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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Endings, Begin Again

And so a full cycle comes to an end. This page, this blog has been a home to me through the past year. Each week brought a new set of ideas to think about and to put into words on this page. My companions live in these five books. I have lived with them and through them as I studied the parsha each week. It has been an enormous privilege to read the words each week at KI and, all being well, it will be a great privilege to see them someday soon in book form at KI.

I will begin this cycle again and hope for inspiration for new ideas. The torah brims with things to write about and I hope to find some new gem to turn over as the next year begins.

I am most grateful to all of you who have joined me on this written voyage. Your comments have inspired me. Thank you for each comment and email that you have sent me.

The final parsha, V'Zot Habracha, is read on Simchat Torah which will take place net week.

In this final parsha, Moshe bestows blessings on each of the tribes. As God had told Moshe, he would die before entering the promised land so the ending has Moses on top of the mountain looking down to the land below. The book concludes, however, not with the death of the Moses, but with the laying hands upon Joshua, so that the story does not die with Moses, but continues onward to this day.

If you care to read last year's poem about Moses, please go to

May we merit have the privilege to begin again.

This poem speaks about endings and new beginnings.


Endings, Begin Again

Someone sits by the light of a lamp,

her fingers linger above

the last page of a book,

Her head is still.

A single tear drops

and wets the page;

a farewell to characters who have become friends.

She closes the book gently.

She promises,

"I will return to you, dear friends,

but there are new pages to turn,

new friends to seek out."

And the book is closed for now.

Every ending brings a new beginning.

A door closes

and a new door opens

as surely as

the spring will be born again after the dark of winter

as surely as

the dawn will blossom pink even after the longest night.

Even death, that final ending

will lead to someone’s beginning.

A farewell leads to a welcome.

A child is born.

A new life pulses bright.

Another link in the chain is connected,

the long chain linking generations.

Endings lead to new beginnings

Some endings are welcome,

some are not.

Some endings are expected,

some are not.

Endings are painful, but even endings end.

Beginnings are never as expected,

they are better than expected.

They are the potential, both seen and unseen.

So open a new book,

breathe in the smell of ink,

the feel of the pages on your fingers

and look inside.

Page one.

Smile, the rest of your life is beginning.

"Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses—whom the LORD singled out, face to face,

for the various signs and portents that the LORD sent him to display in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his courtiers and his whole country,

and for all the great might and awesome power that Moses displayed before all Israel."

Deuteronomy 34:10-12 (taken from Sefaria)

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