Andy Blumenthal
Leadership With Heart

A Tale of Love, Food, and AI

Credit Photo: Artem Podrez via

So what do love, food, and artificial intelligence (AI) have to do with each other? Well, in this case, I have a number of special anecdotes from this week about getting some behind-the-scenes insight from others on all three topics.

Showing Her Love Discreetly.

There is an impressive elderly Jewish man, going on 90 years old, who swims almost every day in the same pool as me. However, for the last number of weeks, he has been a no-show. Of course, I was worried about him, inquired after him, and was glad when I finally saw him again this week.

I asked if he was okay, and he mentioned he had been on some travels but also hadn’t been well. Despite being a regular swimmer for many years, I could tell he was concerned about coming back to the pool in his current state of health. I reassured him that, with his inner strength and determination, he was going to get right back to it. As I said, “It’s like riding a bike; you never forget.”

Once in the pool, I could see him struggling a little, especially catching his breath between laps. I was worried that nothing bad should happen to him, and I was sort of keeping an eye on him. But then, with the other eye, I noticed an elderly lady leaning up and behind one of the poles, looking in. At first, I thought she was waiting for someone, but with every lap, I could see her peering out for a split second from behind the pole and then ducking back behind it.

Then I realized that this lady was the other man’s wife, who was obviously worried about him going back to the pool and was watching discreetly to make sure he was okay without him seeing her. Honestly, it was so sweet to see her eyes snap a quick glance over at him and then go back to hiding again so he wouldn’t know that she was there watching out for him.

To me, it was a lesson in true love. At any age, it’s not about what you say to the other person, but what you actually do that truly says, I love you!

Watch Out for the Meat on Sale.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that about 40% of packaged foods in America are certified kosher. That is amazing considering only about 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish, and only a small minority of that population maintains kosher dietary laws.

But in that context, after synagogue today, I received some friendly advice from one of my friends on shopping for kosher meat.

First, he starts out by saying that he was up in Baltimore recently at the kosher butcher and got some awesome ribeye steaks. Then, shaking his head, he warns me about buying the steaks at another kosher market that are on sale. He says:

You know the steaks for $11.99; don’t buy them.

Innocently, I ask why not and whether he had a bad experience or something. He responds:

There is a reason that they are on sale: they are from an old cow!

I was intrigued to learn more, and I asked how he knew that. He tells me:

You know Goodyear? It’s like eating a Goodyear tire.

Uh, I’m laughing to myself as this meat-eating experience rings a bell. I think I know what he’s talking about. I guess there is a reason the other steaks are like $17.99 per pound.

Aside from the meat tips for the day, another fellow then chimes in and says:

Hey, if you go to the grocery store, go on Tuesday or Wednesday, because that’s when I heard that they have the freshest produce!

Sure enough, I checked after Shabbat online, and I did find that general advice for shopping for fresh produce.

So while kosher is the foundation for any Jewish food shopping, I felt that I got two other great food shopping tips over one Shabbat kiddush lunch today.

Let the AI Do the Trading.

Earlier in the week, I was chatting with another Jewish friend. And amidst lots of interesting conversation, he mentions that his brother has gotten into day-trading stocks.

Always eager to learn how folks actually make money on the roller coaster market, I asked him what his brother’s secret was to successfully managing his portfolio with artificial intelligence. To this, he responds:

Oh, he used to research the stocks, but now with artificial intelligence, he just lets the AI bot do the trading for him.

Being very interested in AI myself and the myriad of applications for both industry and government, I was still surprised that anyone would let AI, in its infancy, actually manage their investment money on autopilot.

The funny thing was that my wife had told me to do the same thing, but this was the first I’d heard about an actual investor who was doing it successfully. Who knows? Maybe this is the next big investment wave of the future.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is a dynamic, award-winning leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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