How Do You Begin a Blog?

With a question, if you’re Jewish. The Talmud begins with a question (“From what time do we recite Sh’ma in the evening?”). Good enough for Talmud, good enough for me.

Talmud also begins on page 2. There is never a page 1. One explanation of this anomaly reminds us that, however much of a novice we feel like, we are never complete beginners. Davar acher: No matter how much we master, we cannot learn it all.

Similarly, says midrash, the Torah begins with the letter Bet, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, because we are directed NOT to try to know everything. The letter Bet is closed on 3 sides and open on one:

letter Bet - embossed-looking

Imagine that the dot inside the Bet is you. Since Hebrew is read from right to left, you can only see in one direction: forward. This tradition teaches us: Seek not to know what’s above and what’s below (what might be called heaven and hell in some traditions), nor what came before the creation of the universe; rather, look to today and tomorrow, the here and now; focus on the welfare of the world that you live in. It’s a particularly Jewish point of view.

How do you end a posting? Far from where you began. Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheynu melech ha-olam, she-heh-cheh-yanu v’kiy-manu v’higi-anu la-z’man ha-zeh. And if you want to join in on the prayer, all you have to say is, “Amen!”