“Remember the Word to Your servant, by which You gave me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word preserved me.” Psalms 119:49-50
Well here we are! As I write this Op it is 17 Oct 2020 and it is the first Shabbat in this new Torah reading cycle! The Torah portion for this new cycle is ‘Bereishis’ which begins in Genesis 1 and discusses HaShem, Sovereign of all Creation, fashioning His universe exactly as He has determined it to be!
In my opinion, in light of the days we currently live in, with all the chaos, madness, insanity, corruption, wickedness, violence and uncertainty we are surrounded with each day, it is now more vital than ever before we know exactly Who HaShem is and His Word and in doing so we will see and be reminded of His amazing and undeserving mercy, compassion, kindness, love and His unending desire to have that relationship with each and every one of us! When one really examines this, it will blow your mind that the Sovereign of the Universe, Who created everything desires to have an intimate and personal relationship with each of us!
Everything He created works to fulfill His Kingly decree and purpose! The sun gives its light to light the earth, but also to cause the plants to grow and warm the earth. If the sun was just a little closer the earth would burn, a little farther away and the earth would freeze…HaShem placed it exactly where He knows it needs to be. The laws of gravity are in place to keep everything in the universe where they were decreed to be by the King. The air we breathe with every breath we take that fills our lungs gives us life and every beat of our hearts to keep us alive are all ordained by HaShem…He has numbered each breath, each heartbeat and each day of our lives for in His books each day of our lives are recorded and determined according to His plan! I could go on and on, the point is HaShem, Sovereign and King is Master of ALL His Creation!
We look up into the night sky and see the stars, the moon, the planets and everything in the heavens and wonder at the Majesty and Mastery of HaShem for He tells us each object in the Heavens has a name and serves a distinct purpose! We look at the grandeur of the earth, the plants, the oceans, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, the animals, the countless varieties of foods, the colors of the flowers, the rain, snow, clouds, etc….ALL of which He controls and has ordained! NOTHING IS OUT OF HIS CONTROL!
This will be the focus of this Op is to examine this one seemingly insignificant Hebrew word ‘Bereishis’ and see how unbelievably in depth it is and what HaShem is revealing for it will absolutely astound you and I pray will stir your curiosity to want to explore the depths of HaShem’s Torah deeper, which will encourage and strengthen each of us to be able to endure these difficult and uncertain times we live in!
The previous Op I did discussing Proverbs 8 from the perspective of the Torah itself speaking, works with this Op as well, so I encourage you to read that Op in connection with this Op!
But before we begin, always remember and never forget the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem, Sovereign, King and Master over ALL His Creation:
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
“Bereishis bara Elohim et hashamyim vayet ha’aretz” this is Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew! I could do many Op’s on this one verse alone because of how much HaShem has embedded and revealed in this one seeming insignificant verse, but I must stay on topic! I will allow this one rabbi trail per se….did you know Messiah is revealed in this one verse from the VERY beginning? Yes He is….the simple word ‘Et’ is in Hebrew comprised of two Hebrew letters i.e. the Aleph and the Tav…..Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so we have the first and last right in the middle of this verse! Remember Yeshua Himself said He is “The beginning and the end” in Revelation 22:13!
Further, the word ‘Et’ is the center of this verse and there are seven words in this verse which comprise a seven branch Menorah with ‘Et’ being the ‘Servant Branch’ in which all the branches light their candles from! Remember Yeshua said “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.” per John 8:12
Consider the below picture of a seven branch Menorah which has all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet listed in order on it, three letters per branch with four on the Servant Branch i.e. the center branch. I apologize the picture is so small, I couldn’t locate a larger one nor could I enlarge it. Those four Hebrew letters spell two Hebrew words i.e. ‘Yechelim’ which means “He will make them whole!” and ‘Malchi’ which means “My King!”
Can you see how much we have learned already? And we haven’t even started the topic of this Op yet!
The word we are going to focus on from Genesis 1:1 is the word ‘Bereishis’ which in English means “In the beginning.” I will be heavily referencing the Chumash, the Talmud Bavli and the Midrash Rabbah Bereishis for further insight to see what did the Torah Sages of old to include the time of Yeshua understand.
The commentary from the Chumash discussing Genesis 1:1 says “Ten things were created on the first day of Creation: The heavens, earth, tohu and bohu i.e. the complete, shocking emptiness that existed before anything else was created, light, darkness, wind, water, and the length of a day and of a night, so that each cycle lasts 24 hours. We know that heaven and earth were created on the first day, because it says ‘In the beginning, Elohim created heaven and earth.'”
Tractate Chagigah 12a from the Talmud Bavli says “All of these are derived from the Torah: Heaven and earth, as it is written ‘In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth per Genesis 1:1’. Tohu and bohu, as it is written ‘And the earth was unformed and void (Tohu vavohu) per Genesis 1:2.’ Light and darkness; darkness as it is written ‘And the darkness was upon the face of the deep per Genesis 1:2.’ Light, as it is written ‘And Elohim said, Let there be light per Genesis 1:3.’ Wind and water, as it is written ‘And the wind of HaShem hovered over the face of the waters per Genesis 1:2.’ The length of a day and the length of night, as it is written ‘And there was evening and there was morning, one day per Genesis 1:5.'”
This tractate tackles an interesting question which asks “And was light created on the first day? But isn’t it written ‘And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven per Genesis 1:17’, and it is also written ‘And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day per Genesis 1:19’, indicating that light was created on the fourth day.” So what light did HaShem create then?
This tractate answers the question: “This should be understood in accordance with Rabbi Elazar, as Rabbi Elazar said: ‘The light that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created on the first day was not that of the sun but a different kind of light, through which man could observe from one of the world to the other. But when the Holy One, Blessed be He, looked upon the generation of the Flood and the generation of the Diaspora (World exile we currently live in) and saw that their ways were corrupt and that they might misuse this light for evil, He arose and concealed it from them, as it is stated “And from the wicked their light is withheld per Job 38:15.”
“And for whom did HaShem conceal it (Light)? For the righteous people in the future, as it is stated ‘And Elohim saw the light, that it was good per Genesis 1:4, and good is referring to none other than the righteous, as it is stated ‘Say of the righteous that it shall be good for them, for they shall eat the fruit of their actions per Isaiah 3:10.'”
Now does Revelation 22:5 make more sense when HaShem says “And night shall be no more, and they shall have no need of a lamp or the light of the sun, because HaShem Elohim shall give them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Point is, in the end HaShem will restore the way He originally intended for everything to be because He reveals the end out of the beginning…He reveals the end out of Bereishis!
Again as I have pointed out in past Op’s, can you see then why the adversary works so hard to separate the people of HaShem from the Torah i.e. the Bereishis? This is the main reason why I so utterly loathe and despise Replace Theology Christendom because of how much is being lost and how many people are being led into bondage and destruction! I digress!
The opening paragraph of the commentary by Ohr HaChaim (The light of life) discussing this word ‘Bereishis’ says “When I began delving into the Torah’s opening verse, it was as if the Heavens opened up and I saw visions of HaShem, the Creator of the ends of the earth. I perceived that this verse’s brief description of Creation includes esoteric, hidden matters. I pondered what I am permitted to ponder with regard to the opening words of the Holy One, and I was struck by the word with which the Torah begins to cast it light, that is, its first word. The Torah begins by saying, ‘Bereishis’ which is unusual, for the implication of the word ‘Bereishis’ is ‘In the beginning of…’ such that it is connected to something that is supposed to follow it, as you might say ‘Reishis davar’ which means ‘The beginning of something.’ Here, though, the word ‘Bereishis’ i.e. ‘In the beginning of’ is missing a subject that ought to follow it; the verse does not say in the beginning of what. It goes without saying that this is no oversight, for who knows how to express himself as perfectly as our HaShem; why, all speech emanates from Him! How could He have begun His Torah with a word that is missing a subject?”
He goes on to say “In truth, the intent of the verse is as follows. Before I present my explanation, though, I want to spotlight a certain facet of our understanding of the greatness of the Creator. How great are His deeds! For the Master, blessed is He, can utter speech in a way that is unfathomable to the beings He created, as the Sages, of blessed memory, said, in explaining the verse, HaShem spoke all these statements, which introduces the Ten Commandments, and this is a quote of their words: ‘HaShem spoke His words in a way that the human mouth is not capable of speaking. That is, the Torah’s statement that HaShem spoke all these statements means that He said all Ten Commandments in one utterance, and no utterance preceded another.'”
“With this introduction in place, we can proceed to the elucidation of our verse (Genesis 1:1). It is this: The Master, exalted be His Name, all that He created in the world, which includes the four basic elements that are the building blocks of all matter, as well as everything that is in existence, as well as heaven and earth, in short, everything, but everything, was created by HaShem in one Utterance!'”
Can you see how unfathomable HaShem is? He created His world for us to live, enjoy and serve Him and ultimately have that intimate relationship with Him, but He also reserves and conceals parts of Himself and His Torah, reserved only for the righteous to learn, experience and enjoy in the World to Come…Baruch HaShem!
The Midrash Rabbah Bereshis is very interesting when it discusses this word ‘Bereishis’. It quotes and points to Proverbs 8. It says “The Torah describes its relationship with HaShem before the advent of Creation: ‘I was then His ‘amon’, I was then His delight day after day, etc per Proverbs 8:30.’ The word ‘Amon’ can be interpreted as related to ‘Omein’ which means ‘A nurse’, so that the Torah is saying, ‘I was then His nursling’; ‘amon’ can be interpreted as ‘covered’ (Lamentations 4:5); ‘amon’ can be interpreted as ‘hidden’ (Esther 2:7). It is the Torah that is likened to a nurse who raises the children of a king, meaning that it raises the one who studies it by guiding him in the right path.”
The Midrash goes on and says “The Torah is instructive like a nurse (Numbers 11:12) who raises and guides the child, it is covered, and it is hidden. Describing the Tablets given to Moshe at Sinai, the Midrash says the following: ‘The Tablets were six handbreadths long. Two handbreadths were in HaShem’s hand, as it were; two handbreadths were in Moshe’s hand; and two handbreadths separated between one hand and the other. This imagery signifies that the Torah consists of three parts: The revealed, the covered, and the hidden.”
“The revealed part contains the text and teachings that Moshe conveyed to Israel at Mount Sinai, primarily in connection to the 613 mitzvos (Commandments) that we are obliged to study and fulfill. We may not know why HaShem gave us these mitzvos or what purpose they serve, but we are still nonetheless bound to observe them in deference to His expressed will.”
“The covered portion of the Torah includes the reasons for all the mitzvos, the secrets behind them, the effects they have on the mitzvah observer and on the world at large. These aspects of HaShem’s wisdom have not been revealed in a public way, but when a person shows his commitment to performing the mitzvos for the sake of Heaven, HaShem enlightens him with insight into this restricted area of Torah knowledge.”
“The hidden portion of the Torah is not at all accessible to us in this world. Picturesquely described by the Sages as wine preserved in its grapes since the six days of Creation, it will be brought out and served i.e. revealed and taught, to the righteous in the Future, when mankind is restored to the purity it enjoyed before Adam’s sin. Of this future generation the prophet states per Isaiah 64:3 ‘No eye has seen…that which HaShem will do for those who hope to Him.'”
“Hence, the Midrash before us has three names for the Torah. Nurse is the part that imparts practical guidance on how to conduct our lives as servants of HaShem. Covered is the part that is not immediately discernible, but that awaits discovery by those worthy of it. And hidden is the part that will remain unknown to all until the World to Come, when HaShem will pour His Spirit upon us and open our eyes to His infinite wisdom.”
The point for these excerpts from the Midrash is again to point out that it is through the Torah that HaShem created everything! The Midrash later says “The Torah states, ‘Bereishis Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The word ‘Reishis’ is a reference to nothing other than the Torah, as it it states in the Torah’s own words, ‘HaShem made me as the beginning (Reishis) of His way per Proverbs 8:22’. Hence our verse means ‘With reishis (Using the Torah as His tool), Elohim created the heavens and the earth.'”
Why is this so important to understand? Because He reveals the end out of the beginning (Reishis i.e. the Torah)! Again as I have stated time and again, no wonder the adversary works so hard to convince people to stay away from the Torah! And no wonder why the adversary convinced the people to embrace a figure head who teaches against the Torah as something that has been done away with or rendered obsolete and replaced!
The Midrash goes on to say “It is not only the life of the individual that depends upon Torah. Rather, Torah is the source of life for ALL Creation. HaShem looked into the Torah and created the world. It follows that all life is a product of Torah. The Rabbis teach that had Israel not accepted the Torah, the world could not have continued, but would have returned to the desolation and emptiness that reigned prior to Creation, for without Torah, nothing can exist!” Gee is this another reason why the adversary wants people to reject the Torah because then Creation would theoretically collapse upon itself and everything be destroyed? Is this another explanation as to why the world is so dark, destructive, wicked, evil, violent and why the weather and other parts of Creation are reacting violently? My opinion is this is precisely why the world is in the mess its in today is because of the rejection of His Torah! Can you see the importance of His Torah in our lives?
HaShem, Elohim, Sovereign of the Universe is truly Master of His Creation! He reveals Himself in everything of His Creation if we would take the time to see Him! He is in absolute control over all things and nothing is just because! Everything serves a purpose according to His will, decrees and design! Baruch HaShem!
So in closing, as we begin this next Torah reading cycle, embrace His Torah with excitement and joy for the Master of all Creation has granted to us the great gift of His Torah! He could have left us wallowing where we were in the systems of religion, being fed lies and deception, all the while waltzing head first into destruction without a clue of what we were embracing. Instead, He in His infinite mercy, compassion, forgiveness and kindness has chosen to grant us His Torah to know, learn, study and apply to our lives and walk in service unto our Great King! Further, we will know exactly who the real Messiah of HaShem is and not embrace the False Messiah!
Further, next time you get a chance in this fast and unrelenting world, stop for just a second and look at creation around you, the night sky, the clouds, the trees, the mountains, the animals, the plants, everything and know you are looking at HaShem and His Torah in action; but more importantly know the One Who created all around you is calling out to you for He desires you come home to Him! Messiah Yeshua restored the broken covenant but the message is the same, Torah is the vehicle to have that intimate relationship with HaShem…Baruch HaShem!
There is much to look forward too in studying His Torah and to know there is an entire aspect of His Torah He has reserved only for the righteous in the World to Come that, HaShem willing, we will spend eternity learning and living out in service to Him! How awesome is HaShem!
“All you nations, join hands! Call out to HaShem with a cry of joy. For HaShem is Most High, awesome, a Great King over all of the earth!” Psalms 47:2-3
Much to consider!
- The Milstein Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- Tractate Chagigah Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
- Tractate Berakhot Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz
- Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah Bereshis by Artscroll
- Or HaChaim Bereshis by Artscroll
- Tehillim (Psalms) by Artscroll