Beginnings are an important time to reflect how Bereshit affects us as Hillel staff. The commentaries have many reasons for why we have the book of Bereshit but the one that speaks to me is that it teaches us how to live. Unlike the rest of the Torah, Bereshit gives us insight into human relationships and how to be or not be a role model.
As guides and travelers of Jewish paths, we have to be Jewish, ethical and moral role models for our students and ensure that our students are also role models for each other. A true Hillel success is not how many students we connect with, but how many students connect to a Jewish way of life after Hillel. God begins the process by enabling humans to be involved with the creation of the world. We are here to build and rebuild the world and we must learn from those role models in the Torah.
Rabbi Ben Shefter is the senior Jewish educator for Hillels of Westchester.