05 April 2016

Life and Death

A few weeks ago our Sabbath dinner conversation turned to deep questions: What is life? What is death?

I didn’t have a solid answer readily at hand. As a believer, I know we should have a Biblically-based understanding of such things, so I started at the beginning of Scripture… with Adam.

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)


Consider those unique moments of Creation when Adam was made. In the time between the formation of Adam’s flesh and when G-d breathed into his nostrils, his body was 100% human and 100% flawless, undefiled, and uncorrupted… and yet not fully alive. It was only after G-d breathed the breath of life ( נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים, nishemat chayyom in Hebrew) into Adam’s body that he became a living being ( לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, l’nephesh chayah).

I think of it like a basic algebra equation: the body + the breath of life = a living being.

A+B=C… simple, right?

I saw this amazing video the other day and two things came to mind...



The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory. - Psalm 97:6

and this...

The Atlantic ran an incredible 28-photo presentation of the 2013 Powerhouse Fire in California's Angeles National Forest.  The article, entitled The Terrible Beauty of California's Powerhouse Fire, included this image:


Without these powerful reminders from the creation, we can really lose sight of the significance and weight of the words of Scripture that describe the Creator:

20 August 2011

WFT- ab ovo

I reached wayyy back into the pile of pending Word of the Day email and came up with this one from September 17, 2009: ab ovo.

Merriam-Webster provided this definition

from the beginning

and this background on the word:

23 October 2010

WFT- renovate

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for October 21st was renovate.

1: to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding) 2: to restore to life, vigor, or activity : revive

11 September 2010

Origins of the Alphabet

There is a website I enjoy visiting from time to time that deals with all things typography: I Love Typography.

I was pointed there recently to an interesting article entitled "Where does the alphabet come from?"

What makes this article interesting is that it goes all the way from ancient cuneiform to modern day English letters.  What makes it exceptionally interesting is that it includes references to people and places in the Bible in a positive manner.

During a recent study a question came up around the Hebrew word et. In Hebrew, et can serve as what is called an "object marker" (OM). It appears before an object that receives an action in a sentence (what we might call the direct object in English). Et points to the direct object. Here is an example from Genesis 1:1-

Bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim v'et haaretz.
In (the) beginning created G-d (OM ->) the heavens and (OM ->) the earth.
27 January 2009

WFT- engender

Merriam Webster's Word of the Day for Monday, January 26th was engender.

They provided the following definitions:
1 : beget, procreate
2 : to cause to exist or to develop : produce
3 : to assume form : originate
The following etymology was also provided and very insightful:

Torah Portion

צו (Tzav)



or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Sh'lishi, 4 Nisan, 5778

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


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