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/)

Chutzpah Dating

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Chutzpah Dating.”It used to be that young men and women went on dates and generally treated each other respectfully and civilly as they explored whether there was a spark between them and potentially a match to be made. But somewhere along the lines, too many Prince Charmings have turned into real ugly toads.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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/)

Concrete Faith in a Flimsy Sukkah

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Concrete Faith in a Flimsy Sukkah.”

Jews place their faith in G-d rather than massive building structures, the strongest foundations, and incalculable amounts of concrete and rebar. Instead, we sit in the flimsy and temporary sukkah to remember that G-d is our ultimate stronghold.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can Love Be Blind?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Can Love Be Blind?”As long as in this material world, the body hides the soul of the person, then love can never be fully blind because people cannot see the true brightness of the soul inside or realize the primacy of people’s spiritual inner selves without getting distracted by the physical aspects of the person, including attraction (which as we all know fades over time) and, of course, class, race, and ethnicity. Yes, physical/chemical attraction is an important part of intimate relationships, but at the end of the day, it’s what’s inside that counts, not only in this world, but for our eternal being and purpose.

(Source Photo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-a-lantern-7789180/)

Surviving Marriage Meshugas

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Surviving Marriage Meshugas.”

At the end of the day, like all things, marriage is partially what you make of it and how hard you work at it. Remember, bringing two people together, even two halves of the same whole, can be challenging and requires understanding and compromise.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)