Starting with B – A Meditation on Sarah Kay’s Poem contd…

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By Yonatan Gordon

As was written in the comment section of the previous post, there are a total of four primary concepts to our meditation on “B.” This is not something I was conscious of when I began the series … but maybe seeing the interest and response helped to bring these ideas down.

We can summarize the remaining three “B” concepts as:

B

Be

Bee

B

The concept behind starting with “B” — the 2nd letter of the English alphabet — is a placeholder for another 2nd letter of the alphabet starter, the Hebrew letter beit (ב) which begins the Five Books of Moses and not the alpha letter aleph (א). This letter expands into our house meditation below.

It should be mentioned that whereas English is a man-made language, Hebrew is the language of creation. Thus at best we can call the letter “B” a placeholder for the Hebrew letter beit (ב).

Be

The existential question that goes beyond Shakespeare. The Torah teaches us to “choose life” … choose to “be,” to live your life with purpose, meaning, and happiness.

Bee

While the flight of the bee may or may not have inspired the circumlocutious dashes on the cover of Kay’s book B, we can still learn out an important lesson from the flight patterns of bees. Although it may seem like they are traveling roundabout and every which way, they still manage to find the pollen and their hive in the end. So too while there are many directions and paths to take in this world, the  hope for our children is that each result should lead to honey … to beneficial, rich, and rewarding results guided by a sense of truth.

What we have now begun to build is what I think relates to this meditation below. I myself can’t connect the dots from Point A to Point B to explain how the above corresponds exactly to the below. But I think they do, and maybe you will think so too…

This is an excerpt from the mystical significance of the letter beit:

Our Sages teach that the “big beit” begins the Creation, and the Torah as a whole, with the power of blessing. God blesses His creation, which He creates with the attribute of lovingkindness, the attribute of Abraham, as will be explained in the letter hei. Abraham, the first Jewish soul, is subsequently entrusted with the Divine power of blessing, the “big beit” of Creation, as is said: “And you shall be [the one who bestows] blessing.” Afterwards, at the time of his circumcision, he was given the “small hei” of Creation, the power to draw down and manifest the Divine blessing of happiness in the smallest detail of reality.

Moving within a House

In summation, these four concepts are what we can call a meditation on the building of a House for God. In microcosm, this is a home where two loving parents raise their children in holiness filled with Torah study and mitzvah observance. A home filled with Divine blessing and light-filled radiance. When viewed in this way, the previous A to B, B to A discussion relates to the mutual love and care between husband and wife and their children (healthy give and take); B relates to the desire to begin building a holy home founded of sturdy ground; Be relates to the warm and alive feeling of being at home… of enjoying life and family without feeling the need to always move around; and Bee to the lively movement of children… movements that we hope will always remain with the four walls of the sturdy foundation that their loving parents build for them.

Who was the first person to build this home? Abraham’s wife … Sarah.

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