Torah Weekly

For the week ending 21 October 2006 / 29 Tishri 5767

Parshat Bereishet

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair -
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In the beginning, G-d creates the entire universe, including time itself, out of nothingness. This process of creation continues for six days. On the seventh day, G-d 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 G-d. 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 G-d decides that He will blot out Man in a flood which will deluge the world. However, one man, Noach, finds favor with G-d.


SJF seeks similar for BNBY

“And the L-rd, G-d, said, ‘It is not good that that man be alone, I will make a helper corresponding to him.” (2:18)

Getting married can be a frightening thing.

Is this the one? Maybe I could do better? Maybe I could find someone prettier/richer/taller/cleverer/shorter/quieter/louder?

Maybe I could find someone nicer?

By choosing a partner, necessarily we close ourselves off from every other possibility. That’s a frightening prospect, all that potential gone forever. At a time like this, the greatest blessing a prospective couple can have is the knowledge that their choice is the result of Divine Providence rather than their own wish list.

During the marriage service, and at the subsequent seven-day marriage festivities, we recite the blessing, “Gladden the beloved companions (the bride and the groom) as You gladdened Your creation (Adam) in the Garden of Eden in the past.”

Adam and Chava (Eve) needed no “speed-dating” to find each other. They didn’t require a dating service, there were no cryptic classifieds in the Jewish News: “SJF seeks beshert for BNBY” (Single Jewish Female seeks her appointed partner for a true Jewish home).

No one saw G-d’s work in their shidduch more than Adam and Chava. There was no else; there was no one better, taller, prettier, etc, etc. Our blessing to the bride and groom at their wedding is that they should see the Divine Hand in their marriage as clearly as the beloved partners in that first marriage.

  • Heard from Rabbi Nota Schiller

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