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What do we take away from the book of Genesis?

מה ניקח מספר בראשית

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

It's difficult to part from the book of Genesis (Bereshit), so here are three ideas taken from it, a little food for thought before moving on to the book of Exodus (Shemot):
1. The Torah devotes approximately 30 verses to the creation of the physical universe. Yet 1,500 verses are devoted to the creation's central subject -- the human being. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" -- and the human being. Our principle challenge until today is to be recognized as God's creations in all we do.
2. It is customary to conclude that the book of Genesis has a happy ending. Yosef and his brothers are reconciled, Ya'akov Avinu arrives in Egypt, the family reunites. But not all is well. At the end of Genesis, Ya'akov requests to be buried, sometime in the future, in the Land of Israel and reminds his children: Our exile is temporary since our ultimate destination is the Land of Israel. It's nice that the family is reunited but we must also reunite with our homeland. We have a home, and it's not Egypt.
3. This would appear to be the most influential book of all time. If a poll were taken of the most influential people in human history, Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu would come out on top. Not because of financial success or military victories or fame; indeed, when they lived, there were empires far more powerful than their household and group of followers, and they were largely anonymous. Yet, until today, they have influenced billions since they founded a family known for its faith, lovingkindness, and radiant light.
Shavua tov.


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