Parashat Bereishit Revisited
One of the wonderful things about the month of Tishrei is that it affords us new beginnings. With the celebration of Simchat Torah, we renew our dedication to Torah and the cycle of weekly parshiyot begins again. So, with that in mind, I am going to renew my commitment to creating ParashahMom menus, divrei Torah, and decorative Shabbat ideas.
As I was learning parashat Bereishit yesterday with a good friend, I was struck by the image of Hashem separating in order to create. I imagine that the tohu vavohu described in the opening of the Torah is not a void and nothingness, necessarily. Rather, I see it more as a giant scribble, a huge knot of elements that cannot work because they are so jumbled and confused. To create, then, Hashem separates the elements and pulls out distinct, productive, and unique components from the mass tohu vavohu and renders them purposeful. Hahsem uses the same M.O. throughout the rest of the Torah: G-d separates Noach from his corrupt generation, Avraham from his peers, Yitzchak as a sacred gift, Yaakov as a courageous and victorious wrestler and father, Yosef as a gifted interpreter and leader, etc. Not only are individuals separated from the rest to serve G-d's purpose, but the entire nation is separated from other peoples at Har Sinai with the acceptance of the Torah. Every halachah in the Torah can be seen as a means of providing the Jewish People with a distinct and G-dly mission. By creating our own separations, we create a holiness in ourselves and join G-d in creative partnership in the work of making the world a meaningful, productive, good place.
So--how to make that idea accessible for kids? Hmmmm?
For starters, I to have a large bowl in the middle of the table with a jumble of objects in it. The objects will represent the various days of Creation. Over the course of the meal, we'll ask the kids to extricate the objects that apply for each given day. (Note to self: make sure this isn't a borer issue.) That way they can review the days of creation and see how organizing the elements ion the bowl make the world neat, orderly, and comprehensible.
As an alternative (if borer is a problem)????? I'll have to work on that. Check back later in the week for an alternate plan!
As for a menu: I'll have to stick with last year's. It's too good not to replicate.