Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

When we see wrong and evil in this world, we have a duty to stand up and speak out with truth and integrity, to be a good influence and guide things for the better, and even to repair the world (“Tikkun Olam”)…Words are perhaps a good start, but also, “words are cheap.” The way to really judge someone is less by their words, and far more so by their actual deeds. Moreover, sometimes words aren’t enough and we need to not just say something, but do something! As Edmund Burke stated, “The only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s great to speak out when we see wrong, but more than that we have to be willing, when necessary, to act out–to do something.


As Jews, we need to be ready, willing, and able to stand up for what is right in the never ending war of good over evil in this world–regardless of silver or lead, G-d forbid–with our words and with our deeds.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boycott Airbnb

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Free, Free Israel.”

While the Palestinians continue to terrorize Israelis not only with barrages of rockets, terror tunnels, vehicular rammings, shootings, stabbings, and suicide bombings, but also with their advocacy and pressure for a Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against us. Companies like Airbnb are actually falling for it and joining the terrorists against U.S. ally and friend, the democratic State of Israel.

It’s time for Jewish people all over the world to demand “Free, Free Israel” and “End the terrorism!”

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pixabay)

The Meaning of Silence

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Is silence a good thing or a bad thing–what does it really mean?


On the plus or neutral side:


Silence can mean modesty and humility–you withhold speaking out of turn or having a big mouth; you recognize that you don’t know everything and what you do know is not intended to put down or shame others. 


Silence can means secrets and privacy–you don’t say everything; you treat information properly based on need to know and propriety of sharing. 


Silence can mean good situational judgement–that you know prudently when to let others have their say, or when your opinion isn’t really welcome, or when it’s best to just stay below the radar. 


Silence can mean you simply don’t know–and it’s something you need to listen and learn more about rather than speak; it’s why we’re told that we have two ears and one mouth.


Silence can mean that maybe you don’t care about something–why get fired up or “waste your breath” on it when it’s just not your thing.


When can it be a negative:


There was a sign in the local school window that silence means (wrongful) acceptance; that is also something I learned in in the Talmud in yeshiva; if you see something wrong and don’t say or do something, you are (partially) responsible.


Silence can mean fear–perhaps you don’t accept something, but you’re afraid to speak truth or morality to power; you sit silently cowering, when you should stand up tall and speak out. 


Silence may also mean shame–you’ve done something wrong or don’t want others to know something that could make you look bad or put you in jeopardy. 


Silence can mean you are hiding something–it can be that you don’t trust or aren’t trustful; silence at a time when you need to answer or respond can result in suspicion about why you are “holding back,” instead of being forthcoming and truthful.


When to talk and when to remain silent? 


Certainly, “you have the right to remain silent.”


We need to use words with care and intent–to always seek to help and not to hurt. 


Words are so potent–the mouth is perhaps the strongest part of the human body, just like the pen is mightier than the sword. 


That’s why I pray that G-d put the “right words” in my mouth–to be constructive, positive, effective and impactful–to do good as much as possible with words and with silence. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mice End Up Dead

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So there are three main ways of reacting when in a bullying situation by someone:


1) Passive – You can sit back and take it for now, shutting your mouth and turning off your feelings, maybe even running for safety, as you get temporarily scr*wed, but perhaps maintaining the moral high ground and smartly saving your chips and choosing your battles for the right time and place to set things right and the record straight. 


2) Aggressive – You can fight back, make sure you have a good strategy, but you may nonetheless end up blamed or bloodied, or who knows, maybe you actually win the day, but also you need to be sure to win the war. 


3) Assertive – You can hold your ground, assert your rights, maintain your own opinions, and do what you believe is right, being firm in your self-determination, but you could be reprimanded or punished for not falling in line or best case scenario, you could actually end up being respected for it.


Listen, there is no one right answer, but you need to be a man and not a mouse.


Protect yourself–and as long as you don’t go overboard or act like a jerk–be you, be proud, and don’t let anyone mistreat you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Courage To Do The Right Thing

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So it takes courage to do the right thing. 


It’s the easy way out to shut your eyes and overlook when things are wrong. 


Taking a stand and standing up for what’s right often means fighting the good fight. 


But who wants to fight?


Everyone wants to live in peace and quiet. 


In fact, every day we pray repeatedly in the Amidah for peace


In the 19th prayer…

May it please you to bless your people Israel at all times and in every hour with your peace. Blessed are you, O Lord, who blesses his people Israel with peace.


Then again after the prayer for thanks…

Bestow peace, goodness and blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and mercy, upon us and upon all Your people Israel…May it be favorable in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment, with Your peace.

And yet a third time at the end…

He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

What can be more desired than peace and wellness in our lives?


Yet, when we see corruption, wrongdoing, and evil, people are called on the confront it, and stand up for good. 


Because when evil prevails, there is no real peace in the world. 


Hence, the courageous and righteous are called on to stand up based on integrity, merit, and values, and to work to return a state of justice and peace. 


G-d watches to see to it that good ultimately prevails over evil. 


May He who makes peace, make peace for us and all Israel, and let us say Amen. 😉 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

For Holocaust Remembrance Day

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The photo is self-explanatory to all decent human beings out there.


We can never let evil rule the day.


Good people must stand up and speak out for good.


Never again!


(Source Photo: Sent to me by Minna Blumenthal)

Clothing Optional

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This was a funny painting in the gallery. 

A naked lady with a big colorful sun hat on. 

Be careful you don’t want to get too much sun!

The painting also makes me think of the saying “The empress (or emperor) has no clothes.”

The leader thinks they are wearing beautiful clothes, but the reality is they are naked in front of their subjects. 

People see when their leaders are shelling out a clouded vision, tempting them with empty (campaign) promises, or pushing ideas that don’t hold water in the real world, but often people are simply too afraid to say anything.

Instead, they acknowledge the beautiful clothes or brilliant ideas that aren’t there and in groupthink fashion, they fail to call out the folly for what it is, when it is. 

Naked is naked, and we should say the truth albeit with respect and in a constructive way, if we really want to make genuine collective progress. 

True–lauding or blinding following what simply isn’t there and has no substance may land you a seat at the royal table, but what good is it, if you are sitting with some leaders that may be nothing more than naked idiots. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)