There are parts of Judaism that always stay the same, and because of that they are a good marker to notice change, and also to reflect on what is going on life.
This week we start over. We read Parshat Berashite. We restart at the creation of the world, go about an almost destruction of the world, and then learn about human creation.
The beginning of the Parsha is one that is very famous. The world was created in 6 days and then God rested on the 7th day. The debate of what is the meaning of the differences between the first chapter and the second chapter.
The rabbis say that Adam sinned within the first day of his creation. On that day he was created, Eve was created, she even had two sons, and then they ate from the tree of knowledge. They were sent out from the Garden of Eden and were given numerous punishments, that they must work the earth, birth will be difficult, really life will be difficult.
Not so long after Cain kills Able, because he was jealous and thought that God loved him more. He sees his own brother, and instead of figuring out how to either better himself or how to talk to his brother, he kills him. Not only that, but he tries to hide the fact from God- the very being that he was trying to impress. Cain is then punished to wander the earth, with a mark on him saying that he is the father of murder.
But interestingly, at the end of the Parsha he finds solace. He finds a place that accepts him, and he even has children. His children then become creators. We hear about the creation of skills of music and working with heavy metals. Human found a way to create, not only to destroy.
I find in my life there is a lot of time for creation and destruction right now. I made a choice to move institutions because I felt like the one I was in was a destruction of me, and moving was necessary. The move at first was great, it was nice to be somewhere that felt happy and safe. But at time is going on, I am questioning this choice. I’m realizing that there are even greater sacrifices and hardships that are happening. There is nothing that is meant to be perfect. Or maybe it is a chance for me to relearn how to be creative, something that I used to be good at.
This is also the week of going back to the old for me. On Sunday I will be going back to Israel for the rest of the year, my four months are coming to a close. There are things that I am going back to that have been the same for quite some time, work, friends, my apartment. There are somethings that are new, like how and when I will be learning. And some things that are semi-new/semi-old where I will be learning, who I am learning with, and unfortunately the state of things at this very moment (that I am praying will change for the better very soon).
So once again I am looking at Bereishit as a time to restart. The year is really beginning. The year has a lot of hope for creation. And there is even hope- that even if things are destroyed or feel like they are destroyed, something will happen to correct it. And from that there is the chance for creation once again.