Parshat Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

The Five Books of Moses begins with the Six Days of Creation, the Shabbat, the story of the Garden of Eden — the first transgression, consequences and expulsion; Cain & Abel, the ten generations to Noah, the Almighty sees the wickedness of man in that generation and decrees to “blot out man” (i.e.. the flood).

One of the most profound verses in the whole Torah is “And G-d created man in His own Image.” Since G-d does not have a physical being, this means that we are endowed with free-will, morality, reason and the ability to emulate G-d  Who bestows kindness. Also, if we really appreciate that we are created in the image of G-d, we realize that we have intrinsic worth. Therefore, there is no need to be depressed wondering if you have intrinsic worth!

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Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states, “And the earth was desolate and void, and darkness was upon the waters … and the Almighty said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:2,3). What insight into living can we learn from this?

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, used to say that these verses at the beginning of the Torah serve as a tremendous inspiration in times of darkness. At the beginning of creation, the world was completely dark without even the faintest hint of any light. One cannot chase away darkness with sticks and axes. However, just kindle one small match and the darkness is gone.

When the entire world is in total darkness, one statement of the Almighty, “Let there be light” is sufficient to light up the whole world! This idea is taught to young children as soon as they begin studying Torah. Although there are times when the world is encompassed by a spiritual darkness which endangers its very existence, there is always hope. In one instant the Almighty can send forth His word and there will be a great light.

Whenever you feel despair it is because you tell yourself that things are presently awful and that all is hopeless. At such moments you do not feel it possible that there will be a bright future. If, however, you keep in mind that the Almighty has the power to shine forth a magnificent light, you will overcome your negative attitude of despair. From the bottom of your heart you will call upon our Creator to shed light upon the world

Even before the light appears, you will be full of hope. You realize that the darkness itself is part of the Almighty’s plan. Whenever you feel darkness, develop the habit of repeating, “Let there be light.” Just by repeating these words over and over you will begin to feel the light of the Almighty penetrating your heart and soul. Even if your personal situation remains as it is, when you experience the Almighty’s light you will have the strength to deal with any situation from a position of spiritual strength. The salvation of the Almighty comes in the blink of an eye!


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