Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why the Torah starts with BERESHIT ?, Part 1


In his famous commentary of Parashat Bereshit, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi, 1040 – 1105) is asking the following question: Why does the Torah start the narrative how G - d created the world ? Wouldn't it be more logical if G - d told us the Mitzvot first ?

Raschi defines his answer as follows: G - d began the Torah with Bereshit because other nations could make claims in the future. Claims such as "Israel stole the Land of Israel from the seven Canaanite nations". By teaching us how G - d created the world and anything existing, He is also making it clear who owns this world. Who is in power to decide what nation is receveing which country ? The entire world belongs to G - d and first he gave the Land of Israel to the Canaanites and decided later on to take it away from the Canaanites in order to hand it over to the Jews.

According to a different commentary on the Rashi statement, Rashi didn't intent to say that all Gentiles should be so impressed now by knowing that Israel really belongs to the Jews. What Rashi is trying to say is that the Jews should be aware of their right to possess Israel. 

The Ramban (Nachmanides, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman Girondi, 1194 – 1270) led Rashi's question even further: Why did G - d first teach us about the days of creation ? Until today, there is no final definition of the TOHU va'BOHU concept. Why is G - d telling us what He created on the first, second, third, etc. day ? Do we understand what Paradise is and what Adam and Eve (Chava) did when G - d built the first stories of the Torah in symbolism ? Wouldn't it be enough telling us that G - d created the world in six days and then continue with the Ten Commandments ? Why do we need to know about Noch and his Ark or the Tower of Bavel ?

No comments:

Post a Comment