Bereshit: In the Beginning
Genesis 1:1 - 6:8

Before space and definition
when G-d existed in the tempo of unkempt time

The Creator began to design the uninhabited cosmos

Out of darkness and emptiness G-d imagined the wonder of it all

And in that moment there was an explosion of light

As sky billowed in waltzing clouds upon the dance of the first day

The sea churned with life-bearing waves and growing tidal pools
reflecting in vast blue mirrors all the sky spoke to the sea

And in a calming breeze came the second day

The third day into His palms G-d gathered the waters

Drops and lakes, rivers and seas,
calling the mountains and hills the land
and it gave rise to grasses tall, sweet trees bursting with fruit

The sun light up the flowing waters as the earth grew in abundance

And all was good

Then G-d waved His hand in the great sky
and there were planets and stars
shining brightly beneath a blanket of blue

In vast Heavens the L-rd spun into glowing wonder
both the sun and the moon

One to shine by the dawn and the other by twilight

And as the light echoed throughout the created wonder
all was a marvel on the fourth day

Thus waters began to teem and bring forth abundant life

Whales and fish of the sea's whispering psalm

Soaring upon inviting clouds winged creatures took to the skies

And G-d blessed them and said
"Plant seeds within your wombs and grow."

And the great light rose, followed by the moon of night
as G-d called this the fifth day

The Blessing One gently caressed the teaming soil
as creatures four-legged and two sought to grow and fill the land

And in Heaven's pleasure the L-rd created
the human creature sung in G-d's image

Seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling the wonders all around

The light shining upon the human face and eyes opened in answer
to the simple question of guiding the created order all around

Then HaShem smiled to this the sixth day

And in a single heartbeat and a million moments it was begun

Upon the seventh day
the Creator reflected upon the vast colors and sounds

The inviting sights and sensations

Giving thanks for our ever-spinning earth

Upon which seeds of joy grow and thrive
in the tiny and the immeasurable
and the woven threads of life

Upon the sweetness that is Sabbath
in whose lullaby the Giver replies, All is good.


(Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES