BERESHIT: THE GREATEST ADVICE EVER TOLD
This morning as I dropped off my kids at school in Stamford Hill I passed by a local bakery. Because I was hungry i entered the store to buy a snack for myself. But then I changed my mind and decided instead to buy a special treat for my family in honor of Shabbat.
What made me change my mind was an inspirational thought which I will share with you below.
Most of us have engaged consultants for advice. Some charge substantially for their services. However some advice, often the most important, is available to all at no cost.
In the opening chapters of the Bible which comprise this week’s Torah portion we read a single phrase that is perhaps the greatest advice given to mankind. In case you were wondering; Yes, the advice comes directly from G-d.
Soon after G-d creates man, He says “It is not good for man to be alone”.
Up until this point in the narrative G-d repeatedly uses the phrase “It was good” in order to describe the six days of creation. However it is at this point that he is concerned, because he knows that if man lives alone “it is not good”.
It is in this single phrase that G-d encapsulates mankind’s mission statement.
Life can be lived alone or shared with others. At any moment in time we make that choice.
We can work alone or we can collaborate with others. We can travel as individuals or we can take a journey with friends.
We can be motivated to work hard so that we can pay our own bills, or we can be inspired by a sense of responsibility towards our family and the wider community.
There are spiritual arteries through which the divine energy flows. Each time we reach beyond ourselves and connect positively with others a burst of good energy is released which is immediately reciprocated. This two way flow creates a fusion which will inevitably be greater then the sum of its parts. Otherwise known as synergy.
This in turn creates a small ripple of positive energy which by contagion will spread beyond any barriers of resistance. No apathy or cynicism could stem its powerful flow. No negative energy can block its path.
How do we start this chain reaction?
Firstly we must open up our hearts and minds to the people we encounter. We must be fully present in the moment. We must totally engage both the people we know and those whom we don’t yet know. We must experience each moment in a fully interactive and intimate way.
Our objective at all times must be:
Not to have an individual experience but a shared one.
Not to engage in acts where we are the sole beneficiary.
But only where the focus is on a cause greater than ourselves.
Only than will G-d pronounce “that it was good”.