My Bucket List

img_04391We all have a mental inventory of dreams and experiences that we’d like to see accomplished before we “kick the bucket,” thus it has become known as a bucket list. For some, it consists of foreign exotic islands to be visited and daredevil antics like skydiving and race cars. For others, it means more practical choices like buying a summer home or getting married.
I believe that we should all have them written down and should refer to them periodically, as they keep our thirst for life alive. These hopes, dreams, and challenges can keep us content about our present, while keeping us excited about our future. And the feeling of accomplishment is unmatched when we are able to cross some of the items off our list.

Israel Is My Diamond – It Captures My Soul

HPLike a diamond, the State of Israel has many facets. It’s a Jewish nation with many different types of people. A motivated country is similar to a motivated person—its spirit can overcome the most difficult of tasks. We have seen Israel make a Garden of Eden out of a desert. We have witnessed a diverse society overcome many difficulties.

Traffic of the Mind

Untitled-1Driving on a rainy morning to the city, cars honking, and traffic that hasn’t moved in 20 minutes, can cause a buildup of frustration. Most of the time traffic can’t be avoided; one’s goal is not to let the traffic ruin his day.

Man has the ability to reprogram his mind and control his emotions. The mind is one of the greatest gifts granted to man by Hashem. It records all the events of our lives from before birth until death.

Spiritually, a clear mind is a mind that’s focused and free of traffic. Communicating with Hashem through prayer nourishes the spirit and clears traffic of the mind. The mind is able to change in a second, from traffic to clarity. It all begins with an expression of gratitude towards Almighty G-d for His precious gift.

Pennsylvania and Maine – Great Summer Destinations

Historic Philadelphia

Historic Philadelphia

Whether you enjoy taking in historical attractions, visiting a museum or simply observing the charm of the city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has it all! I recently spent a weekend in the City of Brotherly Love, which truly lives up to its nickname.

The Essence of Japan

DSC05031We were riding in a limousine that was driving on the wrong side of the road, not in London but Osaka, Japan where we started our Japanese experience with a driver who didn’t speak English. On the way to the St. Regis Hotel, we passed refineries and electrical production plants that produced electricity and smog, making the sky a cloudy white.
Because night was day for us, we spent a restful morning at Osaka’s Rose Garden trying to stay awake. There were hundreds of different kinds of roses. Each group had a name and the year it was produced. The beautiful Yellow Peace Rose was named when the war ended in 1945.

Hesed In Israel – One Good Deed Deserves Another

IMG_4840As an old story goes, a man finds a slew of starfish dying along the shore and begins throwing them back to sea, one by one. Another man approaches, asking what he’s doing. “Its not going to make a difference; you can’t save them all,” he admonishes. And the first man lifts up one starfish and throws him back into the ocean. He shrugs his shoulders, “I made a difference to that one, didn’t I?”

Parashat Hashavuah

1638370_origParashat Balak
In Parashat Balak, we read about the evil prophet Bilaam, who was employed to curse the Jews. Bilaam was an expert in finding the weak link in his victim’s spiritual armor and viciously exploiting it. On his way to curse the Jews, Bilam climbed a mountain and gazed down at their camp below him. Overwhelmed by the spectacle of respectability arrayed before him, he could not curse them, in fact, all he could do was praise their virtues.

Pirkei Avot – Ethics of Our Fathers

1Rabbi Yossi said, “Whoever honors the Torah will himself be honored before others. But whoever disgraces the Torah will himself be dsgraced before others.
(Chapter 4, Mishna 8)

This Mishna discusses the importance of honoring the Torah and its bearers, promising us that the honor will reflect on ourselves as well. The commentators understand honoring the Torah as referring to showing small signs of respect for sacred books and Torah scholars.

The Sephardic Nursing Home Celebrates Rabbi Amar and Moroccan Jewry

amarHonored guests from Israel, Morocco, the US and Canada recently gathered at the Sephardic Nursing Home to pay tribute to Rabbi Avram Amar, for his 25 years as the nursing home’s spiritual leader.
Rabbi Amar was born in Casablanca, where he attended yeshivah. After serving in the Israeli army, he was ordained as rabbi with smicha at Yeshivah Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem, as well as certified as cantor at Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem.

Brooklyn News – March for Stricter Gun Control

emtsActivists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge recently, demanding reforms to the country’s gun policies. The demonstration was organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety. In a press release, Moms Demand Action said they want common-sense reform that includes closing loopholes that allow some gun buyers to skirt background checks.
This wasn’t a little event, approximately 1,000 activists showed up in downtown Brooklyn to march across the bridge to City Hall to advocate for tougher gun control laws.
The two groups at the center of the protest are partially funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has become a prominent supporter of more stringent gun control.

The Israel Disabled Organization – Bringing Awareness to the Public

thumbEstablished in 1999, by a group of friends affected by different disabilities, the Israel Disabled Organization has been advocating for the handicapped ever since.

Ben-Gurion Village – From Huts to Research Facilities

hpWhen the State of Israel was just four years old, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was traveling with his driver-bodyguard through the Negev Desert and noticed a few tents pitched alongside the road to Mitzpeh Ramon. He asked his driver to stop and investigate.