I was raised with the idea that needing others meant you were weak. So I learned how to be strongly independent, fiercely guarding and fighting for what I needed and wanted in life.

And then I met my husband.

I had always wanted to get married and spend my life with someone I loved and would build a family with. The problem was learning how to let someone into my soul, when there really had been room only for one.

This week we begin reading the Torah anew. It is not just the beginning again, but rather a new beginning, reminding us that we have the ability to start over. The first letter of the Torah is a beit, the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet and therefore numerically equivalent to “two.”

I was raised with the idea that needing others meant you were weakThere are endless commentaries as to why it begins with this letter, but one of them is the idea, the reminder, that we were created with the intention of joining with another. We were created to bond, to build and to create as a team. Sure, we can do a tremendous amount on our own, but how much more so when we double the power.

Even more so, the final letter of the Torah is the letter lamed, which when put together with the letter beit spells lev, “heart.” We need to learn to let others into our heart, to love and to be loved. Sometimes, what is holding us back is an emotional fear of rejection or being hurt. Other times it is “in our head,” an intellectual or philosophical issue. Maybe this is why not only do we have a reference to the heart, but embedded in the first word bereishit is rosh, meaning “head”!

We are being told that no matter where our issue is stemming from, in our heart or in our head, we must learn to change, to begin anew, and to allow another into our lives. And by doing so, it will change how we feel, how we think, and how we view the world around us.

I have been married now almost fifteen years. And I have definitely struggled at times at being a team player. In certain situations, it seemed that doing things on my own was easier. Or that, ultimately, I really just didn’t need or want the help.

I can no longer distinguish what is me and what is himAnd yet, looking at the life we have built together, and our four magnificent and unique kids, I can no longer distinguish what is me and what is him. What is most precious to me in the world is that combination. His nose, my eyes, his intellect, my humor . . .

And I am no longer just me. I am a combination of my children and my husband, as much as they are a combination of me. I may have birthed them, but a part of each one remains within, changing me, helping me and developing what I am capable of becoming.

I still don’t need many people in my life. I have many acquaintances, but few close friends who truly know the real me. But it is okay. For I have been able to allow those few inside, and I am so happy I did, for it has made me who I am. And there is no way I could have become the “me” I am today if I had tried to do it alone.