From Victims To Victors

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “From Victims To Victors.”

The critical image of transformation of the Israelites going from the very depths of slavery to the lofty heights of redemption, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, and going to the Promised Land is relived again in our very own times. This happened immediately after the Holocaust, when the Jews left the death camps of Europe (in fact, many coming by boat over the Mediterranean Sea instead of on foot over the Red Sea as in biblical times) to come to Israel. Here too, the Jews went on to fight as free men in the War of Independence for the founding of the State of Israel just like the Israelites fought the Amalekites in the desert and the Seven Nations to receive the Promised Land of Israel. Furthermore, just like we received the Torah after the redemption from Egypt, we are seeing an incredible resurgence of Torah learning in Israel today.


In both cases of redemption, we had to transform from being victims of slavery and persecution to instead taking the reins in our hands, and with Hashem’s help, determining our own destiny and becoming the victors! Incredibly, just as the Israelites were redeemed by Hashem from Egypt and brought to conquer the Promised land 3300 years ago, so too were we, Jews, brought from the ashes of Auschwitz to the shores of the Israel to fight and become “a free nation in our Land, the Land of Zion, Jerusalem” (Hatikvah). And just like the redemption from Egypt resulted in the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to worship Hashem in the desert, so too will we soon relive the redemption in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Again, in the right time, we will need to have faith and courage to rebuild it with our very hands, and this will happen speedily and truly in our days. May Hashem let it be!

 
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dunkin’ Mugs

I love my new Dunkin’ Coffee Mugs.


Got one in each color: blue and orange. 


Inside the mugs, there is a finger sign “V” (for victory) and it says “Be Awesome”.


These oversized mugs are so happy and I can’t wait to fill ’em up.


And they really do make me ready to “Wake Up” for a brand new day. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Victory Or Defeat

I was reading Vladimir Jabotinsky’s “Story of My Life.”


And there is this quote that I really like attributed to Kipling in it:

Victory or defeat: learn to accept both with equanimity since both are deceptions.

I just thought this is profound.  


We never really fully win or lose. 


Everything is on a spectrum. 


And where we think we are on that spectrum is often not even nearly correct. 


You think you won that one, but guess what someone else has outsmarted you and you don’t even know it yet. 


Also, wins can be easily followed by loses and vice versa.


Things can turn on a dime and who’s up becomes who’s down–as the wheel of life turns and turns again. 


Recognize that you don’t control everything–actually, the only thing you do control is how you react and behave.


Everything else is a test to teach you and help you grow. 


And as I heard from a speaker yesterday, “you can’t make up in space, what you have lost in time.”


Victory or defeat, both are deceptions. 


Only how you choose to act is the real win or lose. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Rocky Says

A quote from my role model Rocky: 

It’s not about how hard you hit.
It’s about how hard you get hit.
And keep moving on.
That’s how winning is done.

Go Rocky!


And by the way, you should hit pretty (i.e. very) hard also. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Climbing The Tower, Remembering 9/11

 
Never Forget Tower Fire Truck Firefighter Little Firefighter

It’s the weekend before the anniversary of 9/11, and today in full gear, about 100 firefighters and police officers climbed the 28-story tower in Rockville 4 1/2 times today equaling the 2,000 stairs in the World Trade Centers.

This to remember the 343 firefighter and 71 police officer heroes that fell that fateful day.

Also, to raise funds for the firefighter burn fund. 

While some are war weary and would rather forget or pretend it never even happened…

It is so important that we not forget the devastating terrorist attack by Islamic extremists on 9/11 that took us by surprise and cost this nation so dearly. 

Reckless pacifism, appeasement, cowardice, and running from the fight without defeating the enemy and restoring societal order will only bring the fight to us. 

We need ongoing vigilance, investment and improvements to homeland security and our national defense, and the spread of freedom and human rights across the globe.

(The interview with the firefighter was narrated by me, Andy Blumenthal)

(Source Photos: Me as well). 

Head Over Heels For Technology

This is really a very cool video called iPad Head Girl.
The girl is covered with 4 iPads–each with an image of a different angle of a headshot (face, back, and sides) making it look almost like her real head.
You’re thinking–what is this: a robot, a person, an alien?–it’s really up to your imagination, but you’d better get a closer look.
I understand from Coolest-Gadgets that this is actually part of an advertising campaign by Thinkmodo for a racy iPad magazine called “Cosmo for Guys,” and No, I am not promoting this in any way!
However, the advertising with the walking head iPads and the images of the girl is definitely making heads turn, but for very different reasons and it has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with technology. 
My view is that we are fascinated by the “latest and greatest” use of technology–and are basically ready, on the lookout for the next great amazing breakthrough.
Technology while obviously amazing feats of science, engineering, and design–also borders on the magical for most of us as we watch and see what the new technology can do, even though we don’t really know how it does it.
Like the lady walking around with iPad head–we see it, but can’t really believe what we’re seeing.
The miracle of technology–keeps us all at the edge of our seats with hope, wonder, and awe for what magic is going to walk down the street next and leave us mouths agape.