Every week, Jews read a portion of the Torah, the Hebrew name for the first five books of Moses. We do this every week until we reach the end. Then, we start all over every year from the beginning. We are supposed to use the week to reflect on the particular teaching of that portion, called a parsha.
Every Jewish boy who has a bar mitzvah is assigned a parsha he reads in Hebrew for his congregation. My parsha is called B’reishit (pronounced bray-sheet) which means, “In the beginning.” It is the first parsha of the first chapter in the Torah and the Bible. It begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth…” I’m sure you’re familiar with it.
This week is Simchat Torah, the festival commemorating the beginning of the cycle once again. It is also the week of my parsha, B’reishit. For this reason, I’ve been in a funky mood.
Like many American Jews, I haven’t spent much time thinking about Judaism since my bar mitzvah. But, at times like these, I tend to become sentimental about my faith. Whenever a major holiday comes up, I’m reminded I actually am Jewish.
This most recent revelation led me down a rabbit hole of stories I’d never heard before. It’s the details that stand out in my mind.