Parashat Bereishit – Erev Shabbat – 13 October 2023 (5784)
Week of 8-14 October 2023
Torah portion: Genesis 1:1-6:8 Haftarah: 1 Samuel 20:18-42
Theme: The Creation
lthough the Parashah narrates the creation of the Universe, my commentary focuses on the creation of the human being as in the image of God . This Parashah tells us about the creation of the world and the creation of the human being. On the sixth day, Elohim created Adam and Eve, but with a specific characteristic: He created them bezelem Elohim. Not so the minerals, the vegetables and animals; only the human being. What is the meaning of the above term? Maimonides begins his book “Guia de perplejos” explaining this concept.
We must distinguish two points:
I) Man and woman have free choice. Animals have instinct and preference between two necessities. Human beings can choose in freedom between two values.
2) Human beings have the auto-creative capacity to work with these values and develop inside, finishing and completing in themselves. This capacity of internal auto-creation is a privilege element only for the human beings, not for animals.
Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik in “Halakhic man” says:
The most fundamental principle of all is that (human beings) must create (themselves).
It is this idea that Judaism introduced into the world…
Choice and responsibility, freedom and creativity are features of Jewish thought.
We are dust, but also the “breath” of God. We are created with the capacity to create ourselves. With the breath of God over the dust, the man became ruah memallelah, a spiking spirit.
Creation begins with the language, with the creative Word (“and God said”…). “And God saw that it was very good”.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1.Which values do I choose in freedom for my life? 2. How can I develop these values, working on my unfinished creation?
Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965); R.M. Maimonides, “Guía de perplejos”, E.N. Madrid, 1984 R.J. Soloveitchik , “Halakhic man”, Jewish Publication Society , 1983
This week’s Parasha Commentary was prepared by
Concepcíon F. Vivas, Spain, Bat kol Alumna: 2023