of the Torah Reading
To be read on Simchat Torah/Shemini Atzeret (in Israel) of
22 Tishrei 5783 /October 17
Torah Reading: Deut. 33:1-34:12; Num. 29:35-30:1; Gen.1:1-2:3
Haftorah: First Chapter in Joshua
Bereishit 27 Tishrei 5783/October 22
Torah: Genesis 1:1-6:8; Haftorah: Isaiah.
42:5-43:10 (begins with reference to Creation)
Shabbat Mevorchim - Blessing the New Month
Bereishit is the 1st Reading out of 12 in Genesis and it contains
7235 letters, in 1931 words, in 146 verses
The Torah opens with G-d's creation of the world in
six days - plus Shabbos. G-d planted a garden in Eden, with the Tree
of Life in the middle, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. G-d
told Adam that he may eat from every tree except for the Tree of Knowledge.
The serpent persuaded Eve to eat from the tree, and she gave some of
its fruit to Adam. G-d punished each of the three, then clothed Adam
and Eve, and banished them from Eden. Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel.
Cain killed Abel, and subsequently Eve gave birth to Seth. The Torah
then lists the ten generations from Adam to Noah. When Noah was 500
years old, he fathered Shem, Ham and Yapheth. G-d then decided that
man should live only to 120. G-d saw that the world was evil, and decided
to obliterate it, except for Noah and his family.
essay from Rabbi
Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent
(for a free weekly email subscription, click
The Jewish people are towards the end of 7 weeks of intense spiritual
immersion. We are after Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, and towards the
end of Sukkot and close to Simchat Torah. After all this what else
can be said or done? What else does G-d expect from us?
The Chabad Rebbes said there is one more level, the remaining divine
opening, another opportunity for all the people who rose above their
limitations and a last chance for all those who were asleep till now
(and everyone in-between
). The Rebbes taught, "How a person
behaves on Shabbos B'reishis is how the whole year will go."
Maaseh - action-simple doing of Gd's work in this world -is everything
and the ultimate indicator. What a person DOES during the 25 and a
fraction hours of this Shabbos will be the blueprint for his coming
Is there the one most important message to take with us into this
crucial Shabbos? I can not say. I discovered one message that resonates
One of the most recognizable verses in the entire Torah are the first
verses we say each Friday night during Kiddush. "And G-d completed
the heavens and the earth and all of their hosts. And G-d completed
on the seventh day all of the work that He had done. And G-d rested
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai taught (Talmud Tractate Shabbos 77b), a flesh
and blood person who does not know the difference between day to day
and minute to minute has to add time on to Shabbos, taking from the
mundane and making it holy (as we do each week by starting the Shabbos
early when we light candles at least 18 minutes before sundown) as
a protection against desecrating the Shabbos. Not so for G-d who as
the Creator, know the difference between day and day and minute and
minute. G-d can continue until a hairs breadth before Shabbos so that
it even appears that He actually finished His work on Shabbos. This
is what the verse means, "and Gd completed on the 7th day all
the work that He had done
There is something hard to understand here. Why did the Almighty do
His work in such a way that it appeared that He finished on Shabbos?
Even though undoubtable G-d knows the difference between each day
and each minute, and there most certainly was no work done on Shabbos,
still G-d could have completed his work a measurable time before Shabbos
began and provided his people with a good example of how we should
and can protect the Shabbos. Why did He specifically complete His
work at the very last instant of Friday so it appears that He actually
completed it on Shabbos?
Because there is an incredible lesson to be learned between man and
G-d that is pertinent all the time but especially on the very first
Shabbos of the Torah cycle.
The Talmud teaches (same source as above), G-d did not create anything
in His world without a purpose. Every single thing and even every
single moment that G-d created, even something small or a very small
amount of time has a purpose and a goal for which G-d created it.
Therefore, even if a person learned Torah with the best intentions
for 23 hours and 59 minutes and he has just one more minute to learn,
G-d forbid, he should not waste the last minute because that minute
too has its purpose and goal for which purpose G-d created it. And
how sad it would be to take a part of G-d's creation, even this seemingly
insignificant bit of created time and waste it.
And this was the reason and the lesson that the Holy One Blessed Be
He rescued this infinitesimally small moment just before Shabbos to
finish His work, to teach us how each and every tiny moment we have
is so very precious and has to be rescued in its entirety. And similarly,
when we find a spare moment we should also use it out to the best
of our ability and make the world a better place, a dwelling place
for the Almighty. (Likutes Sichot vol. 5, page 33)
A community activist from Berlin visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe for
Simchat Torah. As the Rebbe was dancing with the Torah scroll, the
Rebbe turned to him and said, "See to it that Berlin becomes
a place filled with the Chassidic warmth!"
"Amen" he replied enthusiastically
The Rebbe continued circling the bimah. To the man's astonishment,
as the Rebbe passed him again, smiled and demanded, "Nu, what
have you done to implement our recent discussion?"
The next morning, on his way to services, the Rebbe again spotted
the individual and said, "At this point an entire night has gone
by! So tell me, what have you accomplished so far?" (From Seeds
of Wisdom vol. 2 page 68)
May Gd help us to use every minute of Shabbos in the best possible
Shabbat Shalom and may it be a shana tova, Shaul Leiter
(for a free weekly email subscription, click
For last year's essay by Rabbi Leiter on this
week's Reading, see the archive.
THE SAGES OF KABBALAH ON KabbalaOnline.org
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Kabbalists, and more,
click to Simchat
Crown of Supernal Joy
From the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe; adapted by Yehoshua Metzinger
The main concept of Simchat Torah is simcha, or joy, as is indicated
by the name of the holiday. It is from this special day that we derive
all our happiness for the entire year, as it is on this day that the
Jewish People brings down a higher aspect of Torah within the Torah
itself, a joy which crowns the Torah from the aspect of keter.
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