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He laughed and laughed to tears and could not stop himself. When he calmed down, he turned to the sa

A group of students from one yeshiva came to me and asked me to give a lesson in this week's Torah portion, which was then the Torah portion of Genesis. I opened the lesson, and saw a cynical smile, on the face of one of them. I asked him:

"To what joy does it do?"

The guy explained to me that he was happy that he was finally going to hear some general topics and broaden his horizons. He claimed that all the time the rabbis were talking about the people of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel - he heard this over and over again in the youth movement, in seminars and in the high school yeshiva - and here is finally Parshas Bereishit, a universal Parsha dealing with all mankind.

I told him that his words reminded me of an act I had witnessed. One student, a wise student with an academic style, approached Rabbi Zvi Yehuda one day and asked innocently if he was willing to engage in his next lesson on a general subject. Rabbi Zvi Yehuda had previously given an instructive lecture on the sanctity of Israel and its virtues, and the same student felt that he had heard these things countless times. "Maybe once," he asked his rabbi, "the rabbi will speak on another subject, there are so many fascinating topics in the Torah beyond the sanctity of Israel"!

Rabbi Zvi Yehuda rolled with laughter for long minutes, he laughed and laughed to tears and could not stop himself. When he calmed down, he turned to the same student and said to him - "I have spoken hundreds and thousands of times about the virtues of Israel and their holiness, and I will talk about it thousands more times, and I wish that out of all these thousands of times you will understand something, even one small thing ...".

The guy was not convinced by the story, and I had no choice but to approach the affair, and simply show him what was really written inside: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

At first glance, it seems that Genesis belongs to the universal side - it does not mention the people of Israel, the Torah of Israel, or the Land of Israel.

But when we open Rashi's commentary on the Chumash, we see that he read the words in a completely different way: "'Bereishit' - this bible says nothing but Darshani, as our late rabbis demanded it: for the Torah called 'Bereishit Dercho' and for Israel called Bereishit His grain '"...

Thus, already at the beginning of the Torah, in the case of Genesis, which is so universal and seemingly cosmopolitan, Rashi places everything on the three Israeli foundations: the people of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel.

From "Tzur Hatzvam"

Rabbi Eli Horowitz


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