Rabbi Label Lam
Parshas Bo - Our Reason for Being Here and Now
And Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt saying: "This
month is for you the head of months, the first of the months of the year it
will be for you." (Shemos 12:1-2)
The first comment of Rashi (Genesis 1:1) in all of the Torah points way
ahead to this verse and declares that this verse containing the first
command to the Children of Israel, is the logical place for the Torah to
have begun. Why? Why should this be the point of departure?
Imagine you are called to a meeting to discuss a great investment
opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime. You arrive dutifully on
time, sharpened #2 pencil in hand, ready to take notes and consider the
options. The president of the board of directors launches into an endless
historical diatribe about how the company came to be originally and how it
has developed over time.
After a while you begin to wonder if you entered the correct meeting and if
perhaps the conference on investment opportunities you were seeking isn't
taking place in some other boardroom. After what seems like an eternity,
your ears perk up and your pencil is poised. The present has finally
arrived. At a furious pace information about high yield investment
possibilities and all the potential risks and benefits are outlined in
great detail. The meeting has really begun.
"The beginning," Rashi explains, was important to chronicle in case any
future challenge should be raised about the qualifying status of the Jewish
Nation to receive the Torah and enter the Promised Land. The world at large
needs to know that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness therein". He
judiciously awarded the great prizes of history to those who had made
themselves most-worthy at those important junctures.
Just as the ones gathered at the investor's meeting, we are mostly
interested in the "now" dimension of the creation as we say daily in our
prayers, "The One Who through His kindliness renews constantly the act of
creation." Our ability to continue building upward is based on our
historical foundation. However, that is not the prime focus of Torah.
Rather, it is to delineate how we function in regard to the creation that
is _presently_ being willed into being, and how we relate to The One Who is
willing it to be so at each moment.
This idea is manifested in many daily blessings. For example, before eating
a fruit we recite the blessing, "boreih p'ri' ha'eitz- Who creates the
fruit of the tree" not "Who created" in the past tense. We are not relating
to the fruit as a distant relative of the original and ancient fruit
designed for Adam's inauguration in the Garden of Eden but rather as one
being willed into existence by The Supernal Creator at each present moment.
Similarly when we look at our computer-screens and see what seems to be a
still photo, we understand well that the picture is being programmed and
energized constantly. If the plug would be pulled momentarily or the
program ejected, the screen would be a blank. The physical world also on a
quantum level is strangely appearing constantly and only through some
organizing principle finds itself repeating consistent and reliable
patterns creating the illusion of sameness or age.
It is the ability to recognize the constant newness of time, which is the
beginning of the freedom process, granting us the possibility of rising
beyond time's "prison walls" to realize our reason for being here and now.
Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.