In the book of Bereishit (Genesis), the first book of the TorahThe Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.
, we read “there was evening and there was morning, [the] first day.” Each act of creation was counted in its own time. Rabbi AbrahamAbraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham.
Joshua Heschel teaches that creation did not happen only once. Rather, creation is a constant process; every moment in time can be viewed as an act of creation. This understanding of creation invites us to participate in its unfolding process. Marking time with awareness and intention is one way to do that. And when we do this, we connect with Bereishit’s primal acts of creation. New things, experiences and ideas are created through recognition—what we notice and recognize are then created.
Paying attention to time is at the heart of Jewish living; sanctifying time is how we make each moment holy. The Jewish calendar encourages us to create meaning by counting time:
As we count our days, weeks, and months, we are reminded that creation is a continual process. Creation is happening all around us, and every moment can lead us to acts of (re)creating ourselves and the world around us.