Fridays with Manny

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LESSONS FROM THE EXODUS
IN TODAY’S WORLD 

On April 22nd and 23rd, Jews around the world are going to celebrate Passover. The events which took place sometime in the thirteenth century BCE (there are many theories among modern scholars about what happened and when). In the Torah the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt with their leader Moses was described in great detail. It is also stated that the great multitude of other people left along with millions of animals. Now try to imagine how the entire population of Los Angeles of about 3.822 million (in 2022) managed to leave Egypt and cross the Red Sea on foot and arrive at the desert and stay there for the next forty years.

So, the question is, why will Jews celebrate the events which took place so long ago and in a foreign land, on Monday and Tuesday? Followed by the next question, why is this an important today, besides just keeping the tradition? One of the most important parts of the celebration, is called the Seder (order), which is retelling the Story of the Exodus for the ears of young children. The story is about ten tribes whose father was Jacob, also known as Israel, who lived in Egypt for at least 215 years. They were cousins and, like all cousins, they differed from one another. Only after spending forty years in the desert together, away from their Egyptian oppressors, they became a nation. United to cross the Jordan River and to capture land which was promised to their forefathers as their homeland.

Getting together at the festive table to share food and drinks is a very good reminder that there are more things which unite us than separate. And this message is not only for Jews. In challenging times, only unity can help us to accomplish a better future for our children and this will depend on which story we are telling them.

Flower bouquets are the best way to bring beauty to the festive table, as the above three images can attest.

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Fridays with Manny

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WHAT IS TIME?

On a Saturday evening a few weeks ago, my wife Elfa reminded me that we would lose one hour of sleep that night because of the daylight-saving time switch. I went to sleep as usual at 10:30 PM and got up at 8 AM (which the day before was 7 AM. The only reason I noticed the time difference was because I had to change the time on some of the clocks.

But what is time? When I asked this question on-line, my iPhone not only gave me the answer, but also showed the correct time. Most of us know that “Time is relative”, which as Albert Einstein explained is, “The rate at which time passes depends on your (or mine) frame of reference”. And if you are looking for more information, check out theoretical physicist Brian Greene explaining “Time in 5 Levels of Difficulty” in this YouTube video. I stopped wearing a wristwatch a long time ago, since I have a clock on my iPhone, which is always in my pocket. There are also many sayings which answer the question what time is, like “Time is money” and “Lost time is never found again” and there are so many more.

If you would like to have a good time, you can find many of my timeless books on Amazon. Flower blooms can be a very good way to observe the results of the time change, like in these three magnolia flowers.

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Fridays with Manny

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The Sky’s the Limit

It was Miguel de Cervantes who wrote in Don Quixote in 1605, “No limit but the sky”. There are a number of variations of this phrase. I thought about it during our recent walk in Golden Gate Park. The sky was covered with clouds that looked like a herd of sheep. But it was an illusion, which can be seen when an airplane enters into the cloud only to emerge in the open space a few moments later.

Browsing the web, I found a number of various meanings for the phrase. Which led me to remember a quote from Earl Nightingale. “People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be whether they will admit that or not.” In my early years in the mortgage business, I listened to Earl’s wisdom every week on audio tapes. (You can find his words of wisdom on YouTube podcasts). I must remind myself about the limitless sky every time when due to the high interest rates last year, we did not have enough business to pay salaries to our employees (we used our savings).

I needed to find an alternative way to help our clients. My solution was to find clients for whom reverse mortgages can help them enjoy financial comfort during their retirement. This is why I wrote my book, “Retirement Solutions for Smart People™. How to Accomplish Financial Comfort”. Since many homeowners during their retirement lack sources of income, for me “there is no limit, but the sky” means I can help them with the reverse mortgages. Now the book is also available in audio. You are invited to order it on Amazon.

These three images above are of the clouds.

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Fridays with Manny

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ARE YOU READY?

Anyone who was in the Boys/Girls Scout Organization knows there are three Scout slogans. “Do a Good Turn Daily”, “A scout is helpful” and “Help other people at all times”. And their motto is, “Be prepared”.  When I was growing up in Riga, Latvia, which at that time was part of the Soviet Union, we had a youth organization like the Scouts called the Pioneers. It had a very similar motto, “Be Ready!” with the response “Always Ready!” So, my question to you is, “Are you ready to help other people retire with financial comfort?” If you read my posts last few weeks, you know that the title of my new book is “Retirement Solutions for Smart People™. How to Find financial Comfort”.

In this book you will discover there are several ways to accomplish this goal. However, since everything starts from you, there might be also the way to help yourself by helping retirees sell a high-priced real estate in the Bay Area and to buy a property somewhere else for much less with the assistance of a reverse mortgage. To make the text in the book more attractive, I decided to add photographs of nature. You can find three of them here.

Please order the book on Amazon. It is available in print and as well as in electronic version on Kindle. Please do not forget to write a review.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call/text me directly at (415) 225-7920 or send an email to mannykagan@comcast.net.

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Fridays with Manny

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WHAT IS TU BISHVAT?

You might not have heard about Tu BiShvat, even if you are Jewish. Nevertheless, this holiday signifies The New Year of the Trees, which appeared in the Jewish calendar on February 6th. The name of this holiday means that it occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Its history goes back two thousand years and brings to light how at that time, as it is now, there was a difference of opinion and disputes around the learned people.

The Talmud describes how at that time, rabbis were arguing about when four new years should be celebrated. What is remarkable for me is that trees were given such significance that it became one of the major holidays. When we lived in Israel, Tu BiShvat was celebrated by planting trees. It is known as the Israeli Arbor Day and is used as an example for the environmental awareness programs.

In North America starting in 1980, Tu BiShvat became known as Jewish “Earth Day”. I decided to write about it because of my love for trees, which I photograph all the time. These three images are blooming trees as a reminder that the spring is near.

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Fridays with Many

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HOW TO EXPRESS LOVE

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I made a presentation over Zoom recently, to a group of business people, whom I knew very well (or so I thought). At the end, after I had told them about how I could assist their clients to find mortgage solutions, I expressed the feeling in my heart by telling them, “I love all of you”. After the meeting was over, I received a phone call from the leader of this group, telling me that I’m not supposed to talk about love in a business setting. He had a good point. It is not customary to express our emotions in public; nevertheless, we all carry love in our hearts, and I believe we should learn how to share our feelings.

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Many years ago I used to listen to audiotapes by Dr. Love, Leo Buscaglia, who was a professor at the University of Southern California, where he taught a course about love. I have learned that he was the first to state and promote the concept of humanity’s need to hug: “five to survive, eight to maintain, and twelve to thrive“. I decided to share this concept with you because very soon, on February 14th, you will have a great opportunity to express your love.

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I recently received an order from a friend who wanted to buy some of my Healing Images. In the meantime, he reached out to his office team with a message, complete with the link to TheHealingImages.com. That’s what he wrote:

Date: 02/01/2023
Subject: Awesome photography/artwork! Will bring up in meeting!  Valentine’s? Mother’s Day? Birthday? I love you? I got some for my mom and wife! Check this out…super cool! https://www.thehealingimages.com

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Above, you can see three out of five images that the friend of mine bought for his family – as gifts for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. There are much more for you to choose from.

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Fridays with Manny

  

Footsteps On The Sand

If you are interested in the history of San Francisco, Gary Kamiya, the author of the bestselling book “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco” is your guide. 

Twice a month, in the San Francisco Chronicle, you can read his column “Portals of the Past”. On June 26th in the story, “How an intercultural couple in early San Francisco gained acceptance”, he writes about the events which happened on October 29, 1850. On that day, 16-year-old Ann Frances Moses, a daughter of a Mormon immigrant, married 20-year old Eustaquio Valencia, a member of one of the growing town’s prominent Californio families. 

The question might come to your mind, “Why would we care about a family who lived over 170 years ago?” Well, for a very simple reason. The couple was part of what San Francisco is all about, its people. They came here from all over the world and, as we are here now, blended in like sand on the beach. While we are living, we leave footsteps on the sand, and then the ocean washes it away, leaving just sand.

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