Does it matter at all with what letter Torah and Creation begin? Isn’t it all just random?

Yes. No.

Natural occurrences and life events might seem random to us. But the rabbis — Akiva, in particular — are teaching us: nothing is random. Not even the seemingly smallest detail, like the letter “beit” of “breishith” — the Hebrew word that opens the entire Bible. It’s an intentional Divine choice.

The association of “beit” with “brachah” — blessing — suggests something even more: If and when we properly understand that even the most minute things happen according to “hashgachah protis” — Divine supervision of Creation — rather than to impersonal, random forces, we’ll thank G-d for what happens.

I read some years ago that some cattlemen out West were having problems with wolves attacking their herds. They hunted down as many wolves as they could and killed them. Their herds flourished. But so did the deer on which the wolves also preyed. Flourishing, the deer began eating so much grass, that the hills began to seriously erode when it rained. Reluctantly, the farmers reintroduced wolves to the region.

Everything has its Divine purpose for an ultimate Good.

As the Talmud says:

“One should bless G-d for the bad [that happens to us] in the same way as for the good, as it says, “…you shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might…’with all your might’ means [regardless of] what G-d metes out to you.” [1]

Yet, elsewhere, [2] it tells us that eventually, we’ll see that all has been for an ultimate Good:

“. . . in this world, on good tidings you recite [a blessing] ‘Hatov V’Hameitiv – One Who is good and does good’. On bad tidings however, you recite ‘Boruch Dayan HaEmes – Blessed be the True Judge’. In the Next World [the blessing] is all ‘Hatov V’Hameitiv. “

We’ve been created in order to understand and appreciate G-d’s goodness. That’s what the rabbis meant in teaching that Creation begins with “beit” for “brachah/blessing.”

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[1] Berachot 54a
[2] Pesachim 50a