In The Beginning (November 2004)
American psychologist and author William Bridges is quoted as saying:
“Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.”
Beginning this blog was indeed prompted by external factors. One was that everybody else seemed to have a blog, so why not me… But I like to think that it is a beginning that comes from within me and is therefore genuine. Time will tell.
Nafka Mina is in Aramaic, an ancient Semitic language used in many Jewish holy texts. The literal meaning of nafka mina is “comes out of”, or more simply “outcome”. The term is used extensively in the Talmud to indicate the practical meaning or conclusion or ramification deriving from an opinion. Often, when two different opinions are offered, a question is posed: lemai nafka mina?, or “what comes out of it?”, meaning “what is the practical difference deriving from the two opinions.”
In short, a nafka mina is the bottom line, the reason for which the opinion has been offered.
What is this Blog?
As the heading above suggests, this blog contains musings, thoughts and observations about several topics that are of interest to me. But as the blog’s name suggests, an effort is made to go beyond the ideas in order to reach a “nafka mina”, some form of practical conclusion, at least for some of the postings. It might well turn out to be that the conclusion will be relevant only to a handful of people or indeed to none.
Who am I?
My name is Asher Gabbay. I am an Israeli living in Tokyo, Japan, married to a wonderful wife and father to two lovely children, a boy and a girl.
Update – End 2005: We moved back to Israel.
Update – October 2014: We moved back to Japan, this time to Kobe.
Everyone is welcome to email me at ashergabbay [at] gmail.
This blog is written in English. However, every now and then I may post in Hebrew. Apologies to those who do not read Hebrew.