Possessions by Donny Manas


בראשית “In the beginning....” (Bereishit 1:1)

Rashi, commenting on this Pasuk asks why the Torah commences with בראשית rather than with the first Mitzva given to the Jewish people.  He answers כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים, He told His people of the strength of His deeds, to give them the inheritance of the nations.  Should foreign nations accuse the Jews of forcibly occupying their land, the Jews are to answer that the entire world belongs to Hashem; he created the land and may give it to the nation He wants to.

By our believing and showing that Hashem created the world, the Sitra Achra (forces of evil) are unable to claim that we are oppressors.  Everything is ours because everything was created for our sake (Bereishit Rabba 1:1).  When Hashem wanted, He gave it to them and when He wanted, He took it from them and gave it to us (Likutey MoHaran II, Lesson #78).

When a fruit grows, the first part of it to grow is the Kelipa (shell).  So too, when some “fruit,” something good, comes to the world, its Kelipa precedes it (Likutey MoHaran II, 5:10).  However, even after the “fruit” has come to one’s hand, the Kelipa possesses it until one “purifies” it.  For example, the last stages of “purifying” a walnut are cracking the shell and making the appropriate blessing.

Just as the “fruit” has different manifestations, so do Kelipot.  Though Kelipot are meant to protect the “fruit,” they may become agents of destruction, causing “fruit” to be lost, stolen, or ruined.  In virtue of their prior custodianship, the Kelipot have permission to withhold the benefits of the “fruit” until it is “purified.”  How does one protect, and purify, his possessions from Kelipot?  King Shlomo tells us twice, “Prudence [i.e. Torah] will protect you,” and “when you lie down she [Torah] will watch over you” (Mishlei 2:11, 6:22).

When one has sufficient faith to observe the Mitzvot of the Torah, and does, he is proclaiming that Hashem created everything and that everything is under His jurisdiction, as the Torah starts, “In the Beginning Hashem created the heavens and the earth.”  Once one has made such a declaration the Kelipot have no permission to claim that anything is theirs and certainly they have no permission to damage.  The more robust and broader one’s observance—the stronger one’s proclamation—the deeper and more thorough the “purification.”

The “fruit” is something that belongs to the entire Jewish people, not to individuals, and as a community, and a nation we must strengthen our observance in order to purify the “fruit.”  If, heaven forbid, we ourselves abuse the “fruit” and treat its innate sanctity and special status with contempt, the Kelipot are empowered and become more vociferous and violent in their attempts to wrest it back from us, heaven forbid.

Hashem created everything, and therefore, everything belongs to Hashem.  Our believing that and our living that belief is our answer to our enemies.  When we live that answer no one can take away from us that which Hashem wants us to have.

Landing Space by Willie Roth

And Hashem Created It All - Then Why Didn't You Say So? by Mr. Baruch Speiser