In the Beginning
Discourses on Chasidic Thought
In the Beginning is a commentary on the Book of Genesis. It is also a commentary on a commentary, as it is based on a classic Hasidic text that explores many of the ideas found in the Torah. Most fundamentally, however, In the Beginning is, as its translator suggests, a book that “grapples with some of the most profound aspects of human destiny.”
This book views Genesis through the lens of Kabbalah and its teachings and addresses a wide range of themes as they pertain to the Biblical text, including the dichotomy of chaos and order, the creation of man, the Tree of Knowledge, life and death, good and evil, the idea of truth, and faith and prayer. In the Beginning offers readers the chance to study Genesis with Rabbi Steinsaltz, a living master who expounds upon the thought of another master, Rabbi Schneur Zalman.