Saturday, September 28, 2013
B’reishit 1:1-6:8 (146 verses)
1st Torah Portion, the first of portion of Genesis
“Finding the Good”
God creates the universe from nothingness over six days, concluding with the creation of Shabbat on the seventh day (yes, God works on Shabbat, but only for a millisecond). Day One: Light; Day Two: Separation of the waters above and below the earth; Day Three: Seas, Dry Land, Vegetation; Day Four: Sun, Moon, Stars; Day Five: Sea Creatures and Flying Creatures; Day Six: Land Creatures and Humans; Day Seven: Shabbat and rest.
Table Talk Focus:
For the first five days of Creation, God concludes with “it was good.” God’s assessment following the creation of the sixth day is different:
God then surveyed all that God had made, and look – it was very good!
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (1:31)
On all other days, God observes that the creation was according to God’s intention and turned out well. On the sixth day of creation, God pronounces that it is “exceedingly good” (Fox translation, Schocken Bible, 17).
One possible interpretation is that the creation of human beings that occurred on the sixth day is unique when compared with the rest of creation.
Table Talk Discussion:
- God’s role in the story of creation is not only to create, but also to appreciate each aspect of creation and approve of it. Why is it important to recognize good work, even your own? How do you do this?
- Read chapter one of Genesis.
- Illustrate the creation on each day.
- Sing Hinei Tov M’od (Genesis 1:31).
- There are no creatures that do not have a function in creation. Choose one towards which you have negative feelings, and learn about it so that you can explain the important role it plays. (Synthesis)
- How are some people with whom you have negative feelings, at times beneficial to you? (Analysis)
- Debate the ways in which we are better than other parts of creation and ways in which we are not. (Evaluation)