On the Shabbat immediately following Simchat Torah we start a new cycle of Torah readings, beginning with Parashat Bereshit. It features two surprisingly different stories about the creation of the world. MORE>
Rise up, for you have the power.
You have wings of the spirit, wings of powerful eagles.
Do not deny them, or they will deny you.
Seek them, and you will find them instantly.
Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 83-84
Rav Kook on the Weekly Parasha
Parashat Hashavua 2
Bereshit / Genecis
The Midrash relates how the first letter of the Torah was selected. Before the world was created, the letters of the alphabet presented themselves before God. The letter Aleph then announced: I should be used to create the world, since I am the first letter in the alphabet. But God replied: No, I will create the world with the letter Bet, because it is the first letter of the word brachah (blessing). If only My world will be for a blessing!
For this reason, the account of the world's creation begins with the letter Bet — Breishit. The Aleph, as the first letter in the alphabet, was given a different honor: it was selected to begin the Ten Commandments — Anochi.
Nice story — but what does it matter which letters were used to start Genesis and the Ten Commandments?
More to read about the Parahah
a summary of the portion
By Nancy Reuben
God creates the world with words;
Adam and Eve sin,
Cain kills Abel,
and God considers destroying
All of Creation.
In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth, when the earth was astonishingly empty and dark, God's spirit hovered upon the surface of the waters.
God said, "Let there be light. God saw that the light was good. There was light of day and a dark of night, morning and evening, one day." God said, "Let there be a firmament, a Heaven, separating the waters and dry land." God named the dry land Earth, and the waters Seas and then God brought forth from the earth seeds and plants and fruit trees. God said, "Let there be for earth light-bearers of a sun for the day, the moon and stars for the night. Let the seas swarm with living creatures and let there be birds to fly in the sky. God saw all that God created was good."
a summary of the haftarah
To complement the creation of the world, a promise of redemption
This week's Torah portion tells the story of the world's creation, and the haftarah provides its own sort of commentary on the Torah's first parashah. Isaiah introduces God at the beginning of this haftarah as "the One who created the heavens and stretched them out, who made the earth and all that grows in it" (42:5).
Have a nice and wonderful week