Shaya Cohen -


Why Questions Matter

Is it possible to make New Things without asking Questions?

I often marvel at the differences between cultures and civilizations. Dynamic cultures celebrate asking questions even (or especially) at the price of argument and ideological conflict, while passive cultures are passive even at the individual level: accept your fate, your lot in life, the will of the gods. Don’t rock the boat or generate strife; instead, seek stillness of the soul and harmony with ancestors and others.

So I wonder: do we have to ask questions in order to create something new?

After all, if you make something new by accident, but do not ask what it is, what it might be for, etc., then you didn’t make anything new at all. While many inventions were accidental, there were questions before and after the accident occurred that were truly the triggers for those creations to become real in our minds.

Questions seem to lead to change. The first question ever asked in the Torah was that of the snake: “Did G-d say that you should not eat of any tree of the garden?” The question leads to a conversation, and then an action – Eve eats the fruit. And everything that was static starts to change. In short order (in the text), mankind invents lying, clothing, procreation, shepherding, offerings, murder, guilt, , tents, harps, pipes, cities….  And all from one pointed question! Can you think of an invention that was not enabled or triggered or discovered by

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