity to share a message!”


I thought to myself this guy is pretty smart, especially as he started to explain not only his jacket, but the meanings behind some of his other artwork. 


Creativity is a wonderful thing–especially when no one gets hurt :-)–and it immediately sparks interest and dialogue.


How’d you do that?  What gave you that idea?  How do you use it?


The boring becomes exciting when another soul expresses itself. 


Yes, we’re all the same, but also we’re all different!


It’s by “going there,” you explore and learn new things.  😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Holocaust Bar-Mitzvah

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So there was a bar-mitzvah in synagogue today. 


It was very memorable, I think not only for the young man and his family, but for many of the congregants–and frankly, it brought me to tears.


The family was from the Israeli embassy, and they did something that I had never seen before. 


When the father got up with his wife and son at the pulpit to speak, he didn’t talk about how great his son was.


Instead he spoke about a young boy from the Holocaust who never made it to his bar-mitzvah.


The father told of the just 12-year old that lived in Europe and was murdered by the Nazis in the Jewish genocide that killed 6,000,000!


The father presented a certificate from the Remember Us program with the name and information of the murdered boy to his son. 


The message of this father and Israeli official on his son’s bar-mitzvah was very clear–Never again!


Never again–the hate, prejudice, discrimination, and murder of Jews just because they are Jews.


The people that were murdered by the evil Nazis and other hating bigots throughout history showed no mercy towards G-d’s creatures–in fact, quite the contrary–they relished in the absolute torture and killing of each and every one.


Never again, is not just a phrase, but it is a determination and a commitment to be a “light unto nations” not to forget how some can fall under the evil influence and not to allow it to happen again that people engage in the most outrageous and vile atrocities against their fellow man. 


Unfortunately these days, hate and bigotry comes in many colors, races, genders, orientations, and affiliations–and the haters may often pretend–like the Nazis did as the “Aryan Nation”–that they are superior, better, and even righteous in their (evil) cause. 


However, we have to know better–we have to be able to discern good from evil–raise up good over evil–and fight for good to win against evil. 


It is not just a single battle, but a long intergenerational war, and one that will be won.


G-d Almighty will most assuredly see to it that those who hate on and perform the vilest of deeds against their fellow man, they will end up paying the ultimate price not only with their rotting flesh, but with the eternal burning of their sickening souls. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to the Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team–HEART)

Manage As A Mensch

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So I was watching Shark Tank and they gave an update on how one of the products, “Mensch on a Bench,” is doing.


It’s selling in Bed, Bath, and Beyond and has exceeded 100,000 units already!


Aside from the doll and book, they are working on Mensch apps, activity kits, and candy bars. 


The founder said, “It is hilarious and heartwarming to see all the different ways that families can incorporate Mensches into their lives.”


This got me thinking about how being a mensch can also be incorporated into being a great manager!


– Treating people decently and fairly


– Empowering them to do their jobs well


– Empathizing with them as human beings


– Appreciating the power of diversity


– Respecting everyone and their points of view


– Recognizing and rewarding a job well done


Unfortunately, there are too many bad bosses out there that micromanage and abuse their people. 


They are arbitrary and dictatorial and never ask what anyone else thinks; they dump the work on their people, but don’t lend a hand; they steal their ideas and take credit for their work; on top of it, they might even then stab them in the back when they’re not looking; ah, forget about showing any sort of appreciation or kindness–it’s dog eat dog. 


Hence, being a mensch first is a management must!


Think about people, not as a means to an end, but as an end unto themselves–they are souls interacting with your soul. 


Kindness, compassion, empathy…but keep your eyes on the important work and mission you are doing.


Get it done together, as a team, collaboratively, and with everyone contributing towards the endgame. 


(Live and) manage as a mensch! 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Bed, Bath, and Beyond)

Only Our History Is Colored

Roots

Last night, my daughter and I watched the premier of the new miniseries, Roots (on the History Channel). 


The story of American Slavery like all tales of racism, oppression, terrorism, and genocide is completely appalling. 


It represents the worst of human nature whether for motives of profiteering, power, or plain unadulterated hatred. 


We watched, my youngest daughter (in college), literally in tears.


And frankly, we watched until we literally couldn’t watch the suffering on the screen any more (but to be continued another evening). 


What people can do to other people…beyond words, comprehension. 


Is it people doing these things or is it a vicious animal or evil within?


Either way, humankind has a lot to be sorry for…whether for slavery or the Holocaust. 


I can’t imagine what G-d must think or how we can in any rational sort of way explain these things to our children. 


The stain is marked on the souls of the aggressors, and the only thing colored is our history. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)