by Alan Herman - September 27, 2013
Shabbat shalom. The parashah for this Sabbath is B'reisheet, the very first portion of Genesis and of the whole Torah.
It begins so majestically - and have you noticed how many times it says "and it was good"? So God was pleased with his creation.
That is until he creates Adam and then a partner for him, and then He places them in the Garden of Eden. He then has the snake speak to Eve and entice her and Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit. Our Christian friends call this the "original sin". Okay, I can accept that, but in our Jewish tradition we have a chance, it seems to me, to have God forgive us for sins against Him and also – and probably more importantly – to the people we have sinned against to forgive us and to try to live a better life.
After the fall from grace, Adam and Eve have another son, Seth, and then Genesis goes through the genealogy until the birth of Noah. Now the Torah says "and Noah found favor with the Lord". But then God surveys the world He has created and says He is not happy with it, and the chapter ends.
But let us note that a man created by God has found favor and is allowed to live, and we, by our behaviors, can be allowed to pursue a better life.