By Getzy Markowitz
The generation before my own grew up navigating Mr. and Ms. Pac Man, or an extendable ravenous predator at the video arcade. When I was little, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the big hit with which gamers could maneuver two Italian Mario Brothers through scrolling environments and hidden secrets. The console was every child’s dream and North America’s most popular gaming machine.
Enter Sega Genesis, a new device that brought the home arcade industry into a new era with its Sonic mascot using his speedy power to thwart madness. I remember the day that my brothers inaugurated our new wonder. Glued to the control pad, in a way the system controlled us. The Genesis brought forth a wave of new devices and software that has led to the futuristic programs that have eager gamers camping out on cold city streets to acquire the latest models.
Before it all, in the beginning, G-d created heaven and earth setting forth the genesis of the human saga. This week, in Synagogues across the world, the first of Moses’ five books is begun anew and the Jews’ commitment to its study and application is recommitted. The name of my virtual after-school program would ring in my mind whenever I heard or read the title of the Torah’s first volume. Taught to discover life’s guiding principles in everything I encounter, the miniature Sega protagonist that I would guide on Genesis illustrated one of the Torah’s first lessons in Genesis.
The first of the creations was light. With G-d choosing to bring luminescence into existence, he taught us to be creators. At the onset of it all, the Almighty stated the purpose of His undertaking: that light, goodness, and kindness must overtake darkness and negativity. Listing G-d’s first initiative, the Torah of Light enjoins her students to generate the radiance in her name and the brilliance of her content.
Through Torah study, one discovers hidden treasures and learns to distribute that wealth. One learns that before man’s creation, there were animals. And before wildlife, there was light, illuminating man’s path to transcending self-serving animalism, and bringing the world to a more enlightened state.