There’s A Reason For Everything

I go to the fridge to look for something to eat. 


I find am empty food storage container on the shelf. 


I recognize it from the day before when it was filled with delicious over-baked salmon. 


So I go to one kid who I guess may be the culprit and I ask:

Why did you leave the empty bowl in the fridge and not clean it out when you were done?


She says:

Dad, I didn’t do it. 


So, I feel like a jerk and apologize for thinking maybe it was her.


Then I go to the other kid and say:

Did you leave an empty dirty salmon bowl in the fridge?


And she says to me:

I did.


So I ask rhetorically thinking there was no acceptable reason:

Why did you do that?


She says sweetly to me:

My sister was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake her by washing out the bowl.

And I knew she meant it. 


I wouldn’t have imagined a reason for leaving an empty dirty bowl in the fridge, but it just goes to show not to misjudge people–there is usually a reason for everything. 😉


(Source Photo: Amazon)

What’s With The Water

Water.jpeg

At this time of some major hurricanes hitting the USA (first Harvey, and now approaching IRMA and Jose)…


I have been remembering from the other day when I was in the pool, but I had a very different experience from usual. 


Yes, I was swimming hard and disciplined doing my laps.


But my mind decided to focus on the water.


Just the water…nothing else. 


I literally blanked out the world around me…no pool, no exercise, no other people, no current events, no random thoughts.


I just put all my senses unto the water itself. 


The cool softness of the water as it glided over my hands and body. 


The subtle resistance of the water, yet the buoyancy it provided. 


The waves and current as the water flowed around my body moving crisply through it.


The healing purity of the water physically and spiritually. 


I imagined the clearest and cleanest water, and how it quenches our thirst and washes everything in the world clean again. 


Water, earth, wind and fire…the wisdom and perfection of them and us cannot possibly be random events, but they are testament to the genius of our Creator. 


Thank you G-d especially for the water in the time, place, and amount that is for a blessing–and as a series of strong hurricanes continue to roar towards your people, let it be merciful. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Exercise It Dirty

Exercise

So these ladies and gents are exercising underground in the Metro tunnel. 


They have grabbed the banister underneath and are doing pullups. 


However, the tunnels are really ick!


Often a sheltering place for the unfortunate, homeless, and sick trying to get out with their belongings from the cold or rainy weather. 


And the smell of urine is not uncommon even with the CCTV cameras at either end, 


Nice to workout and toughen up, but this is more than a share of morning wash up or hand sanitizer can deal with. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

Smokem Peace Pipe

Peace Pipe
So we are almost all settled in our new place (now about 2 1/2 months)…



And in the kitchen, I am re-organizing one of the top cabinets. 



I reach in the very back, and I feel something all the way in the corner. 



I pick it up and pull it out, and it’s this really weird looking smelly pipe. 



The pipe has a face on it and a blue and red stone above and below it. 



My wife says it looks like a peace pipe, although I’ve never really seen one of those before. 



There are no feathers or pictures of Indians on it, just this crazy-face staring up with crooked teeth and a big schnoz. 



Did someone actually smoke this thing? 



Ick, washed my hands like 3 times. 



Left it on the counter to show the rest of the family.



Throw that G-d darn thing out!



Dirty smokem peace pipe with ugly face heading down the garbage chute–wonder if I should’ve sold it on ebay. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Is Good, (Some) People Not So

G-d Good

I am quite disabled after hip surgery, but I am livid. 


There was an article in the New York Times about a Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt who likes to take children and young adults naked to the sauna and Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) and watch!


Some even reported that he “gawked at a naked 12-year old,” “invited a 15-year old for intimate night time conversations during which he frequently put his hand on the boy’s leg,” and invited himself into a 17-year old’s living room and tried repeatedly to persuade him to change into a bathrobe.”


The article describes how this has been going on for around 30 years and the Rabbi was asked in various forms to stop by the Riverdale Jewish Center synagogue, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and even investigated by Yeshiva University (YU). 


Interestingly, this is happening after the “2012 sex scandal involving top Rabbi’s from Yeshiva University, another with Rabbi Baruch Lanner with “sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of scores of teens” in his charge in the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), and most recently, the 6-year sentencing for “videotaping more than 150 women” (going to the Mikvah) of Rabbi Freundel of Kesher Synagogue (right here in Washington, D.C.). 


All of these sex scandals involved highly prominent rabbi’s (and I feel sick to my stomach even using that esteemed word for them), and at the time this abuse was going on and for years after, no one wanted to believe this was happening!


A friend posted this article about Rabbi Rosenblatt on my Facebook page –we both know this Rabbi from Riverdale, NY where we grew up–and asked “What have you to say to this?”


Well let me tell you…many have come forward for the NYT’s article and others on my Facebook page and behind the scenes to confirm knowledge of Rabbi’s Rosenblatt’s gawking and other inappropriate behaviors with children.


– “I refused to consider having him perform my marriage ceremony because of this and another of his ‘unusual habits.'”


– “Not only was this common knowledge personally–it was known institutionally, by both YU and the RCA.”


Yet others choose to continue the disbelief (some excerpts):


– “I believe these rumors to be vicious slander.”


– “I want to believe some weird habits are being blown out of proportion.”


So let me tell you that not knowing something is happening or not wanting to believe does not make it so. 


I and others I have spoken to remember children being invited to play racquetball as I remember it (squash in the article) and to go to the Sauna with the Rabbi afterward. 


As someone described for the NYT article about going to the Mikvah with the Rabbi, I can attest that this similarly happened to me PERSONALLY. 


Before I got married, the Rabbi accompanied me to the Mikvah for the ritual bathing which he said was needed before marriage, and just as the 15-year old victim in the article described, the Rabbi was “watching me” and I remember the Rabbi also telling me that he had to in order to see my whole body immersed.


I also remember feeling his look at me being off and feeling sick afterwards, like I just wanted to wash again and again. 


However for others referenced in the NYT article, it was much worse, “The routine was always the same: ‘Always the hand on the shoulder or the leg, always the hand touching some part of your body’…The rabbi’s touch ‘was very seductive and it was very manipulative in a way.'”


Unfortunately, as is typical, it is easier to blame the victims or disavow them, then acknowledge a deep-rooted sick and evil in our society by some who are at the top of the pecking order religiously and otherwise.


To be completely clear, the chilul Hashem is NOT with the victims, but RATHER it is with the man who for over 30 years continued this sick ruse, even after he was asked repeatedly to stop his inappropriate behavior with children and young adults. 


For those who choose to continue to look the other way, say how nice and scholarly these Rabbis are, and make every excuse in the book, rather than demand a FULL investigation and justice, all I can say is they are being complicit! 


One last thing I will say, there are others in that community that were involved.  


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Do NOT Wash Hands

Do NOT Wash Hands

This was a funny picture that my wife took at the Department of Commerce cafeteria.

It’s a drinking fountain and says: “Please do not wash your hands. Thank you.”

So somebody wrote underneath it “here.”

And somebody else crossed that out and wrote “ever.”

I guess people are fed up with all the signs reminding them to wash.

Seems like we have a hygiene rebellion on our hands! 😉

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Bathroom Kudos

Bathroom Kudos

Going to a restaurant the other night, I stepped into the men’s room for a minute and noticed this sticker on the right of the mirror that said “Great Work” in big yellow letters on the red background.

I wondered what a strange sign to put in such a private setting as if we need applause for going to the bathroom or washing our hands.

Then again, if you’ve seen many men’s bathrooms, it could certainly be a time for kudos when it is kept clean and people use good personal hygiene–hence, the other sticker on the left, “It’s cool to care!”

The frog sticker in the middle, he’s just keeping an eye on things and thanking everyone for the job well done.

This is a funny commentary on our society these days where people seem to need a pat on the back for everything–even the highly mundane and personal.

Presumably, going to the men’s room will never be the same boring, uncaring event again–at least at this fine eating establishment. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)