Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Bereishis

A Springtime of the Spirit

As the warm glow of summer gives way to the chill autumn winds, the world begins to withdraw into itself. People remain indoors, their doors and windows shut tight. Trees shed their leaves, and animals prepare food and shelter for the long cold winter. The cycle of the year has reached its descending phase, at the opposite pole from the flourishing days of spring.

Yet for the Jewish people, this is the time of year when we experience a great surge of renewal. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur our neshamos were cleansed and our slates cleared, and we realigned our priorities in life. But perhaps more than anything else, Shabbos Bereishis gives us a true sense of a new beginning. As we watch the Torah scroll rolled back to its very first parchment page, it is as if we are witnessing the entire year being rolled back to give us a fresh start. We open the pages of the Chumash and read about the creation of the world with a sense of excitement that does not diminish from year to year. If anything, it grows stronger. It is a springtime of the spirit, a time when Jewish souls blossom and bloom.

The prelude to this wonderful time was Simchas Torah, when we held hands in song and dance to honor the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and its commencement once again. But the question presents itself: Why do we choose this particular time for this great outburst of rejoicing? Why now more than on Shavuos, the anniversary of the actual Giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, are we called upon to celebrate in such a festive manner?

The answer lies in the very first words of the Torah - “Bereishis, in the beginning, Hashem created the heavens and the earth.” Our Sages point out that in Scriptures the word reishis sometimes refers to the Torah. Therefore, they explain, we are also being told that “with the Torah, Hashem created the heavens and the earth.” What, however, is the connection between the Torah and creation?

Let us think for a moment about a suspension bridge. Many of drive across such bridges on our daily trek to work, but how often do we take notice of this marvelous piece of architecture? And even if we did take notice of this marvel of grace and solidity, would we have the capacity to appreciate it fully? Surely not. Unless we were personally involved in the actual building the bridge, we could not begin to imagine the enormous amount of design, engineering and planning that went into the bridge, not to mention the daunting complexity of the actual construction.

The living world around us is, of course, infinitely more marvelous and complex than the greatest human architectural feats imaginable. It is a triumph of design that only Hashem could have accomplished. But where is the blueprint for this world? Where are the engineering plans? They are all in the Torah. “Histakel b’Oraisa uvarah alma,” our Sages say. “He looked into the Torah and created the world.” The laws, the concepts, the mystical secrets of the Torah are the keys to the universe. The spiritual Torah and the physical world exist in a state of perfect integration.

Simchas Torah is our crowning celebration of the Torah. On Shavuos, we commemorated the spiritual gift of the Torah, its mitzvos and teachings which represent our connection to eternity. On Simchas Torah, however, we commemorate the Torah as the very foundation of the physical world. We dance around it in a circle to signify that the Torah is the focal point of creation which controls and energizes everything around it.

Our joy is complete. Not only is the Torah our passport to eternity, it is also our key to the here and now. Torah is the basis of all creation, and connecting with it allows us to live in perfect harmony with our surroundings.

The nip of autumn may be in the air, but as we begin to read Bereishis, it is springtime in our hearts.

Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Naftali Reich and

Rabbi Reich is on the faculty of the Ohr Somayach Tanebaum Education Center.



View Complete List

Of Transformation and Conformation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Moshe Demonstrates The Priorities Of A Leader Of Israel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771


Going Home to a New House
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Second Guessing Pinchas
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Role Model
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Pinchas & The Three Weeks
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Champion of Sacrifice
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

About This We Cry!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Brit Shalom, Shabbat Shalom
Shlomo Katz - 5773

More than Meets the Eye
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

The Eye Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

> In the Eye of the Beholder
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Glass House Real Estate
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

What Are We Mourning on the Ninth of Av
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

Grandson of Aharon -- The Lover of Peace & Pursuer of Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information