"In the Beginning"
To begin all over again! What possibilities lie before us! What unforeseen potential awaits us! All of us, at times, have mused, no doubt, about the possibility of beginning all over again. The Hebrew calendar affords us just such an occasion once every new year. With the conclusion of the month of Tishrei's Rosh haShana-Yom Kippur-Sukkot-Shmini Atzeret holiday cycle, we begin again our annual Torah encounter.
We don't simply begin back where we started from one year ago, we begin all the way back at the beginning. The very beginning, the beginning of beginnings: That is, the book of Bereshith, Genesis, which is not merely an account of the beginning, a narration of how it went, but it is the very blueprint for the beginning that G-d Himself, as it were, consulted when He chose to begin the creation. Its letters, their shapes and sounds, and the words and verses that they form, are the very DNA of the world of darkness and light, day and night, rivers and streams and oceans and mountains, livestock and wildlife, fish and fowl, stars and planets, moon and sun, that we live in.
These letters are the stuff of our very souls, and to study, to examine, to ponder, to immerse ourselves in the depths of the Bereshith reality, is not only an immensely satisfying and gratifying endeavor, but it is part and parcel of the fulfillment of our purpose on this earth: to behold G-d's wonders and to praise Him and draw near to Him.
In the beginning, in the opening verses and chapters of Bereshith, are contained the keys to the future of mankind, the redemption of all humanity. For Adam haRishon - the first man - was created in Gan Eden - the Garden of Eden - the future location of the Holy Temple, and was fashioned of the dust upon which the future stone altar would stand. Adam's own altar, that he would erect after his ejection from the Garden of Eden, sat on the selfsame spot where the rebuilt altar will again become the center of the Divine service to HaShem: Mount Moriah, Jerusalem.
When we return to Bereshith, and begin anew our annual reading of the Holy Torah, it's not just for reviewing the text and refreshing our memory. We, in partnership with G-d, have got a world to create, at whose center stands the House of G-d, and from which goes forth His Torah, bringing peace and unity to all His children.
Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss leaving the sukkah and returning to the house which will feature prominently in the upcoming Chanukah commemoration. Beginning with the beginning - with Bereshith - Genesis - and the endless message of creation at the center of which stands... the Holy Temple. During these very days elements of the most pernicious kind are rising up in their vain efforts to block the building of G-d's house on earth.