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)

A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East.”

The question then is why? What is so intractable about the Israel-Palestinian conflict that no one seems to be able to solve it and that it has become virtually the Holy Grail of world issues on which if only we could solve it then everything else would-be nirvana. The conflict has been blamed for everything from the endless Palestinian refugee situation to Soviet aggression and expansion during the Cold War, the oil embargo of 1973, the rise and proliferation of Islamic terrorism, and countless other of the world’s ills. Anyone who even contributes to Middle East Peace like Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat win the Noble Peace Prize, and that’s without there being a full and final solution!

I am certain that Israel’s willingness to negotiate and even to make painful compromises for peace has been far more prevalent, far-reaching, and consistent over time—whether in Oslo, Camp David, or Taba. In the meantime, Israel and the Palestinians continue to “take the risks” and remain in a perpetual state of sometimes active and more often passive war that is fought by Israel through military control and incremental settlement expansion and by the Palestinians through terrorism and their pursuit of the demographic population time bomb. When it comes to achieving peace, perhaps the wisdom of the ages applies here: “the short road is long”—there are no shortcuts to serious negotiation and compromise—and “the long road is short”—eventually, a solution for peace will be found even if for now it tragically and painfully evades us all.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Passivity To Power

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “From Passivity To Power.”

Over the course of our history, the Jewish people have grown from a passive and helpless people during 2,000 years of exile to become, once again, an assertive and strong nation in the Land of Israel as we once were in the days of Joshua, King David and the Maccabees.

In the end, we need to be as faithful as “Jacob” and as strong as “Israel.” As we learn in the Torah and from the rest of Jewish history: inside every Jacob, who just wants to serve G-d in peace as the “People of the Book,” there is also a determined, strong, and brave Israelite fighter and innovator who can stand up for his people and his faith.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond.”

While David Ben-Gurion was the politically savvy founding father of the modern-day State of Israel, Menachem Begin was the military genius who brought the Jewish people from British subjugation to being a free people in our own land.

In the end, the Jewish people’s fight for freedom from oppression and for an independent homeland, even the willingness to accept a partitioned land along with the desire for peace, required both the political fight that Ben-Gurion brought to the world’s governments as well as the military struggle that Begin was expert at against both the British overlords who refused autonomy under the mandate and to the Arabs who refused partition. Further, this underscores the stark contrast between the Jewish struggle and that of the Palestinians who have incessantly rejected negotiation and any opportunities for autonomy and peace, including at Oslo, Camp David, and Taba, as well as after Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that was followed by Hamas’s terror tunnels, kidnappings, incendiary balloons attacks, and rocket barrages on Israel civilian population centers.

(Credit Photo: Israel Government)

When Compromise Means Death

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “When Compromise Means Death.”

The nations of the world look on with horror at the “plight of the Palestinians,” but they turn a blind eye to the chants of “death to Israel” and as the Palestinians turn billions of dollars of aid into relentless homicide bombs and send thousands of missiles into Israel civilian population centers. The compromise that Israel has shown would end the Palestinian “victim status” and thus endanger their endless money and support that flows freely from the UNRWA to prop up the corrupt Palestinian leadership. The reason that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want an agreement is that they want the Jews dead “from the river to the sea!”

Israel has shown that is willing to make difficult and painful decisions and support Palestinian autonomy for the sake of peace, but will the Palestinians ever compromise at all? As Golda Meir said:

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

Please G-d, the day will arrive soon, when reason will overcome hate, and peace will prevail over prejudice, and Jews and Palestinians can live side-by-side, as neighbors and as friends.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Washington Monument Tall and Proud

Thought this was a pretty picture of the Washington Monument. 

Marble Obelisk that stands tall and proud against the clear blue sky in the nation’s capital

Inspiring and hopeful for the future, if people don’t blow the opportunities for collaboration and progress.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)