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Parashat Bereshit - 5775

My friends,

This past Friday was Simchat Torah. We read Vezot Habracha, the last portion in the Five Books of Moses. Vezot Habracha means "This is the blessing" that Moses conferred on each tribe, just before he died. The last few verses in the parasha describe Moses' death. He goes up the mountain and dies there and G-d buries him on the mountain.

This Shabbat we began the cycle anew, reading the first portion in the Book of Genesis - Bereshit. It describes the creation of the universe and everything therein, the creation of man and the establishment of the Shabbat.

Our sages point out that the Torah begins with an act of Chesed (kindness) performed by G-d to the first humans and ends with an act of Chesed performed on Moses. When Adam and Eve sin and realize that they are naked and are hiding, G-d makes garments for them that they wear (this is the Mitzvah of providing clothing for the naked). When Moses dies, the Torah tells us that G-d buried Moses (this is the Mitzvah of burying the dead). All of this is to emphasize that the whole purpose of the Torah is to teach us to perform acts of kindness (Gemelus Chasadim).

I wish you a Happy and Healthy Year filled with Ma-assim Tovim, acts of kindness.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram