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This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2018.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” These are the first words of the world’s most popular book: The Bible. The Bible that has managed to spread its way around the entire globe being translated into thousands of languages and has estimated to have been printed over 6 billion times. It is by far the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. But what is this ancient text all about? Kabbalists recount the story of the student who asked his teacher to summarize the entire Bible in the time it takes to stand on one leg. The teacher told the student the Bible is simply about learning to love your neighbor as yourself and the rest is just mere commentary. Could it be that this thousand-year-old text is simply about love? Does love have the power to create this big of a movement that traveled around the world for as long as it has? I know it does. I know that love has the power to do this and far more. I believe the Bible, at its core, is entirely about love. It is the world’s first account of the power of the Creator and the love that endlessly emanates from Him. The Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is the focus of kabbalistic study and provides us a blueprint and instruction manual for living. It is said the Creator used the Torah itself to create the world. The Torah is the water and fuel of our spirits. It is where we find the beginning of love and all of its splendor. It is where we are able to connect to the Light of the Creator’s love, and thus it provides us with the needed energy to fulfill our purpose in life. This week, love is born. Love is born into the cosmos and it renews and refuels us. It is this love from the Creator that is at the core of our being, the genesis behind all action, and the pining of our souls. We find ourselves at the beginning of our story and the beginning of love.
"True love is selfless."
Our cosmic blueprint and map this week is none other than the very beginning of the Bible itself, the chapter called Beresheet. Beresheet means “in the beginning.” It heads off the first book of the Torah, known as Genesis. We read Beresheet at the start of the year and it begins the cycle of our weekly portions of the Bible. Crouched in mystery and a myriad of interpretations, we find in Beresheet the story of the creation of our world. Each day outlined and described. Day one: The creation of night and light. Day two: The creation of the Heavens. Day three: The creation of the land and seas. Day four: The creation of the stars, moon, and sun. Day five: The creation of the animals in the air and of the sea. Day six: The creation of living creatures on earth and of man himself. Finally, day seven: The creation of a holy time in which the Creator rested from His work. In these beginning paragraphs of the Bible, we are provided with the greatest force and power of creation that has ever existed. It is an endless reservoir of energy that pales even the power of the sun. It is in these opening sentences that we begin to learn and feel the Creator’s Light and immense love. For the world was born out of the Love the Creator has for each of us, His precious children.
"This is our story."
Kabbalah teaches that the world was created for our enjoyment. We were created to be happy and to experience joy. The earth is a great gift from the Creator. Before the creation of our world, we were at One with the Creator in a utopia where there was no lack, sadness, pain, depression, or problems. We received endless energy and endless blessings. Like a small child in the arms of his parent, our every need and want were provided. But as life shows us, a child will eventually grow up, and this process hints to what occurred so many thousands of years ago. As we began to mature with the Creator in our utopic world, we became unsatisfied, because although we received everything from the Creator, there was one thing we did not receive: We did not receive the satisfaction of being a giver and sustainer ourselves. And so, the Creator, out of pure Love, gave us this world so that we may develop the spark of Light that lies in each of us. Like the pain any parent experiences when a child leaves home, the Creator felt this pain all the more, but allowed us the gift of free will, knowing it was the only way for us to achieve the fulfillment we sought. The love that releases another so that they may mature and grow is the most pure and selfless of all love. For true love has no agenda, no attachment, or control. It is a love without agenda. A love that sets one free. This is the love that is born this week, an authentic love that cultivates, once again, in our hearts.
Oftentimes, we may think we love someone when actually we may just be loving ourselves. We may love what the person does for us, or how they make us feel. This is called a shadow love and it’s about what we need out of the relationship. We are primarily thinking of ourselves. But if we say we love someone, how is it then we do not always know when they are in pain or hurt? True love is selfless. It is understanding that sometimes loving someone means you need to let them go. Sometimes loving someone means you cannot give them what they may want. Sometimes loving someone is allowing the other person to even love another. True love is being allowed to be set free. This is exactly what the Creator, our Father in Heaven, did for us. He set us free and created this entire world and playing field, so we can develop and spiritually mature. The story of Beresheet, the story of Creation, is the story of love. It is our story. Here on earth, we are able to learn how to open our hearts more, give more, share more, and most importantly, ignite the spark of the Creator within into a bright flame.
"This is the seed of love."
This week in your meditations, take yourself to a beautiful field, a beautiful wide-open field where the possibilities of the future are as wide as the sky above you. As you walk the land, breathe in the fresh air and allow it to enter your lungs. It is the Breath of Life and it supports you. Now kneel to the earth and gently place a seed into the soil. This seed represents your heart's truest desires and wishes for the coming year. You bury it in the ground knowing that it will sleep through the winter months, but come spring, it will grow and blossom. This is the seed of love. We plant this seed each time we smile at a friend, extend our hand to someone in need, allow people to live their own lives, and even let go of those who wish to leave us. We become creators ourselves every time we do for another as we would like done for ourselves.
When we plant seeds of love, we activate the same powers of Creation itself. Love will always be the result. For when we begin with love, love will always be waiting for us at the end.