Some of the rabbinic commentators were a bit perplexed as to why the Torah started with this week’s Torah portion, Bereshit. Some wondered as to why the Torah did not begin with Abraham and the creation of Judaism and our relationship with God. Others suggested that the real beginning of the Torah should have been in Exodus, when the Israelites had an opportunity to observe their first commandment as a nation. Yet the Torah begins with Adam and Eve, and the creation of the world, and I would like to suggest a reason as to why.
Beginning the Torah with the creation of the world reminds us that while the Torah serves as the foundational book of Judaism, it does not necessarily just pertain to Jews. God did not just shape us, but the entire world; everything we experience, everything and everyone we encounter, is God’s creation.
As we read the book of Genesis and the story of creation, may we continue to be in awe of all that was created. May we continue to recognize our responsibility as God’s partners in creation, to honor the sanctity and appreciate the beauty that is everything and everyone in the world around.
Rabbi Josh Dorsch