Monsters and Humans

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Monsters and Humans.”

Ultimately, the litmus test is whether there is a human in that being. If there is that spark of G-d, that soul, that inner conscience weighing right and wrong, that fear and love of G-d and his creations driving decision-making, then there is still hope for that person as well as for mankind.

However, if we are dealing with those who are sadistic animals in human form, then we must be as soldiers of Hashem, taking a firm stand and decisive action, because true evil does not remain dormant for long.

(Source Photo: Aneesh Ans; https://www.pexels.com/photo/painted-face-of-person-portrait-photo-1211966/)

Finding Our Religion

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Finding Our Religion.”

The contrast between me being Jewish and the environment that was as broad as the United Nations (actually only a few blocks away), helped me to find myself and to build my personal Jewish identity. So, I think that for those Jews that are afraid for their children to leave the confines of the home, their “shtetl” neighborhood, and the local yeshiva, because they are afraid of the “foreign” (goyish) influences, I think that while that may be right for some Jews possibly, it is definitely not right for all of us.

In a sense, the redemption of the Jewish people and exodus was so much greater a miracle by Moshe becoming this great Jewish leader from within the fires of the Egyptian paganism at the time. Moshe’s rejectionism of Egyptian power and culture used for evil to enslave and hurt others was a powerful choice of good over evil and a message to Pharaoh and his household that despite all his wealth, strength, and influence, that Pharaoh and Egypt would fall before the hand of the true, Almighty G-d of Israel. Similarly, I think the message for us is that the final redemption for us and the world will come initially from “galut” (outside of Israel) from the cauldron of “Edom” (the Roman Empire and Western civilization) and all the materialist and pleasurable freedoms and allures thereof.
(Credit Painting: Dossy Blumenthal)

What’s With This Crazy World?

I don’t recognize this world. 

This world has gone to sleep. 

It’s not the world of life I used to know. 

Now fear and isolation pervade about. 

Things aren’t even what they seem or they seem to be what they aren’t. 

Everything is glossed over and black and white are easily substituted. 

There used to be a moral ground and a forward path. 

Now you have to have a stronger faith and inner conviction than ever before. 

To see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope it’s the light we all yearn for.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Teach Your Children Well

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Teach Your Children Well.”

I am grateful to write that I had my first grandchild, a wonderful baby boy, thank G-d. Now, as with all children, comes the next very exciting part which is, please G-d, to raise and teach him to live a good life of Torah, family, hopes and dreams.

We teach our children, even as we learn along the way ourselves. Two critical things we have from Hashem to help us on this journey: we have the Torah as our holy guidebook, and we have our soul and conscience as our inner voice exhorting us, right from wrong. These are the tools that we go forward with to try and perfect ourselves and the world, and to teach our children to do the same.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Making Things Right When There Is Still Time

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Making Things Right When There Is Still Time.”

Over the years, I heard bits and pieces about him, including that he was ill, and I tried through my other friends to reach out to him. Somehow, it never worked, and more time wore on. Recently again, when another old friend lost their parent, I read something that reminded me that I still had unfinished business with my friend that I had hurt. So now was as good a time as any to reach out.

Somehow hurting someone never really goes away. Those feelings are sort of immortalized in time. The hurt is tangible and become concrete in the genetic fabric of our souls. My soul told me that it was time to try to correct for a mistake I made. You never know how much time is left, and it is important to try to make things right.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)