The Coming Annexation

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

There has been much talk about Annexation of the Area C settlements in the West Bank (i.e. Yehuda and Shomron), and I believe that we are definitely moving in that direction. According to the 1993 Oslo Accords. Area C is where Israel maintains both security and civilian control. It represents about 60% of the West Bank and is of vital importance to the State of Israel and its future, and therefore is soon likely to be annexed.


Israel is the Promised Land and the one nation state for the Jewish people. Israel has absorbed millions of Jewish refugees from around the world. It is surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs in twenty-two countries. Israel captured the West Bank in a war of self-defense and should be prepared to annex it for the peace and security of its people and the region. If Israel has faith, remains strong, recognizes the military, geographical, and sociological realities on the ground and provides for the depth and settlement of its people, while at the same time being compassionate to the Palestinians, then it will continue to survive and thrive as a State, a democracy, and as light unto the nations.

 
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Goals Vs. Tactics

I liked this saying from someone in the IDF. 


Be “flexible in tactics, but stay fixed on the goals!”


There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. 


And different people have their own approaches. 


As in the lyrics: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.”


That’s absolutely okay. 


In fact, that’s one of the strengths and benefits of diversity.


We bring different ways of looking at the world to the table.


Hence, we can bounce fresh ideas off each other and come to a great way forward. 


The main thing is that we focus on our goals and progress to achieve them. 


Be rigid on goals and flexible in tactics. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Humanity of Routine

People are creatures of habit. 


They form routines and function with relative comfort and efficiency within that. 


And for the most part, we can recognize our own patterns in life. 


Get up, brush our teeth, dress, daven (pray), go to work and so on. 


After a while, you can do it mostly in your sleep. 


We sort of become like automatons. 


Flip the switch and we go.


When routine and structure become so rigid that we can no longer improvise or innovate then we have a big problem in higher order functioning. 


But also when we break people’s structures and habits, we find that they can quickly lose their sh*t. 


People need to control their time and maintain their patterns of life. 


Therein lies a certain safety and comfort in that repetitive doing.


You know what you’re doing–you’ve done it before, so you can do it again.


If you strip a person of their control over their time and the structure of their behavior, they are truly naked and in much more than a physical sense.  (They articulated this in The Punisher, Season One, on Netflix)


All of a sudden they don’t know what to do or how to do it. 


Do they go crazy, breakdown, or tell you everything you want to know. 


Torture is not just physical, but also mental and emotional. 


It is not hard to take away something so simple and a person is no longer a full person anymore. 


People need solid coping as well as survival skills to deal with the unknown.


Finally, appreciate when everything is more or less under control, because that’s truly a blessing.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Win Rocky Win

I found this Rocky gem on eBay.


And it arrived, all wrapped up nicely, in the mail yesterday.  


Rocky working out and training. 


His shirt says:

Win Rocky Win


I posed him with his arms up in the air like after a fight in the ring. 


Love his fighting spirit, determination, and integrity.


Overcoming against all odds. 


Great inspiration. 


Some say we actually look alike. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Will Survive

G-d gives us strength. 


To battle ignorance, apathy, and evil. 


To educate, persuade, influence, and fight for what’s right. 


With a thick skin of battle armor.


And sword and arrows of insight, cunning, and righteousness.


To stand firm even when you feel weakened. 


To find the words even when you are mocked. 


To see clearly and hear distinctly even when confounded. 


The soul and spirit of G-d guides you.


As you traverse a journey through life’s winding tests and challenges. 


Fight heroically to repair that which is broken. 


Say resolutely, I will survive!  😉

OOOC…Order Out Of Chaos

Life is not meant to be chaos (or partially that is). 


That’s why G-d created a natural order and rules of nature. 


From the laws of physics to repeatable mathematical formulations, the universe may be infinitely large and complex, but it is not without standards of function. 


According to the Law of Causality, the world is a pattern of action and reaction (or effect), where everything is a consequence of something prior. 


Even in Chaos Theory, we find that in apparent randomness, there are underlying patterns. 


Absent a miracle, the sun rises every morning and sets every evening. 


Yet, nature and man can also bring catastrophe whereby the world seems like one big chaotic mess. 


Whether from illness, natural disaster, or conflict, our world, can in a moment be turned on it’s head. 


Moreover, it’s all predictably unpredictable. 


And it’s up to us to make Order Out Of Chaos (OOOC). 


This is where many of us either sink or swim. 


When the chips are down, and all the world seems to be imploding with dysfunction, this is where we need to find and make sense and order.


Bad things happen even to good people. 


Good people need to find the faith and the strength, and with G-d’s help, rise to the challenge. 


Easier said than done, for sure. 


In the chaos of things, time may stop and everything becomes a blur.  


We may become like a deer in the headlights–frozen with panic and truly not knowing what to do. 


But if we can just find which way is up. 


Then we can redirect ourselves–rising from the depths of despair to the surface, where the sun is shining and we can gasp a breath again. 


Even around our dysfunction is function to be had. 


Solve a problem, do something constructive, and help others…it’s all part of making order out of chaos.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Life = Growth

Thought this was an interesting photo at REI.


It says behind the cash registers:

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. – Eleanor Roosevelt


The  background has this serene river flow–along with some obvious whitewater. 


But in front of it, the cash register area is hopping crazy and messy.


It’s a contradiction–not unlike life itself which is full of it’s own ups and downs that challenge us routinely. 


Life is where we get the experience that shapes us and strengthens us, as long as it does not break us.  


Life = Growth


Why else would we be here?


G-d is the best teacher. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Never Alone Or Meaningless

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Never Alone or Meaningless.”

  • We are never alone, because G-d is always right there with us, and in us!
  • And what we do is never meaningless, because everything we do affects the G-dliness of everything else–everything and everyone are wholly intertwined and connected.

Instead of feeling alone, aimless, and sad, we can delight in our oneness with G-d and the cosmos and in knowing the everything we do can have a positive impact on everything else.  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Hungry Pac-Man

Saw this in a window from the street. 


Pac-Man eating the dots/pellets and going for the ghost. 


The classic arcade video game from 1980s still speaks volumes. 


Pac-Man is goal-oriented and hungrily eat the pellet pieces, but if the ghosts touch him first then he’s toast (or at least one of his 3 lives are).


Not so different from real life…


We try to reach our goals, by taking one bite at a time until we “eat the elephant.”


But if those people who are naysayers, haters, Debbie Downers, and obstructionists, get to us first, then we can not only lose momentum, and but also eventually be forced to divert or miss out on achieving our goals. 


Ghosts aren’t hollow friendly creatures, but those who want to stop progress, stop you, and maybe even end your pellet-eating life. 


You need to eat the super “power pellets” to overcome and eat the ghosts.


Eating all the pellets can be a herculean task requirement strength, resourcefulness, and determination, but that’s what takes you to the next level in the game of life. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beautiful People

I ran into this lovely lady in Rockville. 


Obviously, she has a disability, but I was so impressed with her. 


She had this cute dog sitting on her lap while in her wheelchair. 


And the wheelchair had this awesome colorful mosaic in the wheels. 


She seemed to be with family that loved her.


They stopped to stay hello and permitted me to take a photo. 


I was so inspired by them.


There are truly beautiful people in the world and they make the world a wonderful place for all of us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)