Shabbat Parashat Bereishit 5773
Parashat Hashavua: From the End to the BeginningHarav Shaul Yisraeli – based on Siach Shaul pp. 4-6
All year we progressed through the Torah from Bereishit, the story of creation after the tohu (primordial void), to “… before the eyes of all of
There is a connection between the divine revelation that accompanied the creation of heaven and earth and that which is included in Hashem’s involvement in human history, which reached its pinnacle at the giving of the Torah. Each element teaches something about the other. Chazal see a hint in the word “bereishit” that the world was created because of
The world cannot appreciate its Maker without seeing His part in history. The Kuzari (1:25) explains that this is the reason that the first commandment at Sinai begins with “I am Hashem, your G-d, who took you out of
On the other hand, the main goal of history, including the giving of the Torah, is to return the world to the light of the seven days of creation. Through “before the eyes of all of
“There shall be light” was a divine decree. The world did not emerge from some blind battle between great powers. It came about ex nihilo by His word. Its purpose existed already before the world was created, and thus it is not human intellect that will lead the world. Man is simply one of the creations of “He Who said and the world was.” Man is subservient to Hashem, whether or not he is aware of this fact. Fortunate is the person who willingly accepts this role, and woe onto one who tries to ignore it.
Our parasha describes so vividly how Adam tried to extricate himself from Hashem’s dominion by means of the Tree of Knowledge. The snake promised, “You shall be like G-d” (Bereishit 3:5), and this is what drove him to act. This was the venom of the snake, which tried to turn knowledge into something that serves the desires of one’s eyes and taste. Throughout various stages in human history, people thought they could challenge Hashem (see Yeshaya 14:14). The powers of our era, who create all sorts of machines of destruction, also demonstrate the great danger of eating from the Tree of Knowledge without being protected by the path of the Tree of Life.
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This edition of
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l