Parshat Bereishit: A Beginners Guide to the Beginning

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The Beginning
23 Oct 2008
Arts & Media

Beginning words:


All beginnings are difficult –


Especially difficult beginnings,

Where nothing exists before

And nothing exists after if

The beginning ceases to begin.


Some make ends meet: taking two

Different points and bringing them



Here we make beginnings

(And after we make beginnings meet):

Taking two different points and

Creating them, separating them,

(For what is creation if not separation?)

But only so that later they can be brought

Back together again in a much deeper way

(For what is separation if not a means to unity?)


Creation is really very sad:


Before the beginning everything is one

And only, consumed within the source:

Body and soul do not exist for they are in

A place where the white space between the

Ink, the pauses between each note, do not

&nbsp        Exist.


Only He alone exists and He is everything.


Before the beginning these words are

Of one inkwell, without form, feeling,

Of function


In the beginning

G-d created

The heavens

And the earths


Then separation: G-d created,

Separated heaven and earth,

Body and soul, matter and

Spirit – and a universe of

Cold darkness, where one

Can look at a façade and

Not see its purpose, look

At a face and only see pain,

Came into being…


The earth was astonishingly empty

Darkness on the surface of the deep


But then:


G-d said

Let there be light

And there was light


True, creation, beginnings are

About leaving the comfort zone

Of before, where everything is one

And at home, for a place that is foreign

And alone, where we do not recognize

From where we come and to where we

Go, but, without the fragmentation, with-

Out the darkness we could never have the

Light, without the black ink of limitation

We could never have the white page of purity.


These are words, letters, poetry –

Creating light, ideas, prospects,

By separating inks, letter, words,

And bringing them back together

In a unified message, a cohesive

Whole portraying truth and life.


This is creation, existence, beginning –

Bringing the letters, the words, fragmented

Particles which surround us and are within

Us, back together and creating with them

Light, happiness, purity and innocence:



We are all beginners –

If we weren’t we’d be enders…


And beginners are always passionate.


May we always be beginning –

And may the beginning always be us:


May we always be beginning new things –

And may the beginning always be new to us.

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.