Weekly insights into word concepts in torah breishit – israel national news

Furthermore, why do we read " But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die."( ibid 2:17). We also are told about the creation/separation of man and woman in the following way " And the Lord God said, " It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him a helpmate opposite him."(ibid:18)

The first chapter of Genesis describes the creation of the world in seven stages or "days". Every day ends with the dramatic declaration "and God saw that it was good". That was true for every one of the six days except on the second day " And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water." (Genesis 1:6). The day of separation between the water and the other water was not defined as good.


The Midrash explains that the separation of the waters caused great “sadness” and consternation” amidst the “Lower” waters who were suddenly disconnected from the “Heavenly “waters .the Hassidic masters describe the "lower( earthly) waters"as the “crying waters”(Mayim Bochim). They are saddened by their disconnection and they cry and yearn to be reunited.

"And man named all the cattle and the fowl of the heavens and all the beasts of the field, but for man, he did not find a helpmate opposite him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept, and He took one of his sides, and He closed the flesh in its place.And the Lord God built the side that He had taken from man into a woman, and He brought her to man. …..Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (ibid 20-24)

And I beseeched Hashem at that time, saying: “O Hashem G- d, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness, and Your strong hand; for what god is there in Heaven or on Earth that can do according to Your works, and according to Your mighty acts? Let me go over, I pray to You, and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that goodly hill-country, and Lebanon.”(Deuteronomy 3: 24-25):

On the other hand, we are living in a disjointed world the sages called Alma Deperuda, wherein the pieces of the puzzle remain painfully distant from their natural partners. In such a disjointed world, opposing forces of darkness and light intermingle and it becomes difficult to discern and reveal the goodness within the evil. Yet we read in psalms; “ Sur Merah veAseh Tov – Depart from evil and do that which is good.”( Psalm 37:27)

One could then assume that the way to deal with the complexities of our existence would be to move as far away from discernible evil as is possible. Following that, it would be critical to build walls and fences around what has been salvaged in order to ensure its purity and clarity. Those actions achieve the “Sur Merah – the separation from evil , yet how can or must we deal with the second phase of Aseh Tov- doing that which is good.

The land of Israel is the place where that “coming together” is most possible. This is the “ land that Hashem your G-d cares for. The eyes of Hashem your G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year"(Deuteronomy 11:12). On the other hand that is the reason that there are so many spiritual and self-centered forces in this land that try to do exactly the opposite. When good begins to flourish the "other side" works even harder.

So then , that is the secret of this land and that is the secret of the goodness that brings all things back together . One must never lose the power of discernment yet one must always look for ways to achieve a "coming together" of passions thinking and ideals. That is true for each of us in our personal lives with spouse, children and friends, That is also critical for Israel as it is for the whole world