Bereishis. This year I will learn the parasha every week with Targum, Rashi, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, Rabbeinu Bachye, Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh, Kli Yakar, Sforno, Chizkuni, Oznaim LaTorah, Netziv, Abarbanel, Alshich, Akeida, Malbim, Rav Hirsch, Rav Tzadok, Sfas Emes, Shem MiShmuel, Reb Yeruchem, Otzros HaTorah, Talilei Oros, Mayana Shel Torah, Peninim al HaTorah, Shabbos Ta’am HaChaim 🙂 Medrash Rabbah, Zohar and the list goes on and on. Well, maybe most of us won’t manage to study all those commentaries and Medrashim, but it’s nice to be ambitious, correct?
So what is it about Bereishis that is so exhilarating, so intriguing, and oh so mysterious? Indeed, the Medsrah states that until the end of the description of creation is referred to as כבוד אלקים הסתר דבר, the glory of HaShem is when the matter is concealed. One must wonder, then, why the Torah even bothers recording the act of creation, if we cannot even comprehend what creation was.
The answer to this question is that this is the essential message of Bereishis. We must know that there was a beginning and then we can begin to explore the world that we live in. Furthermore, the Medrash states that Hashem looked into the Torah and created the world. Just like the secrets of the Torah ate endless, so too with the secrets of the universe. We are required to study Torah as much as we are capable, even though we never can attain a full understanding of the Torah’s secrets. Similarly, we are required to explore to the best of our abilities the world that we live in, so that we can appreciate everything that HaShem does for us.
Have an Appreciative Shabbos!