This Shabbat is Shabbat Berasheet, the Sabbath we read the very first of the 54 Torah portions that are read in the synagogue over the course of a single year. That makes this a Sabbath for new beginnings.
I believe that we could all use as many new beginnings as we can get. In fact, the chance to start over is a wondrous and marvelous thing.
A new beginning is like receiving a beautifully wrapped gift. What’s inside might contain just about anything. Looking into a brand new future, the possibilities are endless.
A new beginning is like receiving a do-over. You close out what came before and start again with a clean slate. You can make changes. You are not trapped by all the yesterdays of your life.
Actually, in Judaism every new day is supposed to be greeted as a new beginning. The prayer book reminds us that the world is created anew each morning. The Hebrew praises the “God who daily renews the act of creation” almost as if God ever forgot to do the creation thing on any given morning everything would cease to exist. In that sense, everyday we could all be just like Adam and Eve waking up in the Garden of Eden on that very first day when they saw it all as wondrous and new.
Just imagine what it would be like to see everything again for the first time. Every tree, every person, every sunrise, every smile. To hear everything again for the first time. Every whispered word, every rustle of the wind, the laughter of a child. Imagine how marvelous that would be. Well, that is Judaism’s prescription on how to greet every new day of your life.
Give it a try. As my friend Jeff used to say, “Once you wake up and open your eyes, the hard part of your day is over.”