Parshat Bereishit: October 2, 2021 – 26 Tishrei 5782

Erev Shabbat

Friday, October 1

  • Candle lighting: 6:30 pm

Parshat Bereishit

Shabbat, October 2

  • Stone Chumash p. 2
  • 146 Psukim (verses)
  • Haftorah: Isaiah Ch. 42 “Koh amar HaKel”

Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan: Wednesday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Oct. 7

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting: 6:30 pm
  • Vasikin (Sunrise): 6:59:23 am
  • Latest Morning Shma: 9:56 am
  • Earliest Mincha: 1:22 pm
  • Havdalah: 7:24 pm
  • Zoom Havdalah: 7:40 pm

Highlights from the Parsha: Bereishit

In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth. The first official Shabbat of the year is ushered in by reading the creation of the universe. As the world seems to spin further away from G-d and His message for humanity, we, His chosen people, must proudly reaffirm our commitment to that very message. The same G-d, who blessed us with life, also gave us the mitzvot, in order to structure and sustain that life to our, and the world’s, best benefit.

Science and Torah

How can we reconcile the Torah’s account of the creation of the world and that of modern science? Although the Torah nowhere tells us the age of the earth, the history of man from Adam is indeed explicated, and certainly according to tradition the earth is merely 5779 years old.

Many explanations exist. One simple method is to claim that G-d created a world, which appears to be, and contains all of the features of, a 15 billion-year-old world. Others claim that such a possibility would, in reality, be dishonest, and would distort the true nature of G-d, Whose very Name is Truth!.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in his “Age of the Universe” offers a kabbalistic explanation. According to talmudic tradition, the entire lifespan of our present world is 7,000 years, based on a millenial “Sabbatical System”. Rabbi Kaplan suggests that at the end of this period we enter a Jubilee period. A regular Jubilee is 50 years. Extending this number millennially we get 50×1000 or 50,000 years. Before the creation of our present world, (the creation of Adam, the first man), the world was 42,000 years old. But pre-creation of the sun and constellations, time was measured differently. King David says, “For a thousand years in your eyes is but one day” (Ps. 90). If one “G-d day” is a thousand years, a “G-d Year” would be 365,250 years. Multiply that sum by 42,000 sabbatical years and you get 15,340,500,000. That year would seem compatible with the age of the earth according to modern science.

Tidbits for the Year 5782

  • This year is a Leap Year containing two months of Adar with minor and major Purim respectively

  • This is also a Shmitta year (Sabbatical Year)  in the Land of Israel (5782 is divisible by the number 7)

  • The months of Cheshvan will keep their regular number of days (i.e. 29 and 30) respectively

  • This year the first night of Pesach will fall on a Friday night (April 15th)

  • Next year Rosh Hashanah will fall on a Sunday night.