While Russia continues to try and put the squeeze on Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO have committed to making them pay an enormous price in blood and treasure. While most of the world’s attention appears to be focused on Ukraine, Iran is quietly stockpiling nuclear weapons and preparing terrorist agents to attack—you know who. But thankfully, Israel and the U.S. can “walk and chew gum at the same time,” and Iran is not going unnoticed and, I would venture to say, will not go unpunished.
My dear father, Fred Blumenthal (ZT”L), like many from his generation, used to read Reader’s Digest. I remember that there was a section called “Points to Ponder,” which I thought was a good title for things that can have a deeper and more profound meaning in our lives. So in this vein, I’d like to share a variety of thoughts that may give you pause to ponder as well.
Who is the biggest liar in America today? You’d be hard-pressed not to answer US House Representative George Santos (R-NY). Although some would say, “What a perfect politician he makes!”
In the end, George Santos is perhaps an excellent “representative” for Congress in that he fits right into the political, news, and business culture that we live in, where lies are the norm and the truth is something to search for like a needle in a haystack. If you can find any, I’d like to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Pop Culture Just Doesn’t ‘Get’ Us.”Of course, when Jews are hypocrites, act holier than thou, or do bad things, they give the rest of us a bad name, and this can breed not only confusion about Jews but also, in the extreme, hate and anti-Semitism. One Chabad Rabbi said today that the Rebbe hardly ever used the word anti-Semitism or spoke of it; instead, he focused on the idea that Jews should do good and perform acts of G-dliness and righteousness in the world.
I believe we can all agree that Jews behave differently; sometimes they do good, sometimes they don’t, but regardless, we’re a little bit of a mystery to many non-Jews, which is sometimes shrouded in a large dose of fiction and conspiracy. For many, I put it this way: they still can’t understand why the fiddler was ever playing on the roof to begin with.
The terrorist Iranian regime is a mutual threat to both Israel and the United States. They should not be afraid to defend humanity from Iran’s irrational hatred and hostility.
When I watched the video of the IDF in this blog, I felt great pride in the courage and incredible progress that Israel, the Jewish State, has continued to make in building up its security capabilities. Israel’s miraculous success is based on faith, along with creativity, determination, and audacity.
Let’s face it, even for those in society who are proponents of pornography, not everyone would admit it if they had an addiction like that. A porn addiction invokes all sorts of social fears and anxieties about “perverts, rapists, and sexual offenders.” In fact, in a Youtube video, The Blessing of Porn Addiction, featuring Beny Schonfeld, as he walks into a recovery meeting, he describes fearing the other people he will meet there and asks, “Is that who I am?”
People in our communities are going through all sorts of problems and addictions. Beny’s message is not to suffer in silence: “If you feel ashamed about what you’re doing, speak up and ask for help.”
Simplistically, you can say that the Right is right! After almost 2,000 years of Jewish diaspora, pogroms, persecution, and the Holocaust, Jews can no longer, in good conscience, tolerate any existential threats. While Jews initially accepted the UN partition for a two-state solution, Arabs vehemently rejected it and went to war against the then-fledgling State of Israel. Moreover, despite the Arab loss, they continued to mount martial campaigns, intifadas, terrorism, and war against Israel, only to be repeatedly defeated. Each and every chance that Israel gave the Palestinians for mediation, negotiation, compromise, and peace was rejected and met with more cries of Jihad!
In short, the Left is right when it comes to caring about others and the ultimate goal that we all seek, which is genuine and lasting peace and the ability to live side by side as brothers and sisters in peace and prosperity. However, the Left got it all wrong when it comes to the reality on the ground in terms of the radical Islamic groups who want no peace, no negotiation, and no recognition of Israel, period. This is where the hope of the Left met the reality of the Right, and the Left lost all credibility, at least for the time being. Perhaps, just perhaps, reality will change and radical hearts will soften and give peace a fighting chance, allowing the Left to be right as well.
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.
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Facing Hardship, Finding Humility.” Like Celine Dion, no matter how much fame, fortune, or power any of us amass in our lifetimes, none of these things make an iota of difference in the time of G-d’s eternal judgment of us. The only thing that matters and carries on are our good deeds!
When we are young and vibrant and the world seems so small in a way, we can tend to think we are invincible, but as we get older and more mature, we learn that everything we do in life that strays from the Almighty’s path for us has a price to be paid and a humbling before our Maker.