A Prayer for Beginning an Endeavor

וְעָל כֵּן אֲנִי מִתְחַנֵּן לְשֵׁם שֶׁהוּא בָּֽעַל הַיְּכוֹלֶת הַגָּמוּר וְהָאֱמֶת הַגָּמוּר שְׁיִתֵּן לִי עֹז וְתַעֲצוּמוֹת לְהַשְׁלִים כַּוָּנָתִי וְיַנָחֵנִי בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶמֶת וִילָמְדֵנִי ארָחוֹת יוֹשֵׁר, כִּי בוֹ בַטָחְתִי וְאֵלָיו קִוִּיתִי, כְּמָאֲמַר הַמְּשׁוֹרֵר, “הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַֽאֲמִתֶּךָ ׀ וְלַמְּדֵנִי כִּי־אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם: וְזֶה הֶחֱלִי בְּעֶזְרַת שָׁדַּי:

Therefore I pray to God who has absolute power and truth that He may grant me courage and strength to accomplish my purpose, that He may lead me in the way of truth, and teach me the paths of uprightness, for in Him I trust and for Him I wait, as the Psalmist says (Psalms 25:5): “Guide me in Your truth, and teach me; for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all day.” Now I begin with the help of the Almighty.

This t’filah is an excerpt from Ikkarim: Book of Principles, a four-volume beautiful theological statement and explication of Torah by Joseph Albo, completed in 1454. Albo closes the preamble to his work with this prayer.

What a beautiful sentiment with which to begin a journey.


What a great take on twenty-somethings. And SO TRUE. Oy.

Doctor Quack

When I turned twenty, I was under the impression that life was going to be a party for the next ten years. I was sorely mistaken. You see… I was warned about a couple things: my metabolism will decrease, I’ll get fatter, academic work will get harder, I’ll have to pay taxes; but there are a lot of things no one warned me about.

So I have written this list, projecting my personal experiences onto my fellow twenty-something friends and colleagues who are themselves possibly struggling with the same things I struggle with in this deeply confusing decade we call our twenties.

1. Twenties are the new teens.

People in their thirties often tell me that the thirties are the new twenties, so what does that make us? Well, unfortunately, as if we didn’t already suffer enough in the confusing and disorienting teenage years, we have to do it all…

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Blindness and Darkness

“Dottor Marcuccio, who was also blind as a result of an accident, […] had explained to her that darkness was a visual sensation and therefore a prerogative of those who have the gift of sight. ‘The blind […] cannot see the darkness, just as the deaf cannot hear silence, which is an auditory sensation, the antithesis of sound; that’s all there is to it.’”

Andrea Bocelli, The Music of Silence, trans. Consuelo Bixio Hackney (Milwaukee, WI: Amadeus Press, 2011), p.61.

The Art of Singing

“Chénier, the poet, treats the theme of love understood in its broadest sense. [Franco] Corelli, in that recording, seemed instead to be treating the theme of his love for his own art, the art of singing — that art which is capable of captivating, beguiling, and touching even those spirits most hardened by the trials of life.”

Andrea Bocelli, The Music of Silence, trans. Consuelo Bixio Hackney (Milwaukee, WI: Amadeus Press, 2011), p.12-13

Going Back to Blogging Roots

My first blog was titled “And Who Are These?”, and it was my first crack at blogging. Back to basics, as they say.

I have two other blogs that I’ve been writing for the past few years: Shul 101, which is an exploration of various topics within Judaism, and ZCBoston2Berlin, an account of Zamir’s tour to Germany in December, 2011. (That blog is currently closed to editing, perhaps, until the next time I go to Germany). In any case, I’ve been finding myself with potentially interesting topics to share, but nowhere to put them. Hence, back to my original blog. Well, “And Who Are These, 2.0” perhaps.

In the top right-hand corner of this page, you’ll find a subscribe button. Please feel free to subscribe to this blog, and you’ll get my latest and greatest posts by email! I plan to be posting quotes I find interesting, instances of intrigue, and other random musings: Judaism-related, music-related, school-related, totally random stuff. Whatever I feel like sharing. I will try to use discretion. (Wink)

I look forward to sharing with you. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments… and feel free to comment on any posts you read!