The Value of Pain

Three notables on the value of pain:


1) Pain is a warning of dangerous threats and helps safeguard us.


2) Pain that doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!


3) Pain lets you know you ain’t dead yet.


Then again, nothing wrong with a little pain relief. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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There is Meaning

Please read my new blog at The Times of Israel called, “Is It Really All In Vain?

On Sukkot, we read Megillat Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)¬†about “vanity of vanities; all is vanity”–everything is temporal in this world and seems meaningless.¬†Yet in what we perceive as meaningless, there is truly so much meaning when we understand the bigger picture of what is happening to us and perhaps why.


G-d works in mysterious ways and bad things can and do turn into good things too. ūüėČ


(Source Photo of Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Upside Down Flower On Stairs

Thought this was an interesting picture to take. 


It’s an upside-down pink flower bent over a concrete stair.¬†


And the stem is sticking straight up and out. 


The contrast of the live soft pink flower and the cold hard grey of the concrete stairs is astounding to me.


Life can so easily be bent over, squished out, and left for dead in the cold harsh realities of this world 


We are alive, but life can be hard. 


We fight to go on, but life is sometimes unforgiving.


The bright spark of life seeks to illuminate the hard grey block.


Breath,¬†beat, live…good health is unbelievably precious.


Arise flower and once again stand tall in the glowing sunshine and the pouring rain. 


Nourish yourself¬†in the soil of the Earth, give praise to the L-rd as only life can do. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When It Turns In

A friend told me something interesting about anxiety and depression…

Depression is anxiety turned inward. 


When people feel anxious and that they don’t have control over their situation that make them feel in a sense helpless, and then the anxiety “has no where to go,” it becomes depression.¬†


I guess it make sense that if you feel that you can’t really do anything to make things better–and no matter how hard you try–then you feel somewhat helpless/hopeless and get depressed


Perhaps it’s almost like a frustration at your own inability to change things you feel you need to change.¬†


That is why a person’s feeling some sense of control over their environment and life is so important.¬†


When things are looking down, it helps to try and do something to take back control over what feels like spiraling uncontrollable events and circumstances.  


Of course, only G-d really has control over what ultimately happens. 


But we need to do our part to try to make things better. 


Just taking that first (and second and third) step is freeing. 


I’m pretty sure that an element of this is that you can tell yourself that you “did everything you could” so in effect there is a lifting of guilt about the situation, but at the same time there is also a genuine feeling that you are here for a purpose and perhaps have made a difference in this world.¬†


Some people feel big and important, but the reality is that we are all so small in a very big world and universe where suffering and loss can strike (G-d forbid) at any moment. 


Man is but a speck of dust in the realm of things. 


But at the same time, our speck is filled with a soul of the living G-d. 


So we must do what we can to be a good influence and impact. 


Whatever it is, it is what we can do. 


If everyone–7.6 billion of us out there—does their part that can make a difference.¬†


Don’t let life’s anxieties become your depression.


Look for what you can contribute–do it!–try your best to make a difference and make the world better.


It’s what you’re here for and what you can positively do.¬† ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Do You Become Old?

Is being old an age, a feeling, or both?


Some people seem to get old before their time.


They go about¬†echting¬†and¬†kretzching–at 40 and 50, they are saying this hurts and I feel crummy about that!¬†¬†Nu, I’m not 18 anymore!


Other people never, literally almost never seem to get old.


One lady I know is going to be 94 this month and she is going strong mentally, emotionally, and physically.  It almost seems impossible.  


This guy in the photo has a funny shirt on that says:

“I thought growing old would take longer.”


Yeah, it does sort of creep up on you, but really, really fast.  Like where the heck did that come from!


I know inside for me, I always still feel like a kid. 


I have the same funny side, playful side, and curious side; the desire to be productive and accomplish something meaningful with my life and time, and to love and be loved. 


Yeah, things hurt a little more than they did years ago–can’t believe the things I used to be able to do–Yes, at one time, I use to break cinder blocks with my bare hands, true!


But now, I can do other things like swim and hike and I love to write things that I am passionate about or to be a little creative too!


Maybe we do not get old…maybe we are just like caterpillars¬†that morph into something else like butterflies during this life and into the life beyond.¬†


Age is experience, learning, growth–lots of mistakes–and then recovering and trying again and harder.¬†¬†


Life is wonderment and excitement and appreciation for every amazing beautiful thing. 


No, life does not get old. 


Suffering and loss gets old quick and wish it never was. 


But we are physical bodies with eternal souls, so we go on and on into the wild blue yonder. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

An Arrogant Model Who Defiles The Holy Temple

Please see my new article, Naked Before G-d, in The Times of Israel. 

“In such a G-dly¬†place [as the Kotel], where we are all spiritually naked for our actions before our Maker, [Belgian model,] Ms. Papen displayed not¬†soul, but her haughty¬†flesh.”


And like the Sotah in the bible, who drinks of “the bitter waters” for defiling the sanctity of her marriage, Ms. Papen will most certainly come to see the consequences for her defilement of the most sacred place of Judaism.¬†


I wouldn’t want to be her, seriously! ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)