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    Superlatives – B’reshit

    We never finish a mitzvah without starting on the next one.

    We have hardly completed Yom Kippur when we begin the building of the sukkah.

    When we end the Torah readings we start again with B’reshit.

    Though only a year has passed since last time we always find something new in the ancient text. The Vilna Ga’on said that he never failed to find a chiddush in the familiar words.

    In our case let us look at a well known passage from B’reshit veru’ach E-lokim merachefet al p’nei hamayim, usually rendered, “and the spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters”.

    The Bible has no superlatives, so if it wants to say something is immensely great it says it is big even in God’s terms. Jonah says that Nineveh was “a great city unto the Lord”, indicating that even God thought it was great.

    So “the spirit (or wind) of God” is “a mighty wind”, one that even God notices.

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