January 2, 2013Dear Henry,
All the readers of this new up-and coming blogg might be wondering why exactly the blogg is called 12 Degrees. Well Henry, please allow me to explain. You see, this morning, as I was driving on the frozen tundra known as Albany, I could not help but notice the rapid decline of my car's thermometer. The temperature in my garage started out at 45 degrees. Then, as I kept putting the pedal to the metal on my seven minute drive, the temperature showed 30 degrees. Oh brother, I thought, today is going to be a chilly one! It might even be, as a wise philosopher once said, colder than ice cold -- and that is pretty cold-- If I can say so myself, and I can, since it is, after all, my blogg.
As I reached the four minute mark in my seven minute journey, the temperature was still on the decline, now hovering at about 22 degrees. Oh BOY! Today might even be colder than the bone chilling stare I received in a Cleveland synagogue after making fun of their sports teams. WOW! Then, by the time I pulled into the icy synagogue parking lot this morning at 6:33 AM, (that's right, I was seven minutes early-- had to leave enough time to properly prepare myself to converse with my Maker--) the thermometer read, and now I quote "12 degrees" (But instead of degrees it had the little degree sign above the two).
As I stepped outside of my vehicle, I was overwhelmed by the bone-chilling, spine tingling frigid Albany air-- and I was walking very quickly to get inside. It was at this moment that an amazing epiphany occurred to me. You see, at that very moment, on this particular day, I was very perplexed about what to name my blogg. It all started last night-- actually, more accurately, it all started about 4 months ago, when I signed up for an amazing fundraiser, called walk2israel. (walk2israel.org, please go there, and donate money to my page). I received a fitbit ultra, a pedometer which counts my steps. So for the last month, I have been walking 10,000 steps a day--yet miraculously, didn't seem to lose any weight. The competition ended, so last night, when I was at about 2,000 steps for the day, my wife asked me why I wasn't furiously pacing around the house like a bull who wanted to chase down a squirrel who stole its dinner, like I usually do. I told her, that now, since the fundraiser is over, and I don't need to walk 10,000 steps, it would be pointless-- why bother? Anyways, my wife was wearing my fitbit ultra, so If I were to start walking around the house, would those steps even count? My fitbit wouldn't even be counting them, so it would be as if I never took those steps! Upon philosophizing about this with my lovely wife, I realized, I need a blogg--you, Henry-- to share my philosiphications with. (Stay tuned for a future blogg post for more on that philosophication). From that point, about twenty-fours ago (IE 9:12 PM 1/1/13) I was in an utter state of perplexicity and confusion about what to name this new blogg of mine. I was leaning towards calling you "Going Deep with Rabbi Wolfe" because this blog will be a forum for my deep philosophications, and I, as the captain of my high school baseball team, was the first player in Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy history to hit a home run out of our new ball field at the Denver Campus for Jewish Education (DCJE) Not only did I hit one, but I hit two, in consecutive at-bats. I was very proud- My Saba saw it, as did Mr. Mate. So Going deep with Rabbi Wolfe would have made a lot of sense-- because I went deep many times as a stud baseball player. It would have made sense-- until that magical moment this morning, at 6:33 AM EST, or 4:33 Mountain time.
For at that very moment, I realized what 12 degrees meant. It was as if G-d gift-wrapped a message to me, and stuck it right in front of my face, to tell me what to name this special blogg. When I led my community swim team as a young 7 year old, I remember that during swim meets, the water is kept cold. The idea being that the colder the water, the faster we would swim, to get out of that water. If it would have been warm cozy water, then we wouldn't be in such a rush to go anywhere--- we would simply relax and enjoy the water. This yesod (fundamental lesson that I will call Life lesson number 3) applies to every day of our lives: We must live life at 12 degrees farenheit. If we live life as if we are in freezing cold water-- we will always feel the pressing need to advance ourselves, and to improve ourselves. If we are content in the warm water-- why would we bother advancing ourselves? Do we feel satisfied with where we are holding in our ethical and spiritual lives? Judaism teaches that life is like a downward escalator. If we stay stationary-- happy with where we are-- we will only fall. We must keep climbing those steps, battling with the natural challenges that enter our lives, to improve ourselves, and continue advancing. To be sure, we certainly must be happy with what we have, and grateful for the gifts G-d has given us. But we must continually strive to become better people-- to become closer to the Almighty. This is precisely why I created you, Oh Henry. To encourage myself, and the many devoted readers out there in the vast expansive universe, to continue growing, and to keep climbing to greater heights. The moment we feel satisfied with where we are holding on a spiritual level will be the moment that we decrease our spirituality. We must always long for more. We must keep moving. We must live life at 12 degrees Fahrenheit.