Honorable Mensch-ion

New Normal

I spent most of my week carrying a Torah scroll from class to class in our synagogue’s pre-school. When I asked the children what we should do when we finish the Torah, most of them inherently understood that our Torah study is never complete. They yelled with joy, “We will start all over!”

Rabbi Joseph Hertz, the first Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, writes that the original name of Genesis was Sefer Massaeh Berehit, “The Book of Creation.” The Torah does not start in Exodus, with the earliest commandments to the Jewish people. Rather, we learn the origins of the Jewish people, that we are all one human family, of one common stock. Ultimately, the creation of the world is the work of the One and Almighty God. We must learn this lesson every year.

As we begin the Torah once more, the words stay the same, but we have changed. Each year is different than the next. This Shabbat we learn that God created again…but what will God learn from us? What will we create to complement God’s work?

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