From Judaism with love

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “From Judaism with Love.”

Civilizations’ notion of a perfect world comes not from classical Greek and Roman society — where art, architecture, beauty, government, philosophy, and empirical science emanated — but rather directly through Judaism (i.e., from Hashem).

One one hand, you have Greece and Rome with polytheism and paganism, where gods are in the image of man, beauty is holy, and morality is subjective and malleable. On the other hand, we have Judaism’s clear declaration of monotheism (with one omnipotent, benevolent, eternal, and invisible G-d), where man was created in the image of G-d, the holy is beautiful, and morality is objective and unchangeable. At the end of the day, there is no contest: G-d’s Torah, as transmitted through the Jewish people, is the absolute and enduring “light unto the nations” towards the perfect world.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Testing Our Faith

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Testing Our Faith.”

In short, I think it’s healthy for us as human beings to ask questions, even the most difficult questions of why. We need to make sense of our world and the context in which we live. Questions like: Why do good people at times experience horrible loss and suffering? Why do atheists and sinners often seem to excel and succeed (my wife says, perhaps they sold their soul to the devil!)?

While asking why to search for G-d and try to understand His ways is human, at the same time, we as mere mortal human beings can not ever fully know G-d’s ways or His plan for us. In short, Mendel, the Chabad rabbi, said today, don’t get fixated on the why. Instead focus on what you can do to make the world better. Actions speak louder than words.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Tragic Comedy of the “Anti-Zionist Synagogue”

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Tragic Comedy of the ‘Anti-Zionist Synagogue‘.”Recently in the Forward, I read about this “synagogue,” Tzedek Chicago, that has the tragic distinction of being the first anti-Zionist synagogue in America. They claim that they are all about justice, as their name “Tzedek” supposedly implies, and as their website values states:

“…the creation of an ethnic Jewish nation state in historic Palestine resulted in an injustice against the Palestinian people, an injustice that continues to this day.”

However, the facts do not match the rhetoric. Anti-Zionism, regardless of the source is ultimately about Jew hatred.(Screenshot from @margoexplainsitall on Instagram reel at https://www.instagram.com/reel/CcBMN1bFfpU/)

Stand Up!

Wow, I thought this speaks volumes. 

All the greedy and corrupt power players at the table with their fancy suits, money, gold, and properties around the globe.  

And their game is sustained up on the bent backs of the simple people with nothing (not even clothing). 

But a Seeing Eye (and a Hearing Ear) in Heaven is watching the evil perpetrated. 

Eventually, faith tells us that the game will be over and the simple hard-working people will be fully restored and the corrupt will suffer their just desserts.  😉

(Source Photo: Facebook)

Drain The Swamp

We were promised they would “drain the swamp.”

What happened with that?

It often still seems pretty dirty, dark, dank and swampy!

We need real democracy, freedom, human rights, and justice for all people.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Hypocrisy Leads To Abuse

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “When Hypocrisy Leads to Abuse.”

As many of you, I have been following the news about sexual abuse allegations against Rabbi Chaim Walder and have been horrified and disgusted that this renowned ultra-orthodox Children’s book author and therapist is now accused of abusing the same. Like community Rabbis (e.g. Rabbi Barry Freundel) or Jewish educators (e.g. Stanley Rosenfeld), this phenomenon of using a privileged position to take advantage of women and children is certainly, by this time, not new and remains a stain on the Jewish community, no different than that of the Catholic Church or the Boy Scouts for the abuse by its priest and leaders on those that trusted them and the religious values and ideals they represent.

Truly, these horrible acts of hurting, abusing, and scarring for life women and children (including boys) are regrettably alal around us, whether with domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. But fortunately now they are at least “out of the closet” where rather than have the community deny the possibility that such evil exists or even circle the wagons to wholly protect the perpetrators (before fully investigating the facts), we now have greater recognition and are working towards accountability of these wrongs, and hopefully, far greater protection for people in the future.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Justice for Sarah Halimi

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Justice for Sarah Halimi.”

The case of the Sarah Halimi is yet another example of the anti-Semitism taking deep root in France, where rather than ensuring Justice for her barbaric murder, a second French court has now absurdly affirmed a lower-court ruling that the alleged perpetrator Traore cannot be held criminally responsible simply because he was on marijuana! Incredibly, these French justices ruled in this completely nonsensical way even as cannabis is being ruled legal for medicinal and even recreational purposes in more and more countries around the world.

It is inconceivable that a modern, western nation as France (part of the EU, NATO, the UN, etc.) would allow violent, racist, hate-mongers, and murders completely off the hook simply because they were high on some cannabis or for any other lame excuse like that. This is not rational. It is not human or civilized. And it is certainly not justice. Jewish blood is not cheap and Kolibi Traore cannot be allowed to go free. France needs to make this right because Sarah Halimi, a citizen of France, was butchered there because she was a Jew, and letting radical Islamists commit violence and terror like this is a danger not just to the French, but to everybody.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Reason For Everything

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “A Reason For Everything.”

Reincarnation actually makes so much sense, especially when you see that G-d can and does bring people back to the world when they still have life lessons to learn and growth to be achieved. It’s part of our preparation and our soul’s purification process to go back to Hashem.

Obviously, we are not G-d, and don’t have the time and event perspective of Hashem who was, is, and will be. However, if we understand that G-d has a plan, everything is connected, and there is a reason for everything, then we can go through life inspired to do the right thing ourselves even when we are challenged by our circumstances.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)