I always wondered why we read Parshat Bereshit -- the portion of Genesis -- after Simchat Torah. After all, wouldn't Rosh Hashana be a more logical choice for the parsha that talks about the creation of the world.
This week at shul the rabbi gave a short dvar Torah on Friday night. He pointed out that, while spiritually, Rosh HaShana is the beginning of the New Year, practically, it's now, after "the chaggim" when we really embark on our new year.
It's a joke amongst Israelis.....from about a month before Rosh Hashana, very little actual work gets done. Everyone says "I'll do it after the chaggim (holidays)." No one starts a new project or embarks on a new program because "i'll do it after the chaggim." I laughed as much as anyone when I first noticed it, but now, sure enough, it's part of my life too (twice a year, since the whole process repeats itself before and during Pesach).
So today, the Sunday after the chaggim is the time that I've promised myself to start on a diet, be more diligent about my work habits, set limits.....everything. It wouldn't have worked after Rosh Hashana because I would have still been involved with the rest of the holidays, but now, i'm Bereshit -- in the beginning.