Torah Weekly

For the week ending 29 October 2005 / 26 Tishri 5766

Parshat Bereishet

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
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In the beginning, Hashem creates the entire universe, including time itself, out of nothingness. This process of creation continues for six days. On the seventh day, Hashem rests, bringing into existence the spiritual universe of Shabbos, which returns to us every seven days. Adam and Chava - the Human pair - are placed in the Garden of Eden. Chava is enticed by the serpent to eat from the forbidden fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," and in turn gives the fruit to Adam. By absorbing "sin," Adam and Chava render themselves incapable of remaining in the spiritual paradise of Eden and are banished. Death and hard work (both physical and spiritual) now enter the world, together with pain in childbirth. Now begins the struggle to correct the sin of Adam and Chava, which will be the main subject of world history. Cain and Hevel, the first two children of Adam and Chava, bring offerings to Hashem. Hevel gives the finest of his flock, and his offering is accepted, but Cain gives inferior produce and his offering is rejected. In the ensuing quarrel, Cain kills Hevel and is condemned to wander the earth. The Torah traces the genealogy of the other children of Adam and Chava, and the descendants of Cain until the birth of Noach. After the death of Sheis, Mankind descends into evil, and Hashem decides that He will blot out Man in a flood which will deluge the world. However, one man, Noach, finds favor with Hashem.


Lifes Rear View Mirror

"And G-d saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good."

Wouldnt life be so much easier if we had eyes in the back of our heads?

No need for rear-view mirrors in our cars! No need to worry when walking down dark alleys at night that someone is going to jump you from behind! For teachers, the highly dangerous practice of writing on the blackboard would lose its trepidation! Come to think of it, wouldnt life be much easier if we had three feet? Think how much more comfortable standing in shul on Yom Kippur would be! People would be able to shift from one foot to the other to the other. Shoe and sock manufactures would be able to make a better living! Another thing. Why is it that only the chosen few of us can walk on our hands, and that only with some difficulty? If we could walk on our hands, we would be able to see the world from an entirely different perspective! We could revitalize the cerebral cortex with all the blood flowing to the brain! We could do Yoga and aerobics at the same time! And what about if we had four kidneys? We could donate two of them to people in need with much less problem! And why not two hearts? While were on the subject, I really dont understand why arent our faces coated with plastic so we dont need to use soap? Just a damp cloth would do the trick!

When G-d created the world, He consulted with His Heavenly court. G-d premeditated the creation of every organ. The evidence of G-ds wisdom shines from every creature. If you assembled all the greatest Nobel Prize winners throughout history and gave them unlimited funds they still wouldnt be able to put life into the tiniest insect.

And even if we can admit that G-d knew exactly what He was doing with the physical creation, sometimes we question His wisdom in other areas. For example, "Why does this guy have so much money? If G-d had given it to me, Id use it much better." Or "Why did G-d give this person such talent, such a mind? Its wasted on him. Id have put that talent to much better usage."

Just as G-d created the physical world with perfection, and we need neither eyes in the back of our heads, nor hands on which we can walk, nor a third leg, so too similarly, each one of us is uniquely and perfectly equipped to fulfil our mission in creation.

  • Sources: Midrash Hagadol 1:26, Bereishet Rabba 39:21

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