Israel To Space

Please see my new article in Times of Israel, “Israel’s Ladder To Space.”


So proud of Israel’s planning to join the Big 3 countries (U.S., Russia, and China) to land on the moon.


Amazing what even a relatively small in size and new nation like Israel can set their sights on and please G-d accomplish with G-d’s help.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Not A Kiss

 

So I learned a lesson recently.


Sometimes, a kiss is not a kiss. 


It could be a phony show. 


Like a snake. 


It slithers and fools people into complacency. 


Kiss kiss!


Hug hug!


But around the back is a hand holding a dangerous dagger. 


It stands ready to swing and plunge into your soft unsuspecting tissue. 


The more kisses, perhaps the more hiding of their true intentions. 


People are complex and sometimes malevolent. 


They want what they want, and when they want it. 


When the time comes, a kiss can turn into a sharp knife. 


You wonder how is it that person has no more kisses.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cool Car DC

Who would think you’d find a car like this in Washington, D.C.?


Definitely a standout, you think. 


Although it seems like the people crossing the street don’t even notice it.


Ah, wake up people!


Anyway, where do you park a car like that?


It’s nice to look at, but between people wanting to steal it or deface it, I think it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. 


There are enough loonies out there…why give them a reason. 


Then again, if you tether yourself to it, maybe it’s good for a joy ride around the Capital especially before the new tariffs kick in.  😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Know Before Whom You Are Standing

So many synagogues have this important saying at the top of the Holy Ark where the Torahs are kept in front of the shul.


It says, translated into English:


“Know before who you are standing (i.e. G-d).”


The idea is to remember when you are in the holy place of worship that you are standing and praying before G-d and should conduct yourself appropriately and with respect and reverence. 


While certainly there are times when people forget themselves in the synagogue and say or do something not completely appropriate (e.g. socializing, talking, or even telling jokes to their neighbors during the service), usually it is not intended to be disrespectful, but rather to be friendly with their neighbors and community. 


However, this past Shabbat I witnessed behavior in the synagogue (name withheld)  that was truly a chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d). 


Out of respect for the Rabbi (and Rabbabite), I will neither mention their names or go into the details about what happened except to say that it involved the politics surrounding the end of the Rabbi’s 3-year term and the inability for him and the board to come to terms on a new agreement (even though one had  apparently been signed and reneged on). 


This did not belong in the synagogue on the holy Shabbat, period. 


Those embracing and kissing the Rabbi in his support and going against the President and the board that is elected to represent the congregation was disgraceful. 


Further, while I support the Rabbi saying his farewells, demanding to speak without the permission of the President and the board, and even before the President gave his regular announcements was inexcusable. 


And when the fighting between the Rabbi and President brought yelling and fighting to the congregants, this should have been a sign for that behavior to immediately cease. 


The desecration of the “peace” of the Shabbat with the politics, money, and contract issues and the ensuing fighting (almost civil war between those supporting the Rabbi and those the President and the board) before the Holy Ark filled with the Torahs was reprehensible. 


For the spiritual leadership to behave in such a crude and disrespectful fashion was a mark of utter disgrace in the synagogue before G-d. 


I have never seen anything like this before and hope never to have to witness anything so irreverent again. 


This was a most traumatic event for the community and I hope we will recover in time and have a complete healing. 


Moreover, I pray that G-d forgives the behavior that happened and has mercy on this congregation because things got out of control and I think they forgot before whom they were standing.  😉


(Source Photo and not of the synagogue under discussion: Andy Blumenthal)

Persuasion x 3

I liked this categorization of three types of tools of persuasion developed by Aristotle: 


– Ethos: Appeals to a sense of ethics, morals, and character. 


– Logos: Appeals to a sense of logic, reason, and rationality.


– Pathos: Appeals to a sense of emotion, empathy, and passion. 


I don’t know about most people, but I don’t get convinced easily. 


You need to show me, prove it to me, or convince me it’s right. 


Some others, and I don’t know why–it’s like you can sell them the Brooklyn Bridge, as they say.  


I think that’s dangerous!


Without critical thinking and evaluation, people can get led astray to do the wrong things…a perfect example is Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler (may his memory be forever cursed).  


Hitler appealed to the Germans people at the time:

– Emotionally to bring them back from the loss, destruction, and destitution that World War I inflicted and of course, to scapegoat the Jews, Gypsies, and political opponents and send them to the death camps. 

– Logically, that they were a strong and powerful people, the “Aryan nation,” and they therefore, deserved to conquer and rule Europe and the World.

– Ethically–let’s just say, this one didn’t really apply to Hitler, probably the most evil and destructive man this world has ever known, except that even Hitler tried to fool his people falsely proclaiming, “G-d is with us!”


It’s a war of good over evil out there, and we need to make our arguments to influence and persuade for the good, but we also have to be careful not to let others, who are not so good, manipulate us for their own selfish and depraved ends. 


Ethos, Logos, and Pathos–potent tools or weapons in the direction of mankind and civilization. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Every Time I Go Mexico

Beautiful guitar band @Lake Needwood today.


First, we went for a nice kayak boat ride around the lake.


Then I couldn’t help stopping and listening to this relaxing and peaceful music. 


These guys were great–I’d pay to listen to them. 


Just a bunch of friends getting together to play beautiful music.


This is life as it should be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Supporting Israel is Right

Please see my new article in Times of Israel called, “Dialogue with a Former Israel Supporter.”


Israel is not only the biblical and historical homeland for the Jewish people, but it is the only Jewish country in the entire world. 


Nations and terrorists have attacked, again and again, denying the United Nations declaration for the State of Israel and the modern-day geopolitical reality of its existence–and it is flourishing!


The State of Israel has successfully made peace with its neighbors Egypt and Jordan, and they seek the same with the Palestinians.


Let us hope and pray for coexistence speedily in our times. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)