Joods Maastricht

Website van de Joodse Gemeente Maastricht

To Serve the Eternal in the midst of this World




In all synagogues everywhere in the world we will soon finish the reading first book of the Torah, Bereshit: "Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; they embalmed him and he was placed in a coffin in Egypt". Not a happy finishing of a book! While as a rule the weekly Torah reading always ends up in a positive message or a happy event. Therefore we must conclude that laying in casket of Joseph's body implies a positive thought.

Talking about rules anyway, there is also another rule with respect to our holy books. When I take the train in Amersfoort and I get off in Nijkerk, it means that already in Amersfoort I know that Nijkerk will be my destination and that the destion becomes visible in Nijkerk because I step out of the train. A good speech is composed in such a manner. In the beginning is the shortest summary of the entire speech. However  only the end the message for listener is enterly clear, provided he did not fall asleep in course of time. A book obeys to the condition. The title is is the shortest summary of the whole of the book. Only at the end of the book the content becomes clear and visible, its final climax!
Bereshit started with the words: "In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth...:. " Why G'd created that heaven and that earth we limited people will never be able to comprehend. But we know quite well what The Eternal One asks of us, because he has given us a Torah full with instructions. In other word, G'd created a world to enable us, his creations , will serve Him in that world.
We see these days many people dive into spirituality, Courses, Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism for Beginners and the like, attract more and more interested people. It sometimes it is that one sees people studying advanced Higher Mathematics, without being able to count.
"In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth...:. " The first thing expected from us is to simply serve the Eternal. Maybe I am allowed to hover, especially when I learned and felt in the depth of the Book of Bereshit. Nevertheless Bereshit, the preliminary endstation of the first travel, ends up with lesson that Joseph has been placed in a coffin in Egypt. The first aim that everybody should strive for in that world with dangerous pittfals and seductions, is to serve the Eternal right there. Spirituality and Highdiving is sometimes very nice, but the first boek of the Torah learns: serve the Eternal with both feet firmly kept on the ground.