Parsha Breish’t 5769: New Beginnings; Lessons for the Jews


By Moshe Burt

Somehow, not being rabbinic or a Talmud Chacham, it has always seemed difficult to put a true and deep meaning of Hashem’s creation to words.

In Hashem’s expression of creation; “Breish’t, Bora, Kelokim.” (“In the beginning, Hashem created the heavens and the earth”, Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1) Torah surely wasn’t referring to that big 7 run 7th inning by the Red Sox in game 5 of the ALCS vs the Tampa Bay Rays where they trailed 3 games to 1 and 7-0 in the game; you know the one, ‘In the big inning.’

To those who make the trip to Israel for Succot to, as Rav Kahane z’l indicates in his well-known Jewish Times article “Goodbye Wall”, publically and unabashedly celebrate 2 days of of Yom Tov on the 1st and last days and then rush back to Chutz L’Aretz on the red-eye special almost immediately upon the end of the Chutz Simchat Torah, the message could be — You’re a Jew, you belong here, connected to your land; that the truest, purest form of Mitzvot is achieved here in Eretz Yisrael.

It appears as if Hashem, as we understand speech, is saying to the Yom Tov visitors, “The Chaggim have ended and now, I bring the onset of the Rainy Season.” If there is a message that we can take from “MaShiv HaRuach U’Morid HaGeshem”, can we understand this to be a message that the mindset of our Chutznik friends and relatives, seemingly, “Fantasy is over, back to reality, jobs, bills, responsibilities and so, “Goodbye Wall,” is at best flawed? Can we now understand the derogatory tone of Ehud Olmert when greeting Nefesh b’Nefesh Olim in August, 2005 on the day of the Expulsion; if spoken by someone else with kindness of heart and in a different context — that if Jews had made Aliyah in numbers prior to now, terms like Expulsion, Convergence, Consolidation, Realignment, Roadmaps, “Two States for Two Nations” and more would be nowhere to found in the Israeli lexicon or national discourse?

And to Israelis, who passionately crave the “Normal Life”, normal like any other nation and who are, as Olmert puts it, “tired of fighting, tired of winning…” and thus are confused as to who they are, why there is an Israel and why they are here, this quote of Rashi and his question on R. Yitzchak, as rendered in the Metsudah Chumash/Rashi linear Translation (Rashi on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1) relating to “Breish’t, Bora, Kelokim” seems more than appropriate;

R. Yitzchak said: The Torah should have begun with [the verse] “This month shall be [your first month],” it being the first precept that the Israelites were commanded. Then why does it [the Torah] begin with “In the beginning”? This is because [of the concept contained in the verse,] “He declared the power of His works to His people in order to give to the the inheritance of the nations.” Thus, should the nations of the world say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you have taken by force the lands of the Seven Nations,” they [Israel] will say to them: “All the earth belongs to G’d. He created it and gave it to whomever He saw fit. It was his will to give it to them and it was His will to take it from them and give it to us.”

And so, to Israelis as well, Hashem seemingly sends the message by the rain, “The Chag has ended, and now, I bring the onset of the Rainy Season.” Seemingly the message is that Hashem gives His Land to whom He gives it, brings the rain when He deems to bring the rain, that it is Kelokim who controls the world and not natural forces. When Israelis internalize this lesson, this internalization and it’s manifestations will bring on the Moshiach, the geula shlaima.

When we receive Divine Brachot for the year to come in V’zos HaBracha on Simchat Torah, we should recognize or, must recognize, that these final verses don’t mark a finish, a completion but rather just a beginning, for the eternal Torah renews itself eternally in applicability and pertinence with the end of the current cycle and beginning of each new cycle. The joy of completion must extend to the joy of continuance, the joy of new learning and new perspectives which build level upon level of that already learned.

And so we must take into the new year, the craving for improvement, the craving to make things right throughout Am Yehudi.

May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard, captive Gilad Shalit and the other MIAs be liberated alive returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem and that we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of the Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.