How Hashem Was Found

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “How Hashem Was Found.”

This disabled man was then charged with DUI and spent the next 8 1/2 years in prison. But the Rabbi of the prison helped him to find G-d in all this suffering and slowly he returned to his Jewish roots. Now, for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah to all the Jewish people, he was in synagogue, holding his prayer book and receiving the Ten Commandments with the rest of the congregants.

If this man who’s body was crushed, leg lost, and who spent so many years in prison could find the good and his way back to Hashem, then there is hope for all of us who can learn, grow, and turn our lives around as well. G-d is there in the darkness and in the light, and we have to find Him and believe.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat: Time Vs. Space

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Shabbat: Time Vs. Space.”

When we choose to keep the Sabbath, we mark a day of the week in time, where we reject all the worldly pursuits of space and materialism in lieu of recognizing that there is a higher power, G-d Almighty, and that as Ahmari says ‘everything else is ephemeral and passes away with time.’

What we do to make things holy in time rules over what we do purely physically in space, that nothing but G-d is timeless, and everything material reverts back to its origins and is gone from time as if it never even was. In the end, we need to live our lives with the forethought that the spirit goes to the everlasting afterlife, but the body goes to the physical grave.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mount Meron and Hating The “Baseless”

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Mount Meron and Hating The ‘Baseless.'”

We are all reeling from the devastating deaths of 45 Jews on Lag B’Omer at Mount Meron (and many others critically injured) from a stampede during the bonfire celebration near the grave of the holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Last night, we were glued to the new as the body count kept going up. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that this is something that happens in the masses of people that gather in India or Saudi Arabia, not in the tiny State of Israel. But lo’ and behold, tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime. Life is completely tenuous!

So can we draw conclusions that in those days there was baseless hate and so too in our times. I think, while we don’t know G-d’s ways, certainly from experience and observation, we do know that there is not only baseless hate, but also plenty of “hate the baseless”.  And what I mean by that is that one type of Jew thinks they are better than another whose beliefs, faith, and observance we denigrate and deem baseless, without support and they without real merit…We are forever driven towards a “Better than thou” attitude and lifestyle. To the religious catcalls of “get out of our neighborhood slut” or the throwing of Shabbat rocks at passing cars. This all has got to stop!
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel Is Tops

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Israel Is Tops.”

In just 73 years, with G-d’s miraculous help, we have a Jewish State that is top-ranked in the entire world: Israel is ranked overall #30 in Best Countries in the World.

In our 4,000 year history as a people, we suffered long and painful exile at the hands of the Babylonian and Roman Empire, but then in 1948, we were given another miraculous chance for the Jewish State of Israel. So far, we are doing great by all measures; now we have to make sure to keep it up for good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Bombs Will Fall On Iran’s Nukes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, The Bombs Will Fall on Iran’s Nukes

Since Iran has rejected any new negotiations or participants to the Iran nuclear deal, we must assume that the flaws of JCPOA will not be resolved and that Iran’s existential threats remains unabated. Further, Iranian elections this coming June 2021 are forecasted to bring more dangerous Iranian hardliners to power. Therefore, regardless of whether the US reenters the deal with Iran now, it will only mean a short term stopgap for restrictions placed on the Iran’s dangerous program for weapons of mass destruction. The end game for the Ayatollahs has not changed in gaining nuclear destructive capability and threatening Israel, the Sunni Muslim states, and the western world with this.

While reentering the Iran nuclear agreement buys the world some time, and not that much frankly, the US, Israel, and other key allies will need to continue planning in earnest for what comes after the failings of the JCPOA deal, and that will most assuredly bring us back to the massive and devastating bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities with the Mother of All Bombs (MOABS) and other highly advanced weapon systems fitted for this.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal of Jane’s Combat Simulation for Israel Air Force Video Game)

In the hands of heaven

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “In The Hands of Heaven.”

From Passover, we learn the Egyptians didn’t earn the riches, but built their wealth on the backs of the starving people of the world and of course that includes their Israelite slaves. As the Egyptians gloated on their arrogance, power and wealth, eventually the Master of the World showed them who is really boss. All the money, materialism, fancy titles, and honors are all just fleeting. In Hashem resides the glory and He has the say over who gets what and when.

G-d can redeem 600,000 men, women and children, and a large mixed multitude of people with them and very many flocks and cattle in the Exodus and to Him, it’s just another day on the throne of Heaven. In our own times, we have experienced a miraculous redemption from the death camps of Europe, and have returned like the Israelites to the Promised Land of Israel. G-d decides then and now what the plan is and how it unfolds, and everything we have is by G-d’s grace, and these are Seder lessons worthy of celebrating.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Staying Centered

So important to keep the mind centered.

I tried something new in the pool to tread water using the minimum energy.

At first, my body resisted and I started to flail with my arms and legs.

But then, I centered my mind and started to control my breathing.

My deep focused breaths raised my body above the water almost by itself.

My arms and legs relaxed and just was there for support.

It felt so good to be in a better state of self-control and mindfulness.

Always need to try and keep the mind still, centered, and in control of the body.

Focus, focus, focus!  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Preparing for The Third Temple

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Preparing for the Third Temple.”

In essence, the Jewish Temples have been not only physically buried over, but also the site has been historically Islamicized despite the Temple Mount’s intrinsic holiness to all three major religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). In short, this is a very sensitive issue that is likely anchored in facets of intolerance and religious rivalry, as well as pretenses of superiority and dominance, rather than ultimately on the shared connection we have through both our genetic and spiritual lineage as Abraham’s decedents.

We absolutely want to have a peaceful and productive coexistence with all people, but just as Israel has risen from the Valley of Dry Bones, so too the day is coming soon when the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in shinning glory and we can worship G-d just as we did in times before. What will be special about the 3rd Temple is that it will not only be for the Jewish people, but for all the world’s people to come together harmoniously to recognize and worship the one true and faithful G-d of us all. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The ICC: Latest Salvo In The War Against Israel

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called “The ICC: Latest Salvo In The War Against Israel.”

From Palestinian riots to revolts, from Palestinians engaging in a civil war against Jews to the Arab League nation-states waging an all-out war against Israel, from Palestinian organized terrorism to raging intifadas, from the Palestinians driving United Nations resolutions to International Criminal Court investigations of Israel, the Palestinians are waging an endless war against Israel, rejecting numerous offers of peace for their people’s autonomy and self-determination.

Through never-ending Palestinian rejection of one peace proposal after another, and instead choosing to have “all or nothing” of Palestine, the Palestinians have embraced armed and violent struggle as well as economic, political, and judicial warfare against Israel. Unfortunately, the Jewish people will need to continue in their ultimate struggle for survival. After 2,000 years of Jewish exile, and suffering under incessant persecution, inquisitions, expulsions, pogroms, the Holocaust, even now with the State of Israel, the one Jewish homeland and our refuge, the attacks continue against us from Palestinians choosing to wage an endless, bitter war instead of looking to make a lasting, beautiful peace.


(Credit Photo: Pixabay Free Images)

It’s Never About Luck

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “It’s Never About Luck.”

Today is Purim, when we celebrate the Jewish victory over the evil Haman and his conspiracy to annihilate the Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman drew a lottery to determine what he thought was a fortuitous day, the 13th of Adar, to murder the Jewish people and pursued this plot through a decree by King Achashverosh. But as we know, G-d made miracles through Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai, and Haman and his ten sons ended hanging by the noose that he built for Mordechai. 

This has been my personal experience as well, as I can see both now and in 20/20 hindsight that there is a definite Divine method and not just a world of random chance and madness.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)