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Parashat B’reishit September 28, 2014

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Candle lighting time for Friday, September 27, 2013, 6:40 p.m.

Parashat B’reishit

24 Tishrei, 5774/September 28, 2013
Triennial Cycle Year I: Genesis 1:1-2:3
Humash Etz Hayim, p. 3.
Haftarah, Isaiah 42:5-43:10, p. 35

1.         (1:1-2:3) God creates the world in seven days, concluding with the Shabbat.

Day 1:1-5: Light

Day 2: 6-8: Sea and Sky

Day 3: 1:9-13 Dry Land and Plants

Day 4: 1:14-14-19: Lights in the sky: Sun, Moon, Stars

Day 5: 1:20-23: Fish and Birds

Day 6: 1:24-31: Land Animals and Humankind

Day 7: 2:1-3: Shabbat


In the Image
By Rabbi Daniel Pressman


The Imperfect Paradise
by Linda Pastan

If God had stopped work after the third day
With Eden full of vegetables and fruits,
If oak and lilac held exclusive sway
Over a kingdom made of stems and roots,
If landscape were the genius of creation
And neither man nor serpent played a role
And God must look to wind for lamentation
And not to picture postcards of the soul,
Would he have rested on his bank of cloud
With nothing in the universe to lose,
Or would he hunger for a human crowd?
Which would a wise and just creator choose:
The green hosannas of a budding leaf
Or the strict contract between love and grief?

Scripture records that, “God created man in His image.” The commentators take the statement to refer to God’s attributes. He gave His creatures the power to emulate His middot (traits); to do good and to act with kindness towards their fellow men, as Scripture has it (Ps. 145.9): “God is good to all…” (Ibid. 136.25) “He gives food to all flesh, for His ḥesed endures forever.” The existence of the entire world then depends on this virtue, as is shown further on. Hence, whoever follows in this path will bear the stamp of God on his person; while whoever refrains from exercising this virtue and questions himself, “Why should I do good to others?” removes himself completely from God, blessed be He. (Ḥafetz Ḥayyim, Ahavat Ḥesed)

Ben Azzai quoted the verse, This is the record of Adam’s line — [When God created humankind, He made it in the likeness of God, male and female He created them]  (Genesis 5:1-2), and said, This is the greatest principle of the Torah. R. Akiva said: You shall love your neighbor as yourself  (Leviticus 19:18) is the greatest principle in the Torah. Do not say, “Because I am despised, so may my neighbor be cursed with me.” If you act thus, said R. Tanḥuma, know whom you despise, namely a being made in the image of God. (Midrash B’reisheet Rabbah 24:7)

Every human being is God’s image. Some are easier to love; some are harder. Some days you can love them, some days you can’t. But you still have to recognize and treat them all as the image of God. Love is too shaky a pedestal on which to position the entire Torah…Perhaps Ben Azzai also saw that Akiva’s principle might be narrowed, conceived only in terms of your own community. ‘Your neighbor,’ after all, might refer just to your fellow Jew. Or your fellow in peity, in good behavior. How about the stranger? The sinner? How about your enemy? Ben Azzai’s principle leaves no room for exceptions, since it goes back to Creation itself. It’s not just ‘your kind of people’ who were created in God’s image, but everyone. (Rabbi Francine Rosten)



Candle Fundraiser

Mitzvah a Month
Our High Holy Days Food Drive was a Big Success – We collected 3,501 lbs of food and $1,646 for 2nd Harvest. Thank you so much for being a part of this Tikkun Olam event.

Trip to Israel with Rabbi Ohriner

Minyan – Sunday 9:30 am & Monday – Thursday 7:00 p.m.


Monday, September 30: Daytime Adult Hebrew Classes

Monday, September 30: Does God Exist? It’s Not a True-False Question. It’s Multiple Choice! – 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 1: Membership Committee Meeting – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 4: Shabbat Mishapaha (Family) Experience and Zayin Celebration – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 6: Women’s Z’havah at CBD – 10:15 a.m.

Sunday, October 6: Hazak Presents: The “Art” of Travel & Family Photography – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8: Conversations in Jewish Learning – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 12: Book Discussion Group – 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 13: Sunday Seminar: Pagans and Jews: The Roots of Anti-Seitism? – 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


USCJ Disaster Relief for Colorado Flood Victims

Interfaith Family Classes Starting Soon

Sunday, October 6: Klezmer and Comedy – a Chai House Fundraiser – 2:00 p.m. View/Print Flyer

Sunday, October 13: A Retrospective on Jewish Entertainers – 10:30 a.m.