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Editor's Note: New Beginnings

Dear Friend,

There seem to be many new beginnings on the Jewish calendar. First there’s Rosh Hashanah, the day when G‑d determines our fate for the rest of the year. Then there’s Yom Kippur, the day when our sins are forgiven, giving us a fresh start. And then there’s Shabbat Bereishit, when we read the first portion of Genesis. It is said that the way we conduct ourselves on Shabbat Bereishit will impact the entire year.

Shouldn’t all these new beginnings be rolled into one? Doesn’t it make sense to start the year, get a clean slate, and begin the Torah anew all on the same day?

Perhaps it takes time to really internalize the changes we are making during this time of year. It’s a process of soul-searching, resolving to align ourselves with our higher selves, and then actually translating that resolve into action. And Shabbat Bereishit is the culmination of that process. Shabbat Bereishit demands of us, “Have the High Holidays really changed you? Now that you’re returning to your daily life, will you carry that inspiration and allow it to permeate the mundanity?”

How have the High Holidays impacted you? Let us know in the comments section below!

Sasha Friedman,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

Shabbat Bereishit
The Peasants’ Journey

G‑d created many spiritual worlds filled with angels, who have a sophisticated understanding of spirituality. Beneath these spiritual worlds is the physical world, where we human beings exist. We have almost no awareness of G‑dliness at all, but we sustain all of the spiritual worlds with our mitzvahs.
Hit the Road, Jack!

We had come to the park in an attempt to get out of the house on this last day of Yom Tov, Simchat Torah, to walk a bit and breathe fresh air, for the children to enjoy some play time and for me to catch up on Psalms. We were completely unaware of the festivities we would encounter.
Who Controls the Weather?

What is our responsibility toward the environment? To what lengths must we go to protect open spaces or endangered species? And are we at fault for natural disasters?

Man seeks woman, and woman yearns for man. But the trick is learning to contract in order to come together . . .
Bereishit in Depth
A condensation of the weekly Torah portion alongside select commentaries culled from the Midrash, Talmud, Chassidic masters, and the broad corpus of Jewish scholarship.
Purple Cabbage & Apple Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Get healthy after the holidays with this vibrant salad.
Constant Creation
Just as a light bulb requires a constant flow of electricity to remain lit, every creation needs a direct flow of energy from G‑d in order to simply be.
And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and the sound of a shofar exceeding loud . . . Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with G‑d; and they stood under the mountain . . .
And G‑d spoke all these words, saying: “I am G‑d, your G‑d, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods beside Me . . .”

— Exodus 19:16–20:3
Print Magazine

On Simchat Torah we dance with our feet, not with our heads.

We are celebrating the Torah, and the Torah is something we study with our heads. But we dance with our feet, not with our heads.

If we would dance with our heads, each one would dance a different dance, each in a different space, some with friends but not...