Welcome to Ayekah — my blog to address different aspects of Jewish life and living by answering the ultimate question: Where are you?

One of my mentors and friends, Rabbi Billy Dreskin, showed me the power of the idea of Ayekah (Hebrew for “where are you”) when I served as his rabbinic intern (just a few short years ago).

Here is the gist of it: Every day, try to hear the echo of God’s voice calling for Adam in the Garden, asking, “Ayekah—Where are you?” God asks the question…as if God doesn’t really know. Of course God knows! But God wanted to know from Adam, where was he after eating from the Tree. It wasn’t a question about his location. Of course not! It was a question about where he was in his life. (Genesis/Bereshit 3:9)

Shortly afterwards, God asks another question, this time to Adam’s son, Cain, asking: “Where is your brother?” after Cain kills Able. Again, why would the all-knowing God ask about Able when God surely was aware of Cain’s heinous act. (Genesis/Bereshit 4:9)

The answer that God seeks doesn’t come from either Adam or Cain; they try to hide from God and pretend that they don’t know what God really wants from them.

The first one who really answers is Abraham, generations later. When God calls out to Abraham, akin to the Ayekah that his predecessors received, Abraham steps up, saying “Hineini—Here I am.” (Genesis/Bereshit 22:1) Hineini is much more than announcing where Abraham is…it says he is present. He is ready. He is willing to move forward and to walk with God.

So here it is folks…

Ayekah — Where are you?

This blog is going to offer my thoughts and give a forum for our community to share ideas. I am seeking a place for us to engage in meaningful dialgoue. I enocourage constructive and thoughtful challenges to my postings while always being civil and kind (especially to me!). There is a great Jewish tradition of having an argument for the sake of Heaven–l’shem Shamayim. I hope this page will provide a way to engage one another through a stimulating and provocative dialogue relating to our Jewish journeys to help all of us grow.

As the owner of the blog, I seek thoughtful discussions. To be sure, I welcome different viewpoints other than my own. But if it is not respectful, it will not be posted. While some say that blogs need to make room for every single comment…I don’t. I welcome all who want to engage in conversations that strengthen us and our community. I will not post comments that build some up by bringing others down.

Thank you for joining me in this journey. I look forward to our conversations!