Ten ‘Points to Ponder’

 
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Ten ‘Points to Ponder’.”

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.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pop Culture Just Doesn’t “Get” Us

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.

(Credit Photo: ericbarns via https://pixabay.com/photos/dancing-clubbing-dancers-nightclub-206740/)

Have No Fear, Hashem Is Here

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Have No Fear, Hashem Is Here.”


The terrorist Iranian regime is a mutual threat to both Israel and the United States. They should not be afraid to defend humanity from Iran’s irrational hatred and hostility.

When I watched the video of the IDF in this blog, I felt great pride in the courage and incredible progress that Israel, the Jewish State, has continued to make in building up its security capabilities. Israel’s miraculous success is based on faith, along with creativity, determination, and audacity.

Giving the World a Hand

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Giving the World a Helping Hand.”

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.

(Source Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/hands-world-map-global-earth-600497/)

Facing Hardship, Finding Humility

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Facing Hardship, Finding Humility.”
Like Celine Dion, no matter how much fame, fortune, or power any of us amass in our lifetimes, none of these things make an iota of difference in the time of G-d’s eternal judgment of us. The only thing that matters and carries on are our good deeds!

When we are young and vibrant and the world seems so small in a way, we can tend to think we are invincible, but as we get older and more mature, we learn that everything we do in life that strays from the Almighty’s path for us has a price to be paid and a humbling before our Maker.

(Credit Photo: Anirudh Koul via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celine_Dion#/media/File:Celine_Dion_Concert_Singing_Taking_Chances_2008.jpg)

Hanukkah Is About Fortifying the Family

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Hanukkah is about Fortifying the Family.”

Modern Hellenism is when Judaism becomes less and less Jewish and more and more like another “value system” that is “politically correct” or “in style.”

To be clear, not every Jew is going to be “religious” in the same way, but still, each of us can contribute to the welfare of the whole. The point of Hanukkah is that Torah-true Judaism exists, even if we as individuals struggle to fulfill it. The task at hand is for each family and each of us to model proper behavior (thought, word, and deed) and to educate our children in the same so that the Greeks of our time do not win.

(Credit Photo: The National Guard via https://flic.kr/p/BBXA4R)

Mutual and Eternal Love

Please see my new poem in The Times of Israel called “Mutual and Eternal Love.”

Like Abraham, we are tested to do “what is right and just,” and history is our witness.

For “we are dust and will return to dust,” but our souls will rise to heaven and be reunited with our everlasting, loving Father.

(Also, please remember to listen to the Jewish music video as you read the poetry.)

A “Sign” of Good Synagogue Character

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “A ‘Sign’ of Good Synagogue Character.”

I was literally sitting in the synagogue and crying, watching the speaker sign and listening to the voice from the interpreter. I really believe that all our synagogues, schools, work places, and organizations need to better incorporate diversity and disability into the environment, and not just by paying meaningless lip-service to it, but by enabling everyone to come, feel welcome, participate, and be together as all children of G-d naturally should be.

Finally, it was beautiful to have the synagogue let someone who was deaf have the pulpit and the ability to speak to us. It would be so awesome for everyone’s voice to be heard. We take our abilities (such as speaking, hearing, and being mobile) for granted. So let’s design the community with all the people in mind and give everyone a true voice. In the end, it’s not just what they say, but some things are communicated more than words.

(Source Photo: RODNAE Productions; https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-on-heart-sign-done-by-woman-10029313/)

“Death Con” NEVER AGAIN

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Death Con NEVER AGAIN.”

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.

(Credit Photo: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from public domain photo; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanye_West#/media/File:Kanye_West_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_Festival_(cropped).jpg

Israel, Warrior Nation

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Israel, Warrior Nation.”

Israel and the Jewish people must maintain absolute resolve to defend our people, to be sovereign in the land of Israel, and to safeguard our faith and worship of the one true G-d. In the end, we can be assured that all the terrorist attacks, intifadas, missiles, and Iranian nukes in the world will be no match what-so-ever for the IDF and the almighty hand of G-d.

(Source Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Givati_Recon_Company_at_Training.jpg)