The greatest book of all time begins in confusion. From the first few words of Bereshit, Torah may seem too difficult to understand. Or it can make you smile. It just depends upon which part of your brain you use to read the words.

If you process through your college-educated intellect, then you will note that the text begins with the words “Bereshit barah Elohim . . .”  This means, in a close translation, “in the beginning of, God created . . . “  Your brain that seeks structure and clarity asks “in the beginning of  . . . Wait! WHAT?

Now try engaging on your spiritual genius. The grammatical muddle is now less important than the realization that God created. Questions about when that happened, how that happened and where that happened are part of your intellectual neediness. Your spiritual intelligence focuses on the wow and is happy for the experience of amazement.

Let’s keep growing our spiritual intelligence throughout this year 5782.  Here’s a checklist of character traits and intentions that serve to expand spiritual intelligence. Figure out how some of these might assist you in living a life of more Wow! and less What?



Being Vision and Value-Led

Holism or Integration


Celebrating Diversity

Fielding Independence


Asking Why Questions

Ability to Reframe

Positive Use of Adversity

Sense of vocation

Why not print, cut, and paste these on your mirror or fridge. Make it a practice to review the list whenever you find yourself feeling confused, frustrated, or scared. Improving your spiritual intelligence will connect you more deeply with that sense of wow.

Rabbi Evan J. Krame