This Shabbat we will read from parashat Bereshit, the very first portion in the Torah. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” (Or, perhaps, “When God was beginning to create…” Or “When God began to create.” Or “In a beginning…”)
We read these words every year, but they never fail to thrill me. This is the beginning of our holy story; the beginning of our creation story. The beginning of everything.
Our sages teach that God created creation — God created us — because God was lonely. God yearned to be in relationship, so God established creation in order to have something and someone to be in relationship with. Our lifelong task is to figure out how best to be in relationship with our Source, with something greater than ourselves.
I want to bless us on this Shabbat Bereshit. May we experience this Shabbat as a new beginning. May this Shabbat open up for us the blessings of the vast cosmos, the created universe which is more strange and wondrous than we can imagine.
May we, this Shabbat, look out upon our world and our lives and be able to proclaim, with God, that what we see is good… even as we also taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and recognize that our world also contains suffering and sorrow.
And may we be strengthened and renewed in our desire to bring healing and repair: to our earth, to our community, to our relationships, to ourselves. Every day can be a new beginning, a new Bereshit, a new creation. Kein yehi ratzon: may it be so!