Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Haftorah Beam - Bereishit

The Haftorah for Bereishit is Isaiah 42:5-43:10

It opens,
5 Thus said God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and what it brings forth,
Who gave breath to the people upon it
And life to those who walk thereon:
6 I the Lord, in My grace, have summoned you,
And I have grasped you by the hand.
I created you, and appointed you
A covenant people, a light of nations —
7 Opening eyes deprived of light,
Rescuing prisoners from confinement,
From the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
This is clearly connected thematically to the story of creation, and specifically the creation of light out of darkness. It stresses the role of the Jewish people as G*d's partners in creation, as well as the beneficiaries of G*d's Creation. The first step of Genesis was the creation of light. The first step of acting within the Covenant, as a Light of Nation, is opening eyes.

We are furthermore encouraged to see each day as the first day.  In fact, Bereishit does not refer to the first day as "first" but simply as "one day".  If no days ever followed, it would have been sufficient.  So we see that every day is "one day" -- sufficient onto itself to make a new start:
10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praise from the ends of the earth — 
The reading continues, echoing the struggles of Adam and Eve:

Chapter 43
1But now thus said the Lord —
Who created you, O Jacob,

Who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I will redeem you;
I have singled you out by name,
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through water,
I will be with you;
Through streams,
They shall not overwhelm you.
When you walk through fire,
You shall not be scorched;
Through flame,
It shall not burn you.
We are expected to struggle with temptations, but be assured that G*d is with us and wishes us to succeed. We are promised that even when banished from the Garden of Eden, that G*d will be with us in all our difficulties.

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