The true significance of shabbos Beraishis
In connection to Shabbos Bereishis we say the well-known dictum, the way we conduct ourselves on Shabbos Bereishis sets the tone for the whole year.
Interestingly, this saying is repeated in reference to many regular Shabbos occurrences. For example, people say that if you wake up early on Shabbos Bereishis, then the whole year will follow likewise, and if you don’t go to sleep on the afternoon of Shabbos Bereishis, then the whole year will be the same. While there might be some truth to these examples, if this is all that we gain from this saying, then we are missing the point.
In Likutei Sichos chelek alef, the Rebbe quotes the above-mentioned saying and gives it a fascinating context. The great significance of Shabbos Bereishis and why it has the potential to affect the whole year is because Bereishis talks about the creation in the beginning.
Creation signifies how the world was created ex nihilo, from nothing. The truth of the matter is that the Creation in Parshas Bereishis was not the only Creation, it was actually the first of many Creations, for as we know, Hashem is constantly recreating the world at every moment.
This has very clear implications about the existence of this physical world. From a purely (chassidically) ignorant perspective the world seems like it has its own metzius, the world seems strong and invincible, and it would seem inconceivable that the world could disappear.
In truth, however, the only reason that the world exists is because Hashem continues to recreate it at every moment. If Hashem would chas visholom not recreate the world one moment, the world would instantaneously cease to exist, without leaving a trace.
If so, Shabbos Bereishis holds a tremendous power that directly affects the rest of the year. Shabbos Beraishis relates the beginning of creation from nothing, which essentially recurs every second of the year. If we contemplate properly on this idea during shabbos Beraishis, it can positively affect our conduct throughout the year.
When dealing with the world, we have to be careful and ensure that our worldly responsibilities do not outweigh our obligations to Hashem. If we view the world as having its own metzius, the dictates of the world may easily take control of our priorities. Davening and learning may suffer at our desire for materialistic gain, and spiritual ethics may drop. If we take an internal lesson from Bereishis and see the world as if it doesn’t exist, and what we do see is Hashem’s constant recreating, then our conduct both of Shabbos Bereishis and on the rest of the year will be affected to only do what is congruent with Hashem’s will.
This is not a segula, that if I wake up early this Shabbos that will also transpire the rest of the year, this is internal to the one who contemplates the above mentioned idea. They become a changed person with a new pair of spectacles which in turn affects their conduct and makes it more G-d oriented throughout the year.
This understanding of Shabbos Bereishis influencing the whole year is a description of a life of bitachon in Hashem. A Baal Habitachon, due to his constant connection to Hashem relies only on Hashem and on nothing else. He gives nothing else any importance. If so, Shabbos Bereishis is a great time to reassess where we stand in our perspective of the world, and to strengthen our commitment to Bitachon solely in Hashem.