BereishisFor the week ending 27 Tishrei 5756; 20 & 21 October 1995
In the beginning, Hashem creates the entire universe, including
time itself, out of nothingness. The creation is completed and
perfected in six days. On the seventh day, Hashem rests, bringing
into existence the spiritual universe of Shabbos, which returns
every seven days. Adam and Chavathe Human pair are placed in
the Garden of Eden. Chava is enticed by the serpent to eat
from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and
Evil, and in turn gives of the fruit to Adam. By absorbing Sin
into themselves, Adam and Chava render themselves incapable of
remaining in the spiritual paradise of Eden and are banished.
[Death, hard work, (both physically and spiritually) now enter
the world, together with pain in childbirth and the struggle to
correct the sin of Adam and Chava, which will be the subject of
the history of the world.] Cain and Hevel, the first two children
of Adam and Chava bring offerings to Hashem. Hevel gives the finest
of his flock, and his offering is accepted, but Cain gives inferior
produce and his is rejected. In the ensuing quarrel, Cain kills
Hevel, and is condemned to wander the earth. The Torah traces
the genealogy of the other children of Adam and Chava, and the
descendants of Cain until the birth of Noach. After the
death of Sheis, mankind descends into evil and Hashem decides
that He will blot out Man in a flood which will deluge the
world. However Noach alone finds favor in Hashem's eyes.
If you think about it, this seems a pretty poor piece of logic. With this reasoning, any thief could come along and say: "I know it was your house Mr. Cohen, but the whole world belongs to G-d. He created your house and He gave it to whom He deemed fit. Through His will He gave it to you, and through His will - He gave it to me!"
The answer is that everything in this world can be stolen. Everything that is, except Eretz Yisrael. The Land of Israel is unique because Eretz Yisrael is un-stealable. Thus, the mere fact of its possession is proof of ownership. However, we only merit that Hashem gives us Eretz Yisrael when we show that our will is to be in the Land of Israel. Through His will He gave it to them and through His will He gave it to us - it is only by showing that our will to be in Eretz Yisrael corresponds to Hashem' s Will to give us The Land, that we can guarantee that Hashem will continue to give us this country...
(based on Rav Moshe Shapiro)
(adapted from Rabeinu Bachya)
The word for the world in Hebrew is from the same root as the word hidden. The world is literally a place for Hashem to be hidden in it. The job of Man is to uncover Hashem's presence in the world and thus earn the closeness to Him which is the Creator's desire. This is the purpose of the creation.
When the Torah talks about Hashem 'working', obviously there can be no concept of effort with regard to Hashem. The work that Hashem does is the creation of veils - the creation of 'hidden-ness'. These veils are necessary so that Man may have freedom of choice. For when the courtier is standing in the throne room in front of The King, he has no freedom to choose to do the will of The King, for he is transfixed by the awe of His presence. When The King is behind the veil of the world, Man then has a stage-set on which he can exercise his freedom to choose to do The King's will. On Shabbos when Hashem 'rests', He ceases to create these veils which obscure Him from us, and when we experience Shabbos the way the Torah teaches us, we feel close to Hashem. That's why Shabbos is called a resemblance of the world to come. A world where there are no veils...
(based on Michtav M'Eliahu and a story heard from Rabbi Zev Leff)
Yishayahu 42:5 - 43:10Contents
Insights into the Zemiros sung at the Shabbos table throughout the generations.
Hear this Zemir
This song of greeting to the two heavenly angels who, our Sages say, escort us home from the synagogue, serves as the perfect introduction to all the zemiros we will sing throughout Shabbos. When a Jew arrives home and finds the candles brightly burning, the table festively set and the entire home in magnificent order the good angel accompanying him says "May it be the will of Hashem that the same situation exist on the Shabbos to come." The other angel, the one charged with the responsibility for punishing those lax in the preparation for Shabbos, is compelled to answer "Amen."
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Lev Seltzer
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