Home Religion Bereshit, 5784/2023: From Chaos to Light

Bereshit, 5784/2023: From Chaos to Light


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Torah begins, “When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ / tohu va-vohu” – Chaos is unformed and chaotic. (Gen. 1-2(At first, chaos reigned. Tohu va-vohu The original state of our universe was entropy. It is a thermodynamic law: Entropy always exists. Chaos pre-existed creation.

It is clear that chaos was present before the creation of the modern State of Israel. Our world suffered from profound destruction and upheaval in the years leading up to 1948. The hope that was encoded into the modern state Israel was planted on spiritual soil, laced with shrapnel from our broken hearts following the death of six million. In 1948, could we have imagined the grief that is felt today?

This week, we learned some new things about chaos. I have no words for the horror of what we’ve witnessed from afar… and I know this pales in comparison with what our beloveds there are going through. I think of when Aaron’s sons die unexpectedly and Torah says simply that he is silent (Lev. 10:3). Sometimes our grief is beyond words.

There is unspeakable sorrow also in this week’s Torah portion. We read in Bereshit about Cain, Abel and the…

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