24 minutes | Dec 14th 2020

S1E111 - Rabbi Sergio Bergman on Genesis 1:1-5 – “Life: The Light of God”

Mark is absolutely delighted to welcome Rabbi Sergio Bergman to the podcast today. Currently the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, Rabbi Bergman oversees 1,275 synagogues with 1.8 million members in more than 50 countries. He is an Argentinian-born pharmacist, politician, social activist, and community leader who is well known for many accomplishments, including his innovative and inspirational socio-educational and religious projects. The passage he has chosen to discuss today is Genesis 1:1-5.

Rabbi Bergman begins by sharing his summary of the passage, his admiration for Martin Buber’s perspective on it, and the notion of the first light of Creation. He and Mark then discuss the contrast between physical and spiritual light, and the connection between light and so many sacred moments of Jewish life, particularly Hanukkah. The Rabbi concludes the episode with the lessons he has learned about humankind and his call to respect and take care of each other and of nature as well. You will undoubtedly be swept up in the passion and enthusiasm which Rabbi Bergman brings to today’s examination of the light of God and its infusion into our world and everyday lives, demonstrating once more the timeless relevance and guidance inherent in the Torah.

Episode Highlights: · Rabbi Bergman’s summary of the passage and its significance for him · Martin Buber · The first light · Physical and spiritual light · The circle of light · The universal challenge · The connection between this passage and Hanukkah · Respecting and taking care of nature · The lessons about humankind that Rabbi Bergman has learned · Noah’s wife’s sacred work

Quotes:

“We have the beginning of the beginning of humankind.”

“This is not a history book.”

“The Torah tries to teach us the meaning of our lives.”

“What is the light of the first day?”

“I think that this light is God’s presence.”

“I will put Myself in the physical world.”

“Discover the difference between physical and spiritual.”

“Where is the hidden light where we can bring more light to the world?”

“This is the story of humankind.”

“The light is the spirit.”

“In your small table, with your close friends and family, you recreate the miracle of the light.”

“Life is the light of God.”

“We need to be there with our brothers.”

“In every generation, in every time, the flood is coming.”

“We need to rebuild balance inside and outside.”

“Peace is in us.”

“Everyday we have a miracle to celebrate.”

Genesis 1:1-5 When God began to create heaven and earth— the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water— God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day. https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.1.1-5?lang=bi&aliyot=0

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: The Rabbi's Husband

Mark’s Twitter: Mark Gerson - The Rabbi's Husband (@markgerson)

The Rabbi’s Husband Newsletter contact: daniel@therabbishusband.com

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