VW Love Van

These VW Vans were the best!  

The Hippie generation knew just how to make them gorgeous. 

Peace, Love, Rock and Roll! 

And the rainbow streaks and flowers for added good cheer. 

If VW would make these already with the paint job with all this expression, I bet they would sell like hotcakes!  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Unstoppable Fear Meets Immovable Humiliation

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Unstoppable Fear Meets Immovable Humiliation.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really about fear vs. humiliation. The Jews are fearful of the Palestinians and the Palestinians feel humiliated by the Jews. The Jewish people collectively suffer post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders after millennia of persecution culminating in the Holocaust and multiple Wars in Israel against far greater Arab forces. Further, this has been perpetuated by decades of terrorism and Intifadas that have left the Jews feeling vulnerable in their own land of Israel. The net effect of this Jewish history and of being surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs, many resentful and angry, is that Jews are naturally afraid. At the same time, the Palestinians, as part of the greater Arabs, feel humiliated after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the carving up of their lands by the West and the colonialism and occupation that followed by Britain and France. More recently, the Palestinians feel humiliated by the founding of the State of Israel amidst the multitude of Arab lands of the Middle of East, as well as by the barrier wall and regular checkpoints that protects Israel from terrorist intruders, by the West Bank settlements (and actually by Jews anywhere in Israel), and by general Israeli military control over the territories.

There is hope that in time and with G-d’s help, the opposing forces of fear and humiliation will weaken and thereby become less oppositional. At that miraculous time, please G-d in the near future, the factors that prior resulted in a cosmic explosion of war, terror, Jihad, and Intifada will dissipate. Then instead of suicide bombers and terror tunnels and walls and checkpoints, we can have hope for the arrival of a beautiful white dove with an olive branch of peace that knows no bitter boundaries of Jew or Palestinian anymore.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

More Daring than a Prison Break

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “More Daring Than A Prison Break.”

Unlike the Jews that came as refugees from the horrors of the concentration camps and expelled from a multitude of the Arab nations, the Palestinians have been supported all this time by the Arab League, the United Nations, and the West capitulating to Arab oil dependence and ongoing fight against an encroaching Russia in the Middle East. There is no question that the Palestinians have squandered billions of dollars in aid, spent decades engrossed in terror, maintained unrealistic goals to “have it all,” and passed over many chances for achieving their people’s autonomy. If only their efforts at building tunnels to escape from prison as well as to get into Israel and attack, murder, and kidnap innocents would be channeled instead toward building solid institutions to advance the governing of their people, educating and growing prosperity, and living in freedom and peace, side-by-side with their neighbor, Israel.

While I am sure that there are many good Palestinians who are deserving of autonomy and opportunity, unfortunately, their corrupt leaders and terrorists have been brainwashed by radical Islam and have used the Palestinian people as political pawns leaving many still languishing in refugee camps today. In stark contrast, the Jewish freedom fighters, who also endured incredible hardships, focused their efforts towards their independence, and even those taken prisoner managed to escape again and again until they made their way back to Israel to celebrate the achievement of the independence of their people. Like many things in life, setting the right goal is half the battle, and a goal of life and freedom is a much more compelling vision and driving force than ever hate and terror will be.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Paradoxically Jewish

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Paradoxically Jewish.”

While Israel and the Jews are filled with paradoxes from our forefather Abraham to the modern State of Israel, we are a people who try to wear these paradoxes well. We relish our commonalties even as we are proud of our differences and uniqueness. We argue and fight with each to try to get to “the truth of the matter,” and we negotiate, compromise, threaten and cajole to that sometimes elusive end. Paradox is just another word for our survival against all odds and our determination to overcome the blind hate, anti-Semitism, and scapegoating of Jews throughout history. We Jews are individually broken, but together, we are a beautiful, paradoxical mosaic—a little meshuggah (crazy) and with an unfortunate dose of PTSD, but fundamentally good in intent and deed—working to fulfill our optimism, hope, and mission to usher in the universality of G-d in the world and of betterment for humankind.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Shabbat Shalom Flower Painting

Wow, what a week! 

So glad for Shabbat tonight. 

Rest, relax, refresh, rejuvenate – soul, mind, and body. 

It’s what we work all week long for!  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sign Of The Times

Everything is starting to close back up and require masks again due to the spreading Covid “Delta Variant.”

So much for having the masks off for a couple of weeks, which was at least a taste of fresh air and freedom. 

But backwards we go…

A sign of the times in Covid is to park your bicycle in front of the couch, so no one can actually sit down on it and spreads any germs. 

Any bets on what happens from here with all the variants and how this is gonna impact our daily lives for time to come? 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Peace In The Home, Always

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Peace In The Home, Always.”

If the husband and wife—with Hashem’s help as the third partner—create a peaceful, loving, caring, and harmonious home then they can have the likes of Shabbat all week long.

I realized why we say the blessing for the food before we eat and bless G-d for the land after we eat: before we eat, we don’t know how it will taste or whether it will sit well with us in our stomachs, but we imagine when we are hungry that all the good-looking food and drink will be great and so we bless G-d based on the perception of the coming food. However, after we eat, we make the blessing for the source of the food (the land, the food chain, and over wives for preparing it) for the sake of Shalom Bayit, because whether the meal was so good or not so good, we say thanks to Hashem and to our wives, because that contributes to Shabbat and peace in the home, always!

(Source Photo: Pixabay)

If G-d Wouldn’t Let Moshe In, Who Am I?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “If G-d Wouldn’t Let Moshe In, Who Am I?”

Sure, we may not fully understand G-d’s decision on not letting Moshe into the land of Israel (or decisions that affect our lives today), still we can affirm our faith that G-d is a just and merciful Judge.

In the end, none of us are the level of Moshe Rabbeinu, and if G-d didn’t let him in, well who are we? This is a frightening thought to me. Yet at the same time, I believe that if we as the Jewish people collectively put our heartfelt yearnings and prayers together to be able to go and settle the land of Israel then perhaps G-d will answer us in the affirmative!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Coexistence Means Everyone

I really liked this car’s bumper sticker:

Coexist

C – C in shape of Crescent Moon and Star represents Islam

O – O with Peace sign and designed for nuclear disarmament

E – E with Male and Female symbols represents Sexual Equality

X – X designated by Star of David represents Judaism

I – I with Five Pointed Star at top represents Pagans and Wicans

S – S with Ying and Yang represents Taoists

T – T in shape of Cross represents Christianity.

Now how do we get people to actually live this way: respecting each other and living harmoniously together?  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)