Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Bereshit
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Revital Bat Lea

Parashat Bereshit


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

It would seem that the two most important events in history for the Jewish people are the Creation and the Exodus. The Torah begins, of course, at the beginning, with the story of Creation. This is certainly fitting. After all, God is the universal God, and for a great portion of history, there were no "Jews" or "Israelis" or "Hebrews." There were just people, the kind who populated the planet from its inception. To mark this auspicious event, we observe Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur at Bereisheit-time, as a vivid reminder that by doing teshuva, we can "re-create" ourselves and begin anew.

Alongside Creation, there is the Exodus from Egypt. While individuals date their origins to Creation, we as a people mark Pesach and the Exodus as our "national birthday," re-ordering our calendar as such, and linking our national character to the advent of spring. God's active intervention in history conveys to humanity the all-important message that not only is He in eternal control of the fate of the universe, but Jewish destiny can and will defy the laws of nature and be ever resurgent. In a real sense, the Exodus "trumps" Creation, and so we are commanded to remember the Exodus every day and every night, something not required regarding Creation.

There is, however, a third moment in history that is even greater than these two! "Behold, days are coming, says God, when people will no longer take an oath by 'the God who liberated Israel from Egypt,' but rather by 'the God who gathered the dispersed of Israel from the lands..... where they were scattered." (Yirmeyahu 23:7-8). Says the Gemara (Berakhot 12): "When Israel is free from the domination of foreign powers, even the Exodus will pale in comparison."

Yes, there is indeed a "Road Map" for the Jewish people. It starts at Creation and winds through the Exodus. WHEN it will come to its conclusion may still be uncertain; but WHERE it will end is crystal-clear: nowhere else but in Eretz Israel.

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
Aloh Na'aleh POB 4337, Jerusalem 91042
Tel: 972-2-566-1181 ext. 320 ~ Fax: 972-2-566-1186
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