- First posting - I had a good idea of what I was aspiring to, hence the name of the blog, but not a clear idea of how to get there.
[b''h this blog will turn darkness into light, rather than drive it away, and sweeten the bitterest moment yet known.]
- First actual Torah content - This was the first impression, foreshadowing perhaps, of where the blog would eventually go.
...performing mitzwoth, ie. God's will, is a long term job; just like a harvest, nothing happens in a day, it takes a cycle of seasons before one may appreciate the fruits of one's labor...
- Recognising the role of this blog - I realized that while I'm growing in Torah and closeness with HaShem, I'm losing the ability to connect to the world of all those (close friends and family) I've left behind. The solution was to start sharing my insights through my blog.
...as my friends come to visit me here in israel more and more i feel i've lost touch with them--the ways i've grown and the ways they've grown have diverged. that scares me a little, mainly because i feel like they would benefit too from knowing what i've learned...
- Starting to make blogging my Torah a reality - It took me a while to get into the blogging mood and sometime shortly after this I took it upon myself (bli neder) to write three divrei Torah a day. That doesn't always get realized but for the better part of a year many divrei Torah came out of that effort. I also started to really get to the Torah that is rooted in my heart:
...Judaism is founded in iconoclasm and unrelenting optimism. We bind ourselves to the truth of God and to nothing else. When we start to identify with denominations, sects, congregations and trends, we are buying into the false structure of the world, we are buying into the chaos...
- Really taking off - It is completely true that as we open ourselves up to Torah, the Torah opens itself up to us as well. I first learned this lesson when I was eighteen studying in Yeshivah in Efrat for about six months. I wrote a weekly dvar Torah home to my family and I would sit all day and night pondering the passukim of the Chumash--much to the chagrin of those who would have had me learn in shiurim and chevrutoth. This blog is a really good example of this lesson. Thank HaShem, with my 30-45 minutes of learning each day, I've been able to internalize so much through trying to pass it on to others here. This past year I feel like I've been taking off. Each day brings so many new insights and understandings, so much depth that was lacking before. But there's so much farther to go... we've never really started.
What I will say is that at a point right around when our dating got serious I realized that the only way it (the relationship) would succeed is if I put all of my energy into it. I told HaShem that I was only willing to plan for success, and if I failed, I would have to rely on Him to pick up the pieces, because there would be nothing of me left.
Somewhere in there was the key to the switch that took place that changed my life in such a profound way. This blog was always a way to share a little piece of my life with others, as it still is. The major change in the blog's content was a reflection of the major change in the focus of my life. A change of focus I was waiting for for a long time, a change that I knew was bound to happen, but whose scope I could never have imagined.
You will find no other mention of my dating in this blog, there was barely an announcement about our marriage, because it is such a private special thing, sharing it with others runs the risk of cheapening it. I only mention it now because my wife told me she didn't mind.