Zionism of Strength and Humility

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Zionism of Strength and Humility.”

I sometimes get very scared when we don’t give Hashem the proper credit for our incredible accomplishments and military successes, but rather we talk about our own “self-reliance.” To a certain extent, the calls for self-reliance is understandable amidst broad-based anti-Semitism in the world, calls for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, and near constant United Nations resolutions again us. Of course, in these circumstances and with our history of suffering persecution, pogroms, and Holocaust, we may look to insulate and protect ourselves from the world’s incessant and irrational hatred of Jews.

Most importantly though, we have to recognize that G-d is in charge. As a small people in a tiny (albeit marvelous) land, surrounded by enemies, we can never forget that remaining sovereign over Israel and defeating our enemies that rise up against us time and again is nothing but completely miraculous. Our enemies are 1,000 to 1 against us, and yet G-d makes them run from before us.

(Source Photo: IDF; https://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/51131344223/in/album-72157719004030432/)

The Real Unthinkable Option

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Real Unthinkable Option.”Listen, we are forever in a battle of good and evil in this world. We have to rise to the occasion to stand by our faith in G-d and ensure that good prevails. Easier said than done, because of course, fighting to defeat wrongdoing and evil is not only a battle that takes places within our own souls, but with those that have already sold their souls to the devil for money, power, honor, and every worldly gratification. So, the battles and wars ahead are scary indeed, but we have to choose the right side, silence our own inner conflict and turmoil, and put our fears aide.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Discerning The Truth Amid Iran’s Lies

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Discerning The Truth Amid Iran’s Lies.”

While people can easily utter falsehoods, like Iran saying that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, the documents and computer drives that Israel captured in 2016 when they courageously raided Iran’s nuclear archive shows that Iran has been pursuing a dangerous nuclear weapons program for decades.

The world has tried to contain Iran for decades: From monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities through the IAEA, to sanctions and covert actions to deter and set back Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and the JCPOA deal to try to contain Iran’s march to nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, nothing has worked, and Iran is intent on getting the bomb.

Moreover, while the costs of a preemptive attack on Iran could be great, the doctrine from former Prime Minister, Menachem Begin that Israel cannot and will not allow countries that threaten Israel’s existence to get the means to carry it out is as true today as in 1981 when Israel took out Iraq’s nuclear reactor in Osirak.

The Jewish people learned from 2,000 years in exile and persecution ending in the Holocaust that killed six million Jews that we must take verbal threats of annihilation supported by facts on the ground against us most seriously. As children of the Holocaust survivors, we must be true to our words of “Never again” and act with courage and determination to confront the enemy covertly and if necessary, with overt action to stop their genocidal pursuit from ever getting off the ground.
(Credit Photo: via https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeneastudio/3657735814 by aeneastudio and adapted by Andy Blumenthal)

Jewish Unity Is Strength

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Jewish Unity Is Strength.”

It didn’t matter what race or nationality the person who had been hit by the car was, she was a human being in pain and who needed the help of others. We Jews need to remember that this is life in a nutshell. Life can change in split instance for better or G-d forbid, for worse. We need one another. No man is an island. We can’t afford to play holier than thou with anyone else. Only G-d can judge who is really “religious” and who is wanting.

It brought to my mind the irony that with the Jewish people, we are a small minority in the world, and yet we often disagree, fight, and can be intolerant and neglectful of one another despite facing anti-Semitism and other crises. This is far from the ideal of demonstrating love and acceptance, unifying ourselves together, and becoming as strong and effective as a “light unto nations” that we could and should be.

We can have our personal and communal ideals and standards, but at the same time have empathy for the journey that people are on. Therefore, we should strive to treat each other with kindness and tolerance and put aside the lofty and phony airs of personal judgement and exclusivity. Because in the end, no one knows who is laying next on the street waiting for that ambulance to come.

(Credit Painting: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Light at the End of The Ark

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Light At The End Of The Ark.”

Why was Noah commanded to build a skylight in the ark?

Noah and all the fascinating people in the Bible weren’t just characters in a novel, but they were real people and they experienced up and downs, as we all do in life. The key to remember is that there is always a window where we can see our relative good fortune and everything we have to be grateful for, where we can keep an eye on the light at the end of tunnel (as my father used to say about bad things, “this too shall pass”), and we can look up to our Father in Heaven and remember that He will bring deliverance to us. Even in the mightiest of floods that devastated the world, G-d was still there for us, and He was, is, and always will be!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You Got To Make It!

I liked this sticky note over this nice ladies desk:

You do not find the happy life.

You make it!

Too many people seem to wait for miracles, like manna from Heaven to give them what they need or want. 

They don’t realize that G-d has gifts us what we need (including strength and determination) to work towards these things ourselves. 

We are not the Israelites stuck in the barren desert for 40 years that we need it to rain manna. 

Of course, it’s nice every once in a while when a miracle shows up and we are given an extra hand (or maybe even a full arm). 

But day-to-day, we have to at least try to be self-reliant–as well as work with others–to work towards our goals and fulfill our missions in life. 

You got to make it happen if you want it bad enough.  😉

(Source 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)

From Point A To Point A+

I loved this lesson in endurance from Naji Ali in the Wall Street Journal today. 

Take it stroke by stroke.

Don’t worry about getting all the way from point A to Z. 

Instead just focus on getting from point A to point A+.

Just take the first stroke and then another and another. 

Like one foot in front of the other. 

See how far you’ve come!

You’re on the way to point Z but you don’t have to drink the ocean in one gulp to get there. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Climbing Up, Falling Down

Thought this was insightful.


All paths up are different.


All paths down are the same. 

Climbing up is challenges and we all have to find our determination, strength, and skill to make it up rung after rung on the ladder of life.


Falling down is when the sh*t hits the fan and the walls come crumbling down and we freefall into the abyss.


The key as we usually learn early in life when we take our first falls is to quickly get back up (on the horse). 


Life is never just smooth sailing.


It’s not meant to be. 


You wouldn’t learn or grow if it was. 


Be prepared for the occasional fall from grace, and get your tushy back in the saddle and ride again.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)