Parshat Bereshit: Making a good first impression

Tylor Massouda
Tylor Massouda (Courtesy)

By Tylor Massouda

My Torah reading is about the days of creation. This story is a familiar one and a symbolic one for many occasions. The first day of creation was the beginning of the world. The story of the first day ends with, “There was evening and there was morning, a first day.”

One commentary explains that “yom echad,” or “first day,” can also be translated as “one day” or “the day of the One.” “The One” refers to God. This means that the first day was the day on which God created a world that would be suitable for God to be in. What is interesting is that God created the world suitable for himself on day one even though living creatures were only made later. I think this shows the importance of making a good first impression.

Right now, in the modern day, we try to make a good first impression or start off right with other people because we want people to look at us in the way that we choose. A first impression influences events by changing how people react to us. Based on first impressions, people may treat you in a different way. Even if we can’t control the actions of others, we can point them in the right direction by making a good first impression.

However, first impressions are not everything. For example, God did not abandon the world on the seventh day; it still continued afterward. So even if you have a bad first impression you can fix it. It is important to not give up after your first impression because what comes after is also important.

This concept is a little bit like tikkun olam. Tikkun olam means to “repair the world” because even after God created the world there were still problems that we as people need to fix. For example, global warming is not something we can stop working on. Even if we make our climate better, we have to continue to maintain it ourselves. God gave us a first impression of the world but we still have to cultivate it and continue it into the future.

Tylor Massouda is an eighth grader at Krieger Schechter Day School.

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