Thoughts for Food by Rabbi Jill Levy

Thoughts for Food
The school year has just begun and we have already experienced so many new things. The first day of school, the Jewish new year, and the completion of the annual Torah cycle. This Shabbat, we begin again with the reading of Parshat Bereshit, or Genesis, the first parsha in the Torah. While we read this parsha over and over again throughout the years, it is meant to be looked at with fresh eyes and exploration each time. Please use these Fun Facts to spark new dialogue around your Shabbat dinner table this week.

Bereshit Fun Fact #1:
One of the questions commentators ask is why the Torah opens with the creation of the world and not the creation of the Jewish people.
• Why do you think it is important that the text starts with a broad view of creation?
• If God created everyone and everything, what does this say about how we should treat each other? Ourselves?

Bereshit Fun Fact #2:
There are two radically different creation stories in the text. (for self-study read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2). In the first, man and woman are formed together and then split. In the second, Adam is first created and then Eve.
• Why do you think the Torah would have two different creation stories one after the next?
• What can we do to make sure that everyone is treated equally, regardless of gender?

Bereshit Fun Fact #3:
The first fight among siblings is in this week’s parsha and it does not end well! Cain, in his jealousy, murders his brother, Abel.
• When we argue with a brother, sister, friend or parent what can we do to make sure we don’t take it too far?
• How do you calm yourself down when you are really upset?