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The specialness of Shabbat Bereishit


Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

This coming Shabbat is referred to as "Shabbat Bereishit" since we start reading from the beginning of the Torah, that begins with the word "Bereishit."

In parashat Bereishit the creation of the world is described. Sea and land are created, animals and man are created, and then God, by resting, gives Shabbat to the world. Shabbat occurs for the first time on the seventh day and it teaches us that after six days of creative activity, the world also needs rest and tranquility, quiet and holiness.

It is customary to say that Shabbat Bereishit has a powerful influence over the entire year. Therefore, many upgrade this Shabbat by adding something special to it -- in the meals that are eaten, in the content of what is studied, in the quality of prayer, in welcoming guests in extraordinary fashion. This week I heard about a family that upgrades this coming Shabbat experience by taking a nap Friday afternoon in order to enter Shabbat more alert than usual so as to honor it appropriately. You are invited to think of some small thing that you can do to demonstrate appreciation for this special Shabbat.

Shabbat (Bereishit) shalom.


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