שבת בראשית

This Shabbat is called שבת בראשית, as we begin the Torah once again. This year I will be using מסורת הרב as my primary commentary to the Torah. It is a new commentary compiled by Dr. Arnold Lustiger of the teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, זצ״ל, also known as “The Rav”.

The Rav views the first chapter dealing with creation, as essential that the term יש מאין, something from nothing, be properly understood.

Unlike Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who believed that G-d fashioned the world from some raw materials, the Torah taught יש מאין, that Hashem willed that there be creation, and so it was.

The Rav goes on to explain that the acceptance of יש מאין helps proclaim G-d’s dominion over the entire world. Our essence and very existence happens, because Hashem willed that it happen. This absolute dependence on Hashem is what helps give us prospective of who we are and what really matters in this world.

Perhaps this is why the Targum translated the word בראשית to mean בחוכמה, that with wisdom Hashem created the world.