Only a few weeks ago we once again began the cycle of weekly Sabbath Torah readings from Bereishis, Genesis.  The first line is “In the beginning HaShem created” and we learn how G-d makes “something” (our world!) from “nothingness.”

Building a house is, in a small way l’havdil, an act of bereishis (creation).  I am amazed at the myriad of steps, coordination, and work it took to create this something from nothing.

From a piece of raw land, it wasn’t just a matter of hammering lumber together to make a house.  A driveway had to be built- trees had to come down, earth had to be moved and flattened, gravel had to be laid.  A foundation had to be poured – and whatever was done, had to be done with precision since it was literally “set in stone” and could not easily be altered.  Lines had to be laid for plumbing, electricity, sewage.  Each of the multitude of workers labored within his incredible specialty with finesse and craftsmanship.  Each man’s work was separate, yet dependent on the others’ to see the house to completion. Just as each instrument in an orchestra has its own unique sound, lovely in its own right, united they make a symphony.  Perhaps it sounds melodramatic, but it is not without some awe that I look at the completed structure which only months before was a messy sketch on a notepad, and realize: this is an act of bereishis.

Lest a sense of accomplishment go to my head, King David brings me back to reality in Psalm 127 (which I have reproduced on post-it notes placed strategically throughout the house):  “If G-d will not build the house, its builders labor on it in vain.”  Whether it’s the Beis HaMikdash (the holy Temple) or l’havdil one’s own house, HaShem is the true Architect.  As I look at the nature surrounding me here in the woods of Maine – animals,  insects, plants, mountains, the changing seasons – I am truly awed by the incredibly detailed and wonderous miracle of G-d’s Creation.

Here are pictures of the driveway being built from the raw land, so a homesite could be laid out:



Most people would start building a driveway at the end of spring, but our excavator, a real "Maineah," loves a challenge in the dead of winter




The beginning of the 500' long driveway




The driveway starts to take shape





now graded, the driveway still needs a layer of gravel




Looking down to frozen Little Pond, a bog that attracts moose in Spring and Fall


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