The Irreligious Religious

 

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Irreligious Religious.”

If some “religious” people do the wrong thing, disrespect their fellow Jews, hate on them, curse them, defile their prayers, that doesn’t mean they are really religious. Rather to the contrary — they are the irreligious religious!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Synagogue Politics

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Synagogue Politics.”

Clearly, the mobile sanctuary and later the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and now our synagogues are “Houses of G-d,” where we go to pray, learn Torah, and worship Him, and where He resides among us.  Sure, G-d is everywhere, but the synagogue/Temple is a unique, special, and spiritual place where we as community dedicate ourselves to G-d and worship Him. It should go without saying that the synagogue is not a place for petty politics, protests, or other antics.

As Jews, we are supposed to make a “Kiddush Hashem” (sanctification of G-d’s name) and not Chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d), and so my hope and prayer is that people in this synagogue and in every synagogue, can “let go” and instead “let G-d.”

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal, Image for Illustration Only)

We Are All Disabled

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “We Are All Disabled.”

And what happens to us after creation? Life happens, and people suffer from the happenstance and the often harsh “nurture” of this world. Whether from disease, accidents, or hurt inflicted on us from others — intentional or not — we all have “disabilities” and as difficult as it is to live with it, there is no shame in it!

Disabilities are an opportunity, however painful and humiliating for us to learn and grow and for others to be able to demonstrate love, compassion, and kindness to us…There is no running or hiding from disability, it is part of our mortal world. But from the scars and suffering of life, we must create healing. From disability, it is our job to turn it into ability, capability, and mobility!

(Source 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)

Go Ahead and Waste My Time

Thought this was a funny magnet:

Feel Free to Waste My Valuable Time

When you go to help desk, customer service representative, your boss, a friend or even family member, and they give you that sigh or that look that you are immensely bothersome. 

If only people had more compassion and respect for others and more of a true customer service and servant-leader mentality. 

Otherwise all you get is that ol’ grumpy face and contemptuous attitude and you just want to crawl under a big heavy rock and never come out.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Sign To Tell Us This

Wow, these days we need a sign to tell us this:

I am a man.

And I would imagine there is a corollary one to announce if you’re a woman.

If people can’t tell the difference anymore is that a good or bad thing?

Maybe it’s good from an equality and respect standpoint, but also bad in terms some people being confused by it.

Reminds me of Crocodile Dundee when he had to do a hand check to figure things out.

Umm, that’s not gonna work in real life!  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Mount Meron and Hating The “Baseless”

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Mount Meron and Hating The ‘Baseless.'”

We are all reeling from the devastating deaths of 45 Jews on Lag B’Omer at Mount Meron (and many others critically injured) from a stampede during the bonfire celebration near the grave of the holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Last night, we were glued to the new as the body count kept going up. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that this is something that happens in the masses of people that gather in India or Saudi Arabia, not in the tiny State of Israel. But lo’ and behold, tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime. Life is completely tenuous!

So can we draw conclusions that in those days there was baseless hate and so too in our times. I think, while we don’t know G-d’s ways, certainly from experience and observation, we do know that there is not only baseless hate, but also plenty of “hate the baseless”.  And what I mean by that is that one type of Jew thinks they are better than another whose beliefs, faith, and observance we denigrate and deem baseless, without support and they without real merit…We are forever driven towards a “Better than thou” attitude and lifestyle. To the religious catcalls of “get out of our neighborhood slut” or the throwing of Shabbat rocks at passing cars. This all has got to stop!
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

He Ain’t Heavy

Reminds me of the song:

“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother!”

For some reason, I remember the children back in the day (I grew up at the height of the feminist movement) saying instead: “She’s my brother.”

I used to think what the heck did that mean?

20/20 hindsight, but I guess a spoof on gender roles already many moons ago. 

Now I hear identity as he, she, ze/zir.

Either way, the person ain’t heavy.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hmm, Different Is Necessary

So in my more mature years, I’ve come to terms with some important life lessons. 

One of these is that it’s okay for us to be different; in fact, it’s necessary! 

We each have our own personality, experiences, and journey in life.

What works or is right for me in my life, may not work for you or be right in yours, and vice versa. 

Celebrate the differences, because we are all here to learn and grow.

Let us each follow his/her own path as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. 

Now that makes a lot more sense then everyone do it my way!  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Children (and Fruit) of G-d

Interesting quote I heard on diversity:

It might be apples and oranges, but it’s all fruit!

The way towards mutual respect, teamwork, brotherhood, and peace:

– Recognize that our similarities are much greater than our differences. 

And ultimately, we are all children (and fruit) of G-d. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)