It's been (slightly more than) one year and 100 posts. I would say that the experiment has been successful. I started this blog to get myself writing and thinking about Judaism from a variety of perspectives, styles, topics, and levels of quality.
Looking back at these first 100 posts, what have I learned?
It's hard to say something new about Judaism.
Seriously! I keep having these wildly radical ideas (compared to what I see around me), getting all excited about them, and telling my friends, only to have them say, "Oh, so you've been reading Rabbi so-and-so!" Or I'll crack open some history book and find that a few centuries ago this "radical idea" was considered passe and old fashioned.
What's a young Jew to do?
Also, I'm feeling my lack of knowledge. Granted, I'm not investing the amount of time in each post that many "serious bloggers" recommend, but I keep finding other bloggers, articles, etc. who bring so much more depth to their writing than I do. This is one of the major pieces I want to gain at school; the background and knowledge base that will allow me to support my writing with citations, references, and links that will make my writing stronger.
I don't write this post to be hard on myself; I'm very happy with what I've done this year, and like the way my writing is developing. Rather, I am acknowledging my awareness of my need for further development. On a larger scale, it has been an interesting reminder of the cyclical trends in human history. And, as humans, that applies to Jewish history as well.
My biggest revelation in this vein was realizing that what we now think of as "Traditional Judaism", and all of rabbinic Judaism for that matter, represented a huge divergence from the "original" Judaism. One writer suggested rabbinic Judaism could potentially be the single largest heresy in religious history!
When you look at it that way, it's not surprising I want to be one.
Thanks for reading; have a safe and happy new year, and see you all in 2010!