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Bereishit

דף הבית >> פרקים מתוך הספרים אנגלית >> Bereishit
GENESIS / BEREISHIT
 
 
 
 
Parashat Bereishit
 
1:1 (Hebrew)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
 
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
 
Moses did us a great favor by beginning the Torah with the simple words “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In this way, he provided us with a model of faith that involves no sophistication or philosophy (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom #219).
 
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
 
The world was created principally for the sake of testing people’s faith. Once, a follower of Rebbe Nachman was experiencing doubts. The Rebbe told him that all of creation came into being because God saw that there would be people who would cling to faith despite being plagued by confusion. God saw that these people would overcome their questions and remain strong in their beliefs, and for them, He created the world (Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom #222).
 
Bereishit
 
The Torah specifically begins with the account of Creation to instill in us the faith that God created the entire world ex nihilo. This is the foundation of faith (Likutey Halakhot II, p. 250).
 
Bereishit — God created
 
The word BeREiShIT (áøàùéú) has the same letters as Beit REiShIT (áéú øàùéú, the home comes first), referring to a person’s home. The person himself reflects the Torah, as in “This is the Torah, man” (Numbers 19:14). The walls of each private home demarcate it as individual property—this refers to The Individual, the One God, Whose house it really is (Likutey Halakhot III, p. 414). Thus, the beginning of the Torah tells us how to prepare ourselves to live a life of Torah: by dedicating our homes to God.
 
Bereishit
 
The word BeREiShIT (áøàùéú) may be written as BeiT REiShIT (áéú øàùéú). The word BeiT (áéú) may itself be read as the word BaYiT (áéú, home), and the word reishit (beginning) can be understood as referring to the Torah. Thus, the word Bereishit—bayit reishit—teaches us that a person who builds his life on Torah principles brings benefit to his home. This is reflected in the fact that when we return to our homes following the holiday of Sukkot, we begin reading the Torah again from Bereishit (Likutey Moharan I, 266).
 
Bereishit
 
Challah (the kneaded dough given to the Kohen), Bikkurim (first fruits) and Terumah (tithes) are called “first.” In the merit of performing these mitzvot, the world was created (Bereishit Rabbah 1:4).
 
This Midrash teaches that charity is the first and foremost pillar of Creation. Before a person performs any creative act, he would be wise to give charity (Likutey Halakhot III, p. 216a).
 
Bereishit - The blueprint of the world
 
I was with Him as a nursling (Proverbs 8:30).
 
Do not read AMoN (àîåï, nursling), but UMaN (àåîï, blueprint) (Bereishit Rabbah 1:1).
 
The Torah is the blueprint of the world. Everything is sustained by combinations of letters in the Torah (Likutey Moharan I, 33:3). Therefore one can always find the Torah, which provides a pathway to God, in whatever exists in creation.
 
Bereishit
 
The word Bereishit can also be translated as “for the sake of the head.” The world was created for the sake of Israel, which is its head (Vayikra Rabbah 36:4).
 
When God created the world, He anticipated the pride and joy that He would derive from the good deeds of His nation, Israel. Therefore he created everything in the world in accordance with how it would reflect that pride and joy (Likutey Moharan I, 17:1). Some people might reflect the beauty of the Swiss Alps; others, the beauty of the Amazon rain forest or even the Sahara Desert. Every Jew must be aware of how important he is in God’s eyes, and know that in one way or another, he reflects the beauty of Creation.
 
Bereishit
 
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God (Psalms 111:10).
 
The letters of the word BeREiShYT (áøàùéú) can be transposed to form the phrases YaREi BoSheT (éøà-áùú, awe-humility) and YaREi ShaBbaT (éøà-ùáú, awe-Sabbath). ShaBbaT (ùáú) is associated with repentance, for it contains the same letters as TaShuV (úùá, you will repent).
 
Thus, with the word Bereishit, the Torah indicates the importance of striving for awe of God. With this awe, a person can attain great levels of humility before God, so that even if he falls, he can always return to Him (Likutey Moharan II, 72; ibid., I, 38). Furthermore, YaREi BoSheT (awe-humility) indicates that a person’s humility—which is due to his understanding of the awesomeness of God—inspires him to fear God (Likutey Moharan I, 22:10).
 
Bereishit
 
The letters of the word BeREiShYT (áøàùéú) can be transposed to spell YaREi ShaBbaT (éøà ùáú, Shabbat-observer). In the merit of keeping Shabbat, a person merits to fear of God (Likutey Halakhot III, p. 1a).
 
Bereishit
 
The word BeREiShYT (áøàùéú) has the same letters as YaREi ShaBbaT (éøà ùáú, Shabbat-observer) (Tikkuney Zohar #9, p. 24b). Shabbat is equal to the entire Torah (Yerushalmi, Shabbat 1:8).
 
The Torah preceded the creation of the world by 2,000 years (Bereishit Rabbah 8:2). Since Shabbat is compared to the entire Torah, we can say that Shabbat also preceded the world by 2,000 years. These 2,000 years are represented by the boundary of 2,000 amot (cubits) outside the city limits, up to which a person may walk on Shabbat. This boundary also corresponds to the boundary of the mind, which imposes limitations on what we can understand, what is beyond us, and where we must strengthen our faith. Thanks to these boundaries, we can draw the intellects of Torah and the sanctity of Shabbat to recognize Creation as God’s handiwork (Likutey Halakhot III, p. 102).
 

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