Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Bereshit 5777

It’s one of the most challenging passages theologically in all of Torah, and it comes in the very first chapter. God has been extraordinarily productive for five-plus days, creating this and that and the next. Then, God has an idea. Instead of saying “Let there be…,” God says “Let’s.” The plan is to make a human being, which I, as one of those, think is a great plan; the expression of interest, though, is potentially troubling: “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…'” (Genesis 1:26).
“Us?” “Our?” Who exactly is God speaking to here? Does God consult? Does God collaborate? Did God have a partner in creating human beings? These are all questions that the Torah’s shocking language seems to beg.
You can imagine that this verse caught the rabbis’ attention. Indeed it did. On Shabbat morning, we’ll look at a few of them from Midrash Bereshit Rabbah. As we explore these attempts to wrestle with the words of Torah, we’ll have a chance to add our own voices to the conversation.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise