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Bereishis

   Bereishis

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Keeping In Touch - Volume 1
Torah Thoughts Inspired By The Works Of The Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson


Bereishis

Written by Eliyahu Touger

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The Torah begins with the narrative of creation, how G-d brought the world into being from absolute nothingness. That is an awesome lesson.

Whenever an entity is made - brought into being although it did not exist before - a question is immediately raised: Why was it made?

Even a mortal acts with purpose, doing things with a goal in mind. Surely, this applies with regard to G-d. He brought our world into existence, because He had a goal and a purpose.

What was that purpose? On the verse, "And the spirit of G-d was hovering over the waters," our Sages comment: "This refers to the spirit of Mashiach." And in other sources, they state: "The world was created solely for Mashiach."

To explain: Our Sages tell us G-d created the world because He wanted a dwelling, a home. A person lets loose and functions without inhibitions in his own home. So too, G-d wanted a place where He could reveal Himself without constraints, where who He is can come into expression.

That's why He created our world.

But He did not want that revelation to be a natural part of the world's existence. Instead, He wanted to be hidden at the outset, and for man to become His partner in creation, by shaping the world and developing it until he became aware that he is living within G-d's dwelling.

To refer to a classic chassidic expression: G-d made the world out of nothingness, and man's mission is to make the somethingness of the world into nothingness, i.e., to reveal its spiritual core. At that point, all the important somethings in the world will be dwarfed by this spiritual realization.

This greater purpose is also the purpose of every individual at every point in his life. Why does a person come to a particular place, at a particular time? Because there, he has the potential to help the world reach its ultimate purpose, and more particularly, to prepare that corner of G-d's home to carry out its function in this undertaking.

The culmination of these efforts will be the coming of Mashiach. This will be the turning point of history. Until his coming, the world's purpose will not be apparent; it is something that we will have been told about, but not that we see. With his coming, and the Redemption that he will initiate, that will change.

It's like the construction of a building. At the beginning, there's a blueprint, and workers. But by just watching the workers, it would be very hard to get a picture of the desired structure. As the building progresses, however, its shape and its function become evident. So too, with Mashiach's coming, the purpose of the world's creation will become apparent; we will understand that we are living in G-d's world.

This is not an abstract discussion, but current events. To borrow an expression from the Previous Rebbe: we have already "polished the buttons," everything is ready for the Redemption. The values of freedom, tolerance, and generosity have spread throughout the community of nations. Regimes that have opposed them have toppled giving way for greater communication and sharing. By "living with Redemption," and anticipating the mindset of that future era, we can precipitate its spreading throughout the world.


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