In his commentary, on the first verse of the Torah, Rashi is famous for asking the question of why does the Torah begin with the book of Bereisheit detailing the creation of the world, the flood, our forefathers, and their ultimate descent to Egypt instead of the first mitzvah commanded to the Jewish people of sanctifying the new month (detailed in Shemot Ch.12).

One of the answers given to Rashi’s comment given by the Nesivos Shalom (and others) is that Bereisheit is there to teach us to purify our character traits as a precursor to learning the rest of the laws. For example, from our forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov, we learn about the trait of Chesed (kindness) from Avraham, from Yitzchak the trait of having a fear or respect for God and his commandments and Yaacov of Tiferet (or honesty).

Over the course of the book of Bereisheit may we take the time to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers and work to perfect ourselves enhancing ourselves as Jews and overall people.

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes — Gidon Herschander, Yerushlayim Ir Hakodesh,5775