There is a Chasidic saying that one's behavior on the Shabbat of the Torah portion of Bereishit affects the entire coming year. There are so many important special Jewish days each year, so many Torah portions with essential commandments or critical messages communicated. What is so unique about Shabbat Bereishit?

If all of Creation is constantly being renewed, then we, too, are also always being recreated….

"In the beginning, G‑d created the heaven and the earth." (Gen. 1:1) One of the most important concepts in Judaism is that G‑d constantly maintains His creation; the universe is being re-created each and every instant. Nothing can exist without G‑d's constant and consistent involvement. This continuous renewal of creation is the innovation of the six days of Creation. And if all of Creation is being constantly renewed, then we too are also constantly being recreated from nothing and naught. Our personal existence is only because G‑d constantly recreates us.

When a person realizes that his entire existence is G‑dliness, it can change both his perspective and priorities. According to the above, we can now understand the importance of Shabbat Bereishit. For in the very first verse of the Torah is the foundation of a person's relationship to G‑d for the entire year.

G‑d is all good….

If all of Creation is constantly renewed, then we, too, are also always being recreated, how will it work? As I stand on the eve of Shabbat Bereishit, it is clear that I want every aspect of my life to reflect that it is based in G‑dliness. However, I find that everywhere I turn the physical world is setting up difficult obstacles. The lesson of Bereishit is to recall that the world does not exist independently at all, that G‑d is constantly recreating it. G‑d is saying over and over again, "Let there be light!" - so light comes into being. So, too, for every detail of Creation. The Zohar writes how G‑d uses the Torah as the blueprint for Creation; (Teruma, 161a) therefore, it is impossible that any part of the world be an obstacle to our goal, since everything is Torah - G‑d's infinite will and wisdom. Dealing with these seeming obstacles is part of our mission - 'Jewish Judo', so to speak. Our opponents attack is the sweet secret of our success.

Putting G‑d and His commandments first will never detract from our lives; it will only help us fulfill our purpose, spiritually and physically. This is what the saying, 'Shabbat Bereishit affects the entire coming year' means. We must advance our spiritual lives, and this will help us push away the worries that nag us day and night about our physical needs, our children, our health and our livelihood.

When a person remembers that everything comes from G‑d every instant, there is no place to worry since he knows that "No bad comes from Him." (Lamentations 3:28) G‑d is all good. When a person integrates this idea into his day-to-day life, he will be able to see everything is good, even with his physical eye.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova, Shaul

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