Beresheet

The year’s cycle of the Torah has started again. We start where we should: with Hashem. As the Creator of the world, not the Separator. Immediately after HaShem created the heavens (שמים, shamayim) and the earth it says that the earth was תהו ובהו, tohu vavohu, fallow (Beresheet/Genesis 1:2). The term ‘fallow’ clearly implies that it needed to be cultivated and developed. It was not a world broken down as an end result of a destructive process of an earlier world, but a young and fresh world yet to be formed.

And after the scene is all set the representative of Hashem enters the stage: humankind. We do not evolve from the scene, we are not cultivated apes. Although some people are, especially when they insist that they evolved from apes. We are created by the loving hands of the G-d of Israel. It took Him six days to prepare everything for us. Amazing that it took Him so long. But there is a reason for everything. On the sixth day he created us. And the very first thing Hashem did was blessing us. Hoping, speaking, preparing everything in order for us to be happy.

Gan Eden, Paradise, was and is the most beautiful caring and protecting place we ever lived in. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a unique and wonderful species in and of itself. It served as the torah of blessing and curse and as the visible thing not to do, which was and is: mixing good and evil. Hashem gave us attention in a well prepared measure. If He had been with us all the time we would have been spoiled and we would not have been able to think for ourselves. If He had not shown up in the evening or at all we would have erred and wandered off. It is good for us to have our Teacher and Chief Executive around us at certain moments and to be without Him at other moments.

And yet it went wrong. And not because we wanted Hashem around us more. We did not miss Him at all as a matter of fact. At the moment we did our wrong we hoped that He would not see it. And so we were plunged into exile. Punished but not discarded. Treated harshly but not insensitively or unreasonably. And we were able to get back. How? To get that answer humankind first had to respond to the call of G-d to live by His commandments. The response by Eve and later by Adam in Gan Eden had proven that this would be difficult. Twenty generations would go by before Hashem would chose His very own people. Stemming from one righteous gentile, Avraham.

When Israel was created as people and when it live in the place of such great contrast with Paradise, namely Egypt, the answer was given to the question as to how to get back to Paradise. Fifty days after our prison break we received it: Torah. When we would allow Hashem to put us on the King’s High Way then Torah would lead us back to where we belong. And we are not alone. We have got Hashem with us, the One to whom Hashem said: Let us make people. We do not believe in two gods. We believe that Hashem is able to manifest Himself as Yeshua the Messiah, Hashem Tzidkenu as our prophet Jeremiah puts it so well (23:6). He is with us to help, comfort, heal, restore, redeem, deliver, atone, and lead the way. And our soul mates from the nations love to join us in order to accompany us.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland.