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The Book of Bereishis/Genesis

Friday, 5 July, 2019 - 2:18 pm

 People have questions. There are plenty of self-help books for those who want to know how to live right. But there are different kinds of questions - how come, why are we here, why bother, who says so? And to answer these questions, you have to go to the Source.

Take a look at Google Earth. Zoom in, then zoom out. When we get lost in details, we can return to the Starting Place and remember what brought us here to begin with.

In Bereshit G-d sets up the stage of Space, Time, and Man for us to sanctify in later parshas where Temple, Shabbat, and Cohanim were sanctified and boundaries established. It is not a coincidence that the Hebrew world oshan for smoke that came from Mount Sinai alludes to Olam, Shana, and Nefesh - world, time, and soul. We can transcend Time by making the right choices with everlasting effects. And we can transcend Space by zooming in and out, trying to comprehend G-d’s universe. In other words - naaseh v'nishma!

The spirit and matter can meet only in Human being and manifest through actions. Consideration for others is a first step out of yourself onto spiritual trail.

To assist in the battlefield G-d sets up the tools - Torah as a blueprint, creation in His Image for the purpose of common language and personal relationship.

Proper models of identity and relationships are established here- parenting with its unconditional love, dependency, trust, and reverence. Marriage as a commitment, brit. Both types are essential to learn about meaningful relationship with G-d.

Also found here are commandments, challenges, and concepts like gratitude, sacrifice, free will, and the chosen people making right choices.

All kind of evolution began here. Evolution of species and evolution of human character - from brotherly hate to brotherly love and shalom in the family suitable for Shehina presence. From aloof marriage to considerate marriage with meaningful dialog. From sin to repentance. From responsibility for yourself, to responsibility for your family, tribe, human kind.  From forefathers to the seed of Mashiach. And the happenings of the forefathers are signs for the children manifested through history outlined in other books. Thus, there would be no other books without Bereshit.

There is colorful diversity between individuals, genders, tribes, and nations. Each is serving G-d in their unique way. To achieve harmony we search for common ground and re-examine our assumptions. And it always helps to refer back - by zooming in and then out.

By Tamara Levin Derkach 

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