Bereshit (1) בְּרֵאשִׁית In The Beginning, Genesis 1:1–6:8 Torah Study and Poetry
A B’nai Mitzvah Torah Planner with Poetry and Inspiration.
בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereishit in God’s Hand
Beginning God reaches out to us / letters seen in the hand / contributing to the diversity / within the whole
Words on the page / differentiating self from others / inside from outside / inner mind from outer world of experience / possibilities from reality / consciousness from physicality / humans from the cosmos / territory from map
“Bet” house with boundaries / those inside and those outside / fires of thorns separating / 27 directions pointing the way / hands gesturing / creating a pattern for us to recognize / a way to find the unifying oneness / integrity chanting / internalizing the patterns of the universe / as the tightly coiled parts unwinds / and we see the connection
A hologram of letter containing the words / containing the sentences / spirit compressed into geometry / black and white space / a meditational dance / for those who see / the ending in the beginning
―Genesis 1:1–6:8 Bereishit
What do we know of our origins? / lean in if you have questions about your genesis / Bereshit “In the Beginning” / each Jewish Parsha named for the first word / God creates heaven and earth / Genesis from the Greek for γένεσις / origin, becoming, born / establishment, existence, formation / genesis, history, lineage.
The Beginning of Chaos
God creates and rests / Adam and Eve are created and placed / in the wonderful Garden of Eden / eat from the tree of knowledge / expelled from the garden / brothers war / Cain kills Abel / chaos begins.
“Let there be light” / no longer held back / busting surfacing free /if you have been noticing the waning light / looking forward to longer days / and ways to be more creative / you are called to the Torah of light.
New Morning Light
Let there be light / and there was good / evening and morning / first day.
―Found Poetry Genesis 1:3–5. In Found Torah Poetry, the poet selects words, highlights them, and create a poem from the words already found on the page.
Genesis 1:1–5 Word Cloud
6 God / 5 Light / 3 Darkness / 2 אֱלֹהִ֔ים Elohim / 2 Called 2 Earth.
―Word Cloud Poetry Genesis 1:1–5
Earth Stretched Over
Stretch earth on water / seething beneath hardening / island land masses
―Haiku Genesis 1:9–10. Haiku, a form of Japanese Poetry with 5–7–5 syllables per line.
The Difference Flowers Make
Step into a world without flowers / trees ungraced by sunshine / the air still / lacking a breeze / no growth / no movement / no life / no gratitude for all there is.
Creator: earth sky / hovering on water’s face / light sprung from darkness / divides teeming earth and sky / swarms with us in the image.
In the image / before the day was born / a revolution so powerful / we don’t see the change / revealing the light / beginning.
Tzelem / Elohim our father / what does it mean in Adonai’s image? / adamah v’ shamayim (land and sky) / raki’a (firmament) / mayim (water) / day and night.
Tzelem / creating with the word / this world we live and die in / some a hundred years / some only a few / all in the image in time.
Hope In New Beginnings
A fresh start / everything new / like the beginning of the world / like the first step out of the garden / first meeting a new relationship / love and friendship still to come / a new idea bringing hope of success / like springtime with new growth / like the morning / that first moment caught between night and day / new again.
Is Bad The Same As Evil
In Sefaria’s translation / it is the tree of knowledge / of good and bad / different from every other tree / which are pleasing to the sight / good for food / a plus those for life and knowledge.
I suspect we had a need / for more than just enough food and shelter / and got more than we bargained for.
―Genesis 2:9 וַיַּצְמַ֞ח יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהִים֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה כָּל־עֵ֛ץ נֶחְמָ֥ד לְמַרְאֶ֖ה וְט֣וֹב לְמַאֲכָ֑ל וְעֵ֤ץ הַֽחַיִּים֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הַגָּ֔ן וְעֵ֕ץ הַדַּ֖עַת ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע׃ And from the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and bad. Sefaria.org
Till the Soil
Bring your heart’s intention to this aliyah /if you find desire welling up to till the soil / and find joy in the strength the earth yields to you / or if you are ready to cease wandering / put down roots in this earth / where you live.
Come to the Torah if you know / who are your ancestors / or seek to know / the ancestors who dwelt in tents / tended sheep and goats / the players of the lyre and pipe / what did they do / who were they / where did they live.
What will children two or three generations from now / say about you?
Nine Hundred and Thirty Years Old
If like Adam I lived for 930 years / imagine the history I would have seen as a child / celebrating my eight hundredth birthday today /in my childhood the first newspaper would not come out / for another 500 years / but headlines might have read / Maimonides or the Rambam recently died in Egypt / St. Francis of Assisi starts visiting Jerusalem / Trial by ordeal abolished in England / Islamic lands of Central Asia overrun by the Mongol invader Genghis Khan / Gothic architecture increasingly popular in Europe / The city of London begins rebuilding after a major fire / Native Americans live in North America long before Columbus.
A Hundred and Twenty Years Old
God regrets / life is short / lean in to this Torah study now / before a hundred and twenty years is gone in a flash / come forward if you dream of all you can do / make the world a better place in the allotted 120 years / a long life for now.
Originally Published in Bereshit (Genesis 1–6) Journal Your Journey Through a Year of Torah on October 26, 2019.