On the Weekly Torah Portion of Noah

(וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים לְנֹחַ… עֲשֵׂה לְךָ תֵּבַת עֲצֵי-גֹפֶר (בראשית ו’ י”ג-י”ד

And God said to Noah… Make yourself an ark of cypress wood
(Genesis 6:13-14)

noahs_ark1The story of Noah and the flood, which is the subject of this week’s parashah (weekly potion of the Torah reading, Genesis 6:9 – 11:32), has excited the imagination of both children and adults for millennia. So much so, that numerous attempts have been made to locate physical remains of the ark in an effort to prove that the flood “really” happened, i.e., happened in the world of space and time. But would such a finding change us spiritually? Perhaps a more useful perspective would be to see the Noah story as a guide for reaching beyond space and time and establishing a new alliance with the Eternal.

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On The Weekly Torah Portion of Bereshit

Cell Division
What better place to start a blog, than on the first words of the Bible? This post was written at the invitation of Rabbh Kaya Stern-Kaufman and was sent to the mailing list of her organization, Rimon, A Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality.

 

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ (בראשית א’ א)
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth
(Genesis 1:1)

This week’s parashah (weekly Torah reading), bereshit (Genesis 1:1 – 6:8) is the first parashah of the Torah. It contains the story of creation and the opening lines of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim ve-et ha’aretz). Often mistaken by religious fundamentalists to be a chronological account of the actual physical processes through which the universe was brought into being, it is in fact a metaphorical, metaphysical map of the sequential emergence of duality out of unity.

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