My dear father, Fred Blumenthal (ZT”L), like many from his generation, used to read Reader’s Digest. I remember that there was a section called “Points to Ponder,” which I thought was a good title for things that can have a deeper and more profound meaning in our lives. So in this vein, I’d like to share a variety of thoughts that may give you pause to ponder as well.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Pop Culture Just Doesn’t ‘Get’ Us.”Of course, when Jews are hypocrites, act holier than thou, or do bad things, they give the rest of us a bad name, and this can breed not only confusion about Jews but also, in the extreme, hate and anti-Semitism. One Chabad Rabbi said today that the Rebbe hardly ever used the word anti-Semitism or spoke of it; instead, he focused on the idea that Jews should do good and perform acts of G-dliness and righteousness in the world.
I believe we can all agree that Jews behave differently; sometimes they do good, sometimes they don’t, but regardless, we’re a little bit of a mystery to many non-Jews, which is sometimes shrouded in a large dose of fiction and conspiracy. For many, I put it this way: they still can’t understand why the fiddler was ever playing on the roof to begin with.
While we ourselves can do positive things to learn and grow as individuals, it’s a bigger and greater mitzvah when it’s shared with others! Just like Joseph, who rose above being a slave and prisoner to save the world, we can all rise above ourselves and our life predicaments to do good that spreads far and wide, perhaps even beyond our wildest imagination.
KanyeWest – I hope that you visit Auschwitz and think deeply about the hurtful, hateful anti-Semitic words that you said. Hopefully, you can change your rhetoric to feelings and words of love and brotherhood.
In terms of seeing the world and life clearly, you have a choice of how to live. You can choose to endlessly chase meaningless material things and the next physical high, or you can live your life with a deeper understanding that this world is just a corridor to the future world, where the “breath of life” from G-d returns to Him for everlasting revelation and reckoning.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Leadership With Heart.”“Leadership with Heart“—you’ll see this as my byline for my Times of Israel blog, and which I also use daily under my signature line in my professional emails. To me, it represents my goal of becoming a leader and doing it with a “lev tahor” (pure heart), represented as much as possible to others through good thoughts, words, and deeds.
In terms of impact, I was pleasantly surprised recently when at least three different people came up to me after I did or said something, and they responded with something like, “Oh, I get it. That’s what ‘Leadership with Heart’ means in your tagline.” I can’t tell you how happy that made me to hear that. I wasn’t just saying it, but acting it, and others noticed it positively.
The list of “nonsensicals” in our society could go on and on (and I won’t even get started with all the Covid mandates and chaos), and you have to ask yourself what type of country (and world) we are leaving to future generations: A world that is full contradictions, corruption, and lies!
In the end, we can’t live with the double-talk and lies that we are being fed or the political grandstanding and corruption that takes the place of real humanity and progress. This leaves us to find truth and faith in the good and love that is G-d and to act from His word and not the phony media or corrupt politicians that seek to lead us continuously astray.