Like Removing A Nail

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So you always hear about the techniques used when people are being tortured…one of them being have their nails ripped off.


Ouch!


So this week when I had a ingrown toenail removed, I said jokingly to the podiatrist:


“Do you do waterboarding also?”


Ok, funny, not-funny.  Still got a chuckle!


But in removing the nail, the technique is really so amazing.


They inject the toe with a local anesthetic, but hey even the injections into a sensitive toe could be pretty uncomfortable. 


So before the injection, they spray you toe with a freezing spray, so you don’t even feel the injections.


When he actually removed the nail and chemically destroyed the nailbed so it wouldn’t come back, I didn’t feel a thing.


I mean, I literally didn’t feel a thing!


It was a wonderful feeling–whatever he did, however much it would’ve hurt–it didn’t.


I thought to myself in a wave of anesthetic and freeze-numbed delight, this is absolutely wonderful.


No pain, not even a pinch. 


I could sense everything going on around me, take it in, think about it, even mull it over again and again, and just smile. 


In a way, I thought how wonderful life would be to have the ability to think in the head and feel from the heart, but have no pain or suffering in the body. 


Yes, there are plenty of damning and painful thoughts, memories, and heartaches, but for the body to be numb (even momentarily) to all the bad stuff that actually felt pretty good.


How would it feel if the mind and heart also felt no pain and only bliss–I smiled even more. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Love A Strong Woman, But…

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Ok, admit it or not.


This is certainly something that every man fears: ~Castration Phobia~


Of course, I don’t know what she’s planning, but with that huge sickle-shaped knife and that big disarming smile, I definitely don’t want to find out. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Water Cross

This was so fun in the pool.


The water was on and it was almost like a really high-speed jet jacuzzi. 


The cool water was rushing at me and splashing in my face and it was a nice moment of relaxation and feeling of life. 


For those who have been to the mikvah, it felt refreshing and like a renewal of spirit. 


Just in jest…when I look at this, I can’t help noticing that it almost looks like Jesus on the cross. 


Except, thank G-d no nails, torture, or Roman Legion involved in this. 😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Locked Inside Your Own Body

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So being imprisoned in torturously tight spaces and uncomfortable positions is…physically, mentally, and emotionally harrowing. 


Of course, the criminal justice system centers around incarceration (and less so rehabilitation) and for most of history–from chains, cages, and dungeons–the most vile despots have placed people’s bodies in desperate restraints. 


But I have learned that people can be not only physically incarcerated and shackled, but they can also literally be imprisoned within their own bodies. 


My own dear mother suffered terribly with Parkinson’s Disease and I watched helplessly and in horror as the degenerative rigidity, contortion, and incredibly horrendous pain made her suffer so. No amount of pain medication could ease her unbelievable suffering…only death itself.


In another instance, a colleague’s spouse got sick with ALS and as this horrible disease ran it’s course, the person could not move, eat, speak, and eventually even breath on their own.  Their mind worked fine, but it was imprisoned within a body that continuously closed in on itself and could no longer function. 


In both these cases, the body itself was the prison of the mind and soul–no bars, no barbed wire, and no high walls necessary. 


Another case, I read and watched about his week, was of a husband and father who suddenly became a quadriplegic.  Kevin Breen was a healthy and active 44-year old, when suddenly he came down with a case of strep throat that traveled to his stomach and almost ended up killing him. He survived, but had to have his hands and feet amputated. Can you imagine the absolute horror of this?


There are so many good things that can happen in life, but also so many, G-d forbid, misfortunes–it is frightening to think about let alone confront. 


Locked up or imprisoned within our own failing bodies, leave mankind looking out into the darkest and deepest of the abyss, and that is when we need G-d’s ultimate mercy and to answer us more than ever.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Are The Real Animals

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So if you want to know who are the real animals in this world…


It’s people!


If you can stomach it, watch this graphic video of elephant taming


The elephant is caged, chained, poked, prodded, beaten, spiked in all the sensitive areas. 


It is tortured and left with festering sores and then made to do sickening slave labor. 


While animals generally kill for food, people abuse, torture and kill for profit and maniacal enjoyment. 


Sometimes, we wonder why G-d punishes the world. 


But look at how the world behaves. 


Is there no heart or soul in some people? 


G-d forgive us for our sins and evil inclinations, and have mercy, and make your people better than this, much better. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You Can Take This Niqab And…

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So here is the quote of the day (compliments of the Wall Street Journal)…


From a woman fleeing the inhumane treatment in Mosul by ISIS religious terrorists:

“I want to take this niqab and stuff it down the throat of ISIS.”


I’ve now read over and over again how one of the first things the women do, who get away from these ruthless fanatics, is to remove their confining “religious”-mandated garb that covers them so fully and put on normal clothes and be free human beings again.


While I certainly and highly respect women who freely and modestly cover up–especially in marriage–it is abhorrent to violently force women to dress a certain way or make them in any way lessor than or subservient to men. 


The women under ISIS are taught to be ashamed, when they have nothing to be ashamed about!


ISIS and these other radical Islamists that force their distorted version of religion on others goes like this when it comes to women:


“It is permitted to buy her, sell her, and give her away as a gift. They are just a possession and you can do whatever you want with them.”  In their FAQS, they even ask, “Can I have sex with a slave who hasn’t reached puberty?”


Yet, while they are having sex with abducted pubescent and pre-pubescent girls, they force women to stay at home, and they are not allowed to go out unless accompanied by a man (forget education, working, driving or traveling). 


Even at home, “Woman are cautioned to stay away from rooftops, balconies, and windows so they wouldn’t be seen by outsiders.”


And should a women be accused of sex outside of marriage–even when the women are the ones forcibly (gang) raped–they are the ones subject to death by public stoning for their being licentious. 


Are these “religious” fanatics with guns so weak that they fear sexual temptation more than they trust in the bonds of family, personal righteousness, and the ability of people to freely choose right from wrong?


Imagine…as they abduct and enslave women and children, rape them, sell them, and force them into bogus marriages, starve and torture them, these people actually think they are religious. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Did You Know You’re A Sinner

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So walking down the street here yesterday, I ran into a sign and was handed a postcard, declaring:

“Sin Awareness Day”


Then I was confronted by a gentleman (or not so gentle) who proceeded to explain to me that I–and everyone else–are sinners!


Innocently, I ask, “Well, what have I done?”


The missionary answers with a stern face, “I’m sure you have lied!”


I said, “I don’t think so,” but then to play alone, I smirked and said, “Well what if I did?”


He answers and says, “You’ll need to repent!”


Thinking that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is right around the corner in a couple of weeks, I thought to myself, hey that’s right in line with where I’m going anyway…


The guy continues–of course–to try to enlist me to his “savior” that he believes can save us from all our sins. 


I challenged and said, “Well, how about Moses?”


He roars back, “Moses?!!!” and starts railing on about “convert, convert, convert.” 


Uh no, thank you, I am fine with the faith of my father, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers, etc. 


And I appreciate if we can avoid the forcible conversion parts of yesteryear from various empires, caliphates, crusades, and inquisitions, with no shortage of associated torture, executions, and expulsions. 


Then breaking this historical context and glancing at the back of the postcard that he handed out, I did like this one thing that it said:

“Sin is not primarily a measure of how bad you are, but a measure of how good you are not.”


Heck, why be negative about ourselves (we are not inherently bad); instead see that we not living up to our potential and try, always, to do better. 


In that I am definitely a believer!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)