Beautiful Virus, Huh?

So this is an image of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus.


Yeah, I never heard of it either. 


It is a virus that attacks and destroys tobacco and other plants. 


Viruses are ugly and evil in that they hurt and kill other living things


Yet in looking at this molecular image, I seriously hate to say it, but it is also beautiful in a way. 


The shape, color, complexity–the design and wisdom embedded in it–what can I say, but even this too is a miracle. 


Sure, it would be better in a mortal sense if there were no viruses to make us suffer and literally eat away at us. 


Yet, surely G-d has a plan even for these nasty virus molecules.  


Do they help us gain immunity to even worse diseases?


Do they help us to use ingenuity to discover, fight, and evolve to withstand their attacks and progress our society in larger ways?


Do they help us learn however horribly to turn to G-d, strengthen ourselves, and somehow try to cope with suffering and loss in life and death.


All sickness is unbelievably horrible and the suffering it causes is truly impossible to understand, and G-d should please, please have mercy on us. 


Yet, looking at this molecular image of even this virus, there is something comforting in the supreme intelligent design and creation of it all.  😉


(Source Andy’s photo of image by Visual Molecular Dynamics)

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Cross The Street

I like this saying by life coach Iyanla Vanzant”

“When you see crazy coming, cross the street!”


I remember learning similarly from experts that the first lesson in self defense is always:

“If you can run, run!”


That doesn’t mean your not strong or courageous.


It’s just common sense to try to avoid trouble if you can. 


When people seriously fight, both usually can end up with a black eye or worse. 


And there are truly a lot of crazies out there.


Peace is always desired.


But strength (and preparedness) is always required. 


This makes sense as well in the larger context of the USA upgrading it’s nuke arsenal and other weapons systems and platforms to deter enemy aggression.


Thus, peace through strength and of course, prayer! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

If G-d Is With Me

I love this photo and caption that I saw on Facebook. 


Basically it translates from Hebrew as:

“If G-d is with me
Who can stand against me.”


And it’s a picture of someone walking through the split sea like in the exodus from Egypt. 


G-d can truly make miracles. 


What G-d decrees no man can stand against it. 


We need to merit G-d’s standing with us. 


You have to do right, speak right, and have the right intentions. 


Only G-d can judge whether we are there!


But how amazing things can be for us if we look to the Heavens and merit G-d being with us.


Then no man can stand against us! 😉


(Source photo: Tali-Cohen Saban)

Until My Last Breath

The Shema Yisrael.

Hear O’ Israel. The L-rd our G-d. The L-rd is one.


The most sacred and fundamental of prayers in Judaism. 


Declaring our monotheistic belief and faith in the One Above who has created and sustains us daily. 


These are words we call out from the depths of our heart and soul–in joy, in suffering, in life, and ultimately as we leave this world.


No one can take this from us. 


Only G-d decrees who shall live and who shall die…who shall be exalted and who shall be made low. 

Hear O’ Israel.
The L-rd our G-d.
The L-rd is one. 

Everything is life is given true perspective by this.


People may rise against us and situations may look dire.


But in the realm of G-d, these are all fleeting like the dust that blows in the wind. 


So too shall G-d remove our troubles and bring us comfort. 


It is a test; it is all a test–remember, Hear O’ Israel–and pass it with flying colors. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bringing Down The House

I love this silver sculpture of Samson.


And one of my favorite stories and Biblical characters. 


Samson was dedicated to G-d from birth and was an enormous warrior. 


Even when he was betrayed, blinded, and bound, he maintained his ultimate faith in G-d.


He prayed that he be given the strength one more time to bring justice to G-d’s enemies. 


And that’s when he pushed against the pillars and brought the house down on them.


On one hand, a tragic figure that trusted and was fooled by the beautiful Delilah, but a completely heroic man of great integrity, who believed in G-d and in vanquishing his enemies.


Look to the Heavens for your strength and G-d can grant you the ultimate strength to achieve your mission in life and even in death. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Protects Us – Happy 2018!

So I took this photo in a Jewelry store in Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem. 


All these beautiful hamsas!


Hamsas are traditional symbols of G-d’s protection and to ward off the evil. 


These were some very beautiful ones. 


Some say that it is symbolic of the hand of Miriam, Moses’ sister, raised in a protective stance over the people. 


Five fingers are like the five books of the Torah and a reminder to use all five of our senses in worshipping and praising G-d. 


Talking to someone yesterday about surviving in the face of some very difficult challenges, she said to me:

“Remember, just because the adversary is powerful, you are the David to the Goliath!”


With G-d’s help and blessings, even a little David can slay the giant evil Goliath. 


For the New Year of 2018 and forward, G-d should bless us and protect us, shine his face upon us and be gracious unto us, lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace!  


The L-rd is the ultimate strength and justice and in front of Him no evil will stand. 


Our faith may be tested, but from it, we will come out smarter, stronger, and better souls, as G-d teaches us to look always to the Heavens where all good emanates. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Do You Do With Fear?

Thought this was a really good perspective on fear.


“You have two options:


Forget Everything And Run


Or


Face Everything And Rise”


It the old fight or flight!


– Running may be good when you can avoid a devastating fight and get yourself and your loved one to safety.


– But sometimes you don’t have that option and you have to “fight the good fight” and overcome the devils you face. 


Everyone is afraid of something(s) and/or somebodies. 


If someone isn’t afraid then they are brain dead!


Strengthen yourselves, ready yourselves, and pray. 


What do you fear and how will you face it? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)