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)

Comfy Legs

Those legs look comfy in the chair. 

Cross, uncross, cross. 

Of course, the dress pants and shoes aren’t so comfortable. 

Do clothes really make the wo/man?

Here, there’s no real clothes or should I say person to speak of. 

Clothes is better than a fig leaf for Adam and Eve.

Much of clothing is just “look your best” and try to “feel good” vanity.

The soul is what really makes the person.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mr. Golden Sun

There’s nothing like the hot sun.

Too bright to look at it. 

It enlightens our whole world.

The warm glowing sun is life.

Cold empty darkness is death. 

Light drives out the dark. 

We need more light in this world. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Where Have All The Heroes Gone?

Art imitates life. 

When we had heroes in the real world there were also superheroes on television, movies, video games, toys, and more. 

But alas leadership in our times has seriously fallen short.

Who is there to really look up to as a model for us to respect and follow? 

It seems like everywhere these days we are confronted by: 

– Failing leadership 

– Poor decision-making

– Party politics

– Obstructionism

– Finger-pointing

– Fraud, waste, and abuse

– Bullying and sexual harassment

– Bribery and kleptocracy

– Big time narcissism 

There are few if any heroes these days!

It’s sad for us as well as for our children.

I hope we see Batman and Superman and other superheroes again: strong in the physical sense but primarily a symbol for strength of character/integrity and for the fight of good over evil in this world. 

The void is painful for our times and is going to impact our near term future as well.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Evils of Sex Trafficking

USA Today article on Sex Trafficking:

– 4.8 million people: 3.8 Million adults + 1 million children! (and another 20 million people trafficked for slave labor)

– 99% female

– 70% Asia and Pacific, 4% in America

– $99 Billion in profits 

National Human Trafficking Hotline- Call: 1-888-373-7888

-Text: “BeFree” (233733)

– Chat: humantraffickinghotline.org
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Let Go of the Ego and Follow G-d

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Let Go of the Ego and Follow G-d.”

As we know, Pharaoh refused to let the Jews go from Egypt, whether because G-d hardened his heart for some of the plagues or he just couldn’t bear to see his Jewish slaves free through the final knock-out rounds. Through ten plagues that destroyed Egypt and much of their people, including their first born males in the tenth plague, Pharaoh is intransigent and suffers the terrible consequences….Aside from Pharaoh, perhaps the second most stubborn individual in the Torah is Bilam, who was asked by Balak, the king of Moav, to curse the Jews….even though each and every time, G-d instead blessed them.


In both cases, it is clear that no individual, whether a king or a prophet, can go against that which G-d has decreed!

The lesson is clear: it is best to try to see what direction G-d is leading us forward in and to follow Him all the way, not only because that is the path of least resistance, but because that is what we are meant to do and where we are meant to go in our lives.

(Credit Photo: Minna Meles)

Mastering Cheerfulness

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Mastering Cheerfulness.” 

During Covid-19, it is easy to get down about all the people getting sick (many dying) and for the rest of us the intense feelings of isolation. However, during this time (and particularly this week of Thanksgiving), I am learning the importance of staying positive and appreciating all G-d’s blessings that we do have. More broadly, I am coming to understand that inside a person, G-d exists amidst love, kindness and cheerfulness: these are elements that nourish the flame of our soul and wherein G-d happily coexists with us. It makes a lot of sense that when we are angry, jealous, or sad, the holy Shechinah (presence of G-d) cannot fully reside inside us. Because G-d Himself is gracious, kind, and loving and created us from this, so His spirit within us (our soul) flourishes amidst these feelings, but diminishes within us like a flame without oxygen when we distance ourselves emotionally and spiritually.

Just like one candlelight extinguishes the darkness around it, so also the light that we nurture within ourselves can extinguish the darkness that we occasionally feel inside.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Tefillin: Our Wi-Fi To G-d

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Tefillin: Our Wi-Fi To G-d.”

I remember not long ago my son-in-law, Itzchak telling me:

Tefillin are our antennas to Hashem!

And like an antenna, we are able to pray and have our signal amplified to G-d as well as be able to be imbued with G-d’s spirit and direction to us in life. With the Straps of the Tefillin as well as the boxes and knots, we spell out the letters of G-d’s name on our head and on our arm. Thus, we are not only wrapped in this “spiritual antenna,” but we literally wear G-d’s words on the parchment in the Tefillin boxes and with His holy name stamped on our centers of thought and feeling.

In short, Tefillin is opportunity for us to network over Wi-Fi with the Master of the Universe. It takes us out of the daily grind of looking at the world in selfish, shortsightedness of what’s in it for me today, and how can I get more gold and goodies than the next guy or girl. Inside all of us, we have a soul from G-d, and through our spiritual Wi-Fi connection, we can energize that part of ourselves with a good, strong signal straight to the Big Guy upstairs.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumethal)