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Refueling after the holidays

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

We are all full of exciting plans and ideas for the new year and yet, on the other hand, we are weary and apprehensive and swamped with humdrum assignments. The following commentary on parashat Bereishit can give us strength:

The parasha begins in a celebratory mood with the creation of the universe, but apparently ends in tragedy. Adam and Eve sin. But notice that even after the exile from the Garden of Eden, after the sin and its consequences, it is written in the Torah: "And HaShem sent them forth from the Garden of Eden." In the book "Sefat Emet" it is written: "'And HaShem sent them forth from the Garden of Eden' is the language of shlichut (being sent on a mssion)." True, Adam had sinned, but he was exiled from the Garden of Eden into this world not as revenge, but rather for self-rectification. Not to be punished, but rather to undertake a mission. And this is our purpose. We must go out into the world and begin to transform it into the Garden of Eden. Further on, the Torah will provide us with many tools to refine reality until it resembles that garden.

This gives us a completely different perspective on our lives and it can even inspire us to embrace our routine - preparing sandwiches for the kids to take to school, riding to work, meeting people throughout the day. Yet these daily tasks need not be regarded as ordinary or without any purpose, but rather as part of our divinely ordered mission in this world.

Shavua tov.


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