This week's Parsha is B'reshit, Genesis. We start, once again, at the very beginning of the Torah, reading and admiring the creation of the universe.
"In a beginning Elohim (God, Power, Force) creates the heaven and the earth..." Note that I didn't use the King James translation "In the beginning..." As we know from other translations of original writings into English, they are often incorrect or obscure the deeper meanings of the text. This is the same for the word God, translated from the Hebrew "Elohim".
The Hebrew "B'reshit" literally means "in a beginning". Commentators have suggested that there were other Creations that preceded this Creation or that this is one of a number of Creation stories.
The word for God, Elohim, implies a plurality to the "creator" due to the "im" on the word, yet it is connected to a singular verb Barah, meaning created. The noun and the verb do not agree! Other words in Hebrew have an "im" ending with singular intentions such as Panim for "face" and Chayim for "life." All these "im"-ending words point to something that is multifaceted or dynamic. One, but many
This first biblical story of Creation is clearly not scientific. Sorry. After all, the sun and the moon are not created until the fourth day. And we know that earth's rotation around the sun is what gives us a 24-hour day. Yet the ancient Israelite story, on so many levels, gives us a much needed and, at the time, most radical understanding of God and the universe. There is order, the Creation is Good, light comes from darkness, the human, male and female, are created in the divine image and the human prototype, Adam, has responsibility for the Creation and its perpetuation.
Come for Shabbes. Let's explore Genesis together. Bivracha, Reb David