Published Date: November 04, 2019
This week’s music: “Reflecting Light” Yehudah Katz
Each year I marvel at the challenge for us to study and review the entire “Parshat Bereshit” in one week’s time. There is no other portion which includes so much hands on information and knowledge for us to apply to our daily lives. OK this year at least Chag ended on Monday night and we had 5 days to work on it.
Still not enough to satiate my curioisty, so I’d like to share at least one more thought on last week’s opening “Parshah” of Bereshit.
At our “Beit Knesset” in Tekoa Bet last week we were blessed to hear Torah given over by Rabbi Yosef Badichi, a personal student of Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook,zt”l.
Here we are together on perhaps the most highlighted Shabat of the year, Shabbat Bereshit, the Shabbat of Creation, and what is our task? To connect to God.
All we need to start with is to read and understand the first five verses of the portion.
1.”Bereshit Bara Elohim et Hashmayim v’et ha’aretz.”
In the beginning, i.e. first, God created the heavens and earth
2.”V’ha’aretz hayta tohu vavohu, v’choshech al p’nai t’hom…”
The earth was ” a ball of confusion,” with darkness on the face of the depths…
3.”Vayomer Elohim y’hi ohr,vay’hi ohr”
And God said ,let there be light and light came into being.
4.”Va’yar Elohim et ha’ohr ki tov,va’yavdel Elohim bein ha’ohr u’ven ha’choshech.”
And God saw that the light was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness.
5.”Vayikra Elohim la’ohr yom, v’lachoshech kara laylah, v’yhi erev vay’hi voker, yom Echad.”
And God called (named) the light, day, and the darkness he called (named), night; and it was evening and it was morning, One day.
“Which word ,” asked Rav Badichi, which we do find in the first verse, is clearly missing from the second verse, regarding the emptiness and confusion in our world on earth? The word “Shamayim,” heavens. When we attempt to exclude God from our world, the only result is confusion. And so God brought His light down to our world. Not so easy. The S’fat Emet says that His light was so powerful, any human attempting to directly connect to that light in it’s highest form, will be immediately burnt. Therefore, the light needed to go through a process of being passed down in constricted forms until it reached a stage where it would be feasibly accessible to us mortals.
When we do accept and receive the light, the narrative continues, we then have the ability to choose whether we connect to light or darkness. They are both available to us daily. We all see them both in our lives. We see and experience miracles of light, which no doubt, is attractive to us. We also our regularly confronted by the darkness in our world.
The cap on the experience is the description of the creation of the first day, “Yom Echad,” One day.
Unlike all the other days of creation which are named by their chronological place in the order, i.e. the second day, the third, day, the fourth day, etc, this first day is called One day or “day One.” It is the invitation from Hashem for us to be aware of the gift of light, to not be afraid of our attraction to the light and to seize the opportunity to connect to it, that being the Oneness of God.
May we all be blessed to feel the miracle of being able to open our eyes each morning, to lift our hands and voices to help others, to speak to Hashem and for each of us to realize our unique individual role in helping to fix the world by fixing ourselves daily.