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Parashat Bereshit ("in the beginning") by Jon Eaton
Parashat Bereshit ("in the beginning") by Jon
This Parasha is filled with mysteries of the universe.
The first verse in Genesis; that’s Genesis 1:1 contains the
story of creation, the Gospel message, and the book of Revelations.It is
literally cover to cover of our Bible (from Genesis to Revelations) all in the
So let’s start at the very beginning.The very first word of the Tanakh is בְּרֵאשִׁית (bereshit) - “in
the beginning” or “at the head”, the start.
One thing to know about the Hebrew language, is that every
letter has its own meaning.Aleph represents
God, Bet represents “house” etc.Well the very first letter of the Bible is the
letter Bet which means “the house”.Creation is our house.It is also
where He chooses to dwell with us.
The first verse of the Bible, also reveals the triune nature
of God.In Hebrew it reads “Bereshit
bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'aretz” Genesis 1:1.The word bara (he created) is singular but the word Elohim is plural. So this God who acts as One is ALSO
Plural.Later in this parashah we read a
direct quotation from this Elohim that uses plural personal pronouns: "Let
us make man in our image and in our likeness" (1:26).We can’t get around the Hebrew language on
this one.God is triune.Even the early ancient Hebrew texts like the
Zohar acknowledge the Triune nature of Elohim – of God.
“ Hear, O Israel, YHVH Elohenu YHVH is one. These three are
one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of Faith: in
the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eyes alone. Come
and see the mystery of the word YHVH: there are three steps, each exiting by
itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated
from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are
united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described
as being three: because the other lights emanating from Him are included in the
three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them
one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.”
(The Zohar, Vol. III page 134 English edition)
Now before we get too far into Genesis I want to explore the
first word further.I mentioned earlier
how each Hebrew letter has its own meaning.Well if we pull apart the word Bereshit into the meaning of each letter
we get a secret message.
Bet – House
Resh – Highest
Aleph – God
Shin – Shall
be destroyed/ripped apart
Yod – Hand
Tav – Cross
In a sentence we could put these meanings into a sentence:
The House (Bet) of the Highest One (Resh) God (Aleph) Shall be Detroyed (Shin) by His Hand (Yod)
on a Cross (Tav).
The Gospel message right there in the first word.
So we can move on further to the word ET (spelt A T - Aleph
Tav).. Beresheet Bara Elohim ‘ET’….
So what does ET mean?Not much; it’s a grammatical issueBUT it is spelt Aleph Tav or we would read it in the Greek as Alpha
Omega..So the first verse we read the
existence of the Alpha and Omega. Remember in Revelations 22 Yeshua claimed to
be the Alpha and Omega; the Aleph and the Tav.In the beginning He created (that is Elohim/ET).
So we have a plural God (Elohim) that includes the Alpha and Omega.
This parsha gives us further insights into His Devine
Beginning with Genesis 2:4,Elohim is further revealed by means of the personal Name YHVH - the
Sacred Name of God. It is generally
thought that Elohim is the Name given as the Creator of the universe, implying
strength, power, and justice, whereas YHVH expresses the idea of God's
closeness to humans. For example, it is
YHVH who "breathed” into his (Adam's) nostrils the breath of life and then
placed him in the Garden of Eden the original paradise.
“In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1,14).
"All things were made by Him (John 1:3).
This almighty Elohim (אֱלהִים)
began creating the heavens and the earth on the "first day"
God said, "Let there be light, and there was
light" (Gen. 1:3) and then He separated the darkness from the light.Please note that the Sun was not created
until the Fourth Day.
So what was the light?He IS..This is a picture of
separation.We are also to separate
ourselves from the darkness and come into His Perfect light.
The Biblical day
called Yom (יוֹם) begins
in the evening: "and there was evening and there was morning, the first
Eventually on the 6th day the Lord created Adam and on the
eve of the seventh day, what we would call Erev Shabbat, God Rested. God called the seventh day "holy"
(kodesh), which means set apart as sacred.In the same way he separated light from dark he separated work from
Now you can imagine Adam opening his eyes wondering what was
going on but according to midrash (which is Oral tradition), Adam's first words
were, Adonai malakh olam va'ed: "The LORD is King for ever and ever."
God then said after hearing Adam’s praise, "Now the whole world will know
that I am King," and He was very pleased.Apparently that was the "tov
me'od" (טוֹבמְאד) moment of creation, when
God saw all that He had made "and found it very good" (Gen. 1:31).Yes, I
know that I can’t back this up and I’m waiting for Rabbi to point this out but
I liked it enough to add it anyway.
Originally Adam was created as a single person; but the LORD
decided that it was not good for him be alone.So Adam began to name all of the land animals to see if there was a
suitable partner for him.That was a
complete fail and thus the LORD put Adam into a deep sleep and formed a woman
from his "side" so that she would be ezer kenegdo - a "helper in
front of him."- Dragging him along
for his own good probably.But
certainly NOT under him as a subordinate.Another translation for ezer kenegdo is “a helper that opposes him”
because it is opposition that makes us stronger.It takes opposition to build muscle.
Possibly, when Eve submitted to temptation i.e she took the
fruit first (in front of Him, instead of the opposition building him, it
defeated him.Adam, who was "with
her" at this time, also knowingly ate of the fruit offered to him.He did not take his role as first born of
humanity seriously, maybe he liked her in front and was happy to go with the
flow (like most blokes) because
we read in Genesis 3:17,”Because you
listened to your wife and ate fruit”.What were you doing Adam..?Was
listening to his wife the first ‘sin’……(waiting for shock and horror)
Thankfully, God was not tricked by this and reveals His
Eternal plan for salvation.Sin was not
a surprise to Elohim.The message of
the cross is not a backup plan.Remember, we see the message of the cross in the very first word of
Genesis (Bereshit) even before sin.Yeshua
is described as the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world": 1
Pet. 1:20, Eph. 1:4, Rev. 13:8, 17:8.The
sinful nature and the necessary redemption was foreseen and provided by the
Cross at the very beginning.
The Lord promised to break the curse by means of the Seed -
the Mashiach - who would "crush the head" of the serpent and restore
mankind to the original relationship with Him.
In finishing, a beautiful attribute of this parashah is how
it finishes with hope. As we read through the following chapters it traces the
genealogy of Seth all the way to Noah, who is described as the only tzaddik
(righteous man) in the entire earth. In Genesis 6:7 God says.“I will wipe from the face of the earth the
human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures
that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”But in verse 8, the final verse in this
parashat, it says “Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord”.
After all the trouble in paradise, the sin, the betrayal,
the portion ends with the verdict that God would destroy mankind from the face
of the earth BUT the righteous shall be saved.
Two early sages (great leaders) Hillel and Shammai engaged
in debate regarding whether it would have been better for humans not to have
been created at all...Hillel argued
that it was better that humans had been created, whereas Shammai argued the
other way. Finally a vote was called for and the decision rendered was this: It
would have been better for humans not to have been created than to have been
created. However, since we do in fact exist, we must search our past deeds and
carefully examine what we are about to do (Eruvin 13b).
So why are we still here… Because He Loves Us..or as we read in Psalms.. "The world is
built with chesed /love" (Psalm 89:3).He is crazy in-love with us..
In finishing I would like to add an old chassidic tale that says that every person should walk
through life with two notes, one in each pocket. On one note says "bishvili nivra ha'olam" (בִּשְׁבִילִינִבְרָאהָעוֹלָם) -- "For my sake
was this world created," and on the other note says, "anokhi afar
ve'efer" (אָנכִיעָפָרוָאֵפֶר) -- "I am but dust and ashes."