Every human being is a work in progress. We are constantly trying to improve and attain the highest version of ourselves which Hashem intended. Oftentimes, we feel like it would be helpful to recreate certain tendencies, destructive habits, or other negative elements in our nature; to be born anew and start from scratch. In his commentary on this week’s parsha, the Degel Machaneh Ephraim teaches that, because we are created in the image of Hashem Who created a world “inside Himself” (“Hu mekomo shel olam”), we, too, have the ability to create brand new elements in the inner world of our personality. To do so, we must examine the way in which Hashem created the world. This is what the tzaddik says.

On the word “Bereishis,” Targum Yerushalmi comments “B’chuchmisa” – “with intellect”. Our Sages teach that the world was created with the letters of the Torah; existence is composed of the combinations of vessels containing the highest levels of divine expression. With eternal Wisdom and an infinitely comprehensive plan, Hashem created the finite realm of time and space: nature. The word “Elokim” is numerically equal to the word “HaTevah”, “nature”. Thus, a deeper reading of “Bereishis bara Elokim”, “In the beginning, God created”, tells us that “Nature was created with intellect.”

Based on this reading, the Degel Machaneh Ephraim says the most amazing thing. Just as Hashem created nature with the Thought of the Torah, each and every Jew can recreate the nature of his or her inner world using the Torah’s way of thinking. Our habits, unconscious thought processes, tendencies etc. can all be wiped clean if we invest the time and energy necessary to discover the Torah’s approach to the world and life within it. Changing the way we think can completely alter the way we act. Just as Hashem created nature with His Thought, so can we recreate the foundations of our personality by thinking deeply about the true purpose of life, reassessing our priorities, and creating a mental image of the road to success.

“Bereishis bara Elokim” – the way to recreate our human nature is with the Torah’s mode of thought. What better day to begin than today?

God’s thinking created nature. Our thinking can recreate our own.

Rav Ephraim of Sudlikov
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R’ Yaakov Klein is the founder of the Lost Princess Initiative, an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, and lectures.

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