Why Did I Name This Site “The Aleph Blog?”

I’ve been asked about the website name a number of times lately, so I want to explain the reasons behind the name.  Now, two of the reasons were listed on my first post:

Thanks for coming to the Aleph Blog. This is a work in progress, and suggestions are solicited for both style and content.

The Aleph Blog derives its name in two ways: first, Aleph is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Alpha. Alpha is what is desired out of investment managers — outperformance versus a client’s benchmark. I have my methods for doing so that I have described over at RealMoney, and will continue here at my blog. Second is that the Hebrew letter Aleph corresponds to the word for “Ox.” Well, what’s more bullish than an Ox?

I look forward to communicating with my readers, and building this site into something that a lot of people can learn from and enjoy.

Sincerely,

David

That was nine months ago.  The blog has come a long way since then.  There were several other reasons why I chose the name.  In the mid-90s, I wrote out a business plan for a fund that I called the Aleph Fund.  My goal was to create a Value investment shop called Aleph Investment Advisors, or something like that.  Why Aleph, though?  Why not Alpha?

Aside from the fact that “alpha” has been grabbed by others, I’m a little quirky.  Friends of mine call them “Merk Quirks.”  Because “alpha” is overused as an investment word, but the concept has validity, I decided to adopt the Hebrew version (aleph) in place of the Greek version.  My rationale involves my view of Western culture.  Given the influence that the Bible has had on Western culture, I view the Jewish impact to be as great as the Greek impact, but the Jewish part is underappreciated.  To most Christians, the part of the Bible written in Hebrew (Old Testament, Tenach) is more opaque than the part written in Greek (New Testament).

I’m a Reformed Presbyterian.  We view the Bible as a whole, and our pastors learn Hebrew (admittedly rudimentary), and Koine Greek.   It’s important that those who lead us be able to understand the original languages as best they can.  For me, I pick up on a bit here and there.  If it wasn’t enough for me to see an “aleph” as the beginning of Psalm 119, it might have been enough for me to see the mathematical “aleph-null” when I was a kid — an expression for the total number of integers.  Aleph is big, very big.

That’s why I called this “The Aleph Blog.”  It dovetails into my personality, and it sets my investment blog apart from blogs that have more conventional names.

With that, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

David