Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Bereishis II

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This week we read Parshas Bereishis, which is the first portion in the Torah. This portion tells us how Hashem created the world during the first six days of Creation and rested on Shabbos, the seventh day.

On the fifth day of Creation, Hashem created all fish and fowl, as it is written[1], “G-d created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that crawls, with which the waters swarmed … according to their kind, and every winged fowl, according to its kind. And Hashem saw that it was good.”

Rashi cites the words “the … sea monsters,” and teaches us that this refers to “the great fish in the sea. In the words of Aggadah[2], this refers to the ‘Livyoson’ (Leviathan) and its mate, for He created them male and female …”

What is the deeper meaning of these “sea monsters?” What lesson can we learn from them in our service of Hashem?

The Alter Rebbe explains[3] that the word “Livyoson” is related to the word “Levi,” which means connection[4]. Hence, the spiritual level of “Livyoson,” is a righteous person who is completely connected to Hashem.

One might think, that for most of us it is beneficial to have a study-partner, and a partner with whom to fulfill Mitzvos. After all, the Mishnah explicitly states that[5] one must “acquire a friend for oneself.” In order to succeed in serving Hashem, one must have the perspective and advice of a friend. One cannot be objective himself in evaluating his own personal plan of action to serve Hashem.

However, perhaps this should not apply to one of “the great fish in the sea.” He may be able to trust his own decisions in terms of how he should serve G-d. The fact is, that he is totally connected!

That is why Rashi lets us know that even the great fish also needs a “mate.” Each of us needs help in deciding how to focus on our service of Hashem.

In the merit of beginning the Torah yet again, immediately after concluding it, we should have a year which is blessed beyond all measure. This should certainly include the ultimate blessing of Moshiach Now!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 5, Page 16

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 1:21.

[2]. See Tractate Bava Basra 74b.

[3]. Likkutei Torah Parshas Shemini 18b.

[4]. Parshas Vayeitzei, Bereishis 29:34.

[5]. Pirkei Avos, 1, 6.

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