Hebrew Roots/Torah observance/Beresheet
Bereisheet (In the Beginning) / Genesis 1:1-6:8
“Let There Be Light” “In the beginning of God’s creating the heavens and the earth--when the earth was astonishingly empty, with darkness upon the surface of the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters--God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Bereisheet/Genesis 1:1-3) How powerful is our Creator in that He simply spoke the word, "Let there be light," and there was light." Genesis 1:3 Heavenly Light!
The word "orah" means "light." From the word ‘orah’ comes Torah, birthright, blessing, commandment, statues, ordinances.
This Light was not a light like we know it. It was the eternal light of the Living God, a physical manifestation of Himself.
“Who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; Whom no man has seen or has the power to see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”(MRC) 1 Timothy 6:16
The first thing that He made was the light. The earth was completely covered with a liquid which was a chaotic mass, possibly something like a black hole. From this point forward we see how the universe is organized. The first thing that is made is the light - notice that the sun has not yet been created. That teaches us that this is not talking about the same light which is later produced by the sun and the stars, but another light.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6 it is written: “For it is God Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ is the One Who has made His light shine in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yeshua the Messiah.”
In this text Paul teaches us that the light came from the darkness itself. This can of course be understood symbolically as well. If the Eternal could bring forth light out of the deepest darkness that has ever existed, then there is no darkness in our lives which is so compact that our heavenly Father cannot use it to bring forth something positive. For him all things are possible, even creating light out of darkness!
The Psalmist remind us of that reality. “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (Tehellim/Psalm 119:105).
The Original Creation Yahweh created man to be a spiritual being, thus he was created to possess the likeness of his creator, Himself a spiritual being; yet man is also physical.
1. Man was first conceived in the mind and will of God. He thus "existed" though not in any form we can very well define other than something "in God's image." (This is man before Genesis chapter 1.)
2. Adam was then created as a spiritual being. At this point there is no "division" between Adam and Eve. This is Adam as seen in Genesis, prior to the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1)
3. The third stage is seen in Eden, where Eve is formed as a separate entity from Adam. (Genesis 2) They do not yet exist as we do however, as they retained a spiritual proximity to the Divine that we do not have.
4. The fourth and final stage comes when they are banished from Eden into the physical world as we know it. (The end of Genesis 3.) Here Scripture says they were clothed in tunics of skin, which in Hebraic is said to be the physical flesh we now have, that enables us to live in this world. (Compare this to Paul's writings in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 on different types of "flesh/bodies" as well as his comments on us receiving a different type of body for "life beyond this world.")
The Rabbis teach that before the fall, Adam and Eve shone like the sun. When Moshe came down from the mountain the "skin of his face shone" (Exodus 34:29-30 ) as also Yeshua in the Transfiguation on the mount. (Matthew 17:2)
The Light of Adam and Eve's souls was able to radiate through their "bodies." That is to say, their souls were "transparent," there was little to conceal their true essence and their flesh was a medium through which they were able to do the tasks that were required of them in this life.
The serpent as we all know represents HaSatan (the devil). He too is a spiritual being, yet in Bereshit we find him also manifested in the physical realm, in the form of a snake. Therefore, what we have is two spiritual entities, man representing the image of God, and the serpent representing the image of HaSatan and they are both interacting in the physical, sensual plane. The conflict that we are being introduced to here between Chavah (Eve) and the serpent is physical, but the actual battle and the ultimate outcome is taking place and decided in the parallel spiritual world. Genesis /Bereshit 3:1-8
Light and Darkness There were two very special trees in the Garden, one represented darkness, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," and the other represented light "the tree of life." The darkness, I believe is Satan and the light is Yeshua and there was a battle going on, a battle that obviously started long before man appeared on the scene. However now there was a new battle ground on earth. Scripture doesn't tell us exactly when Satan sinned and fell, but was prior to the creation of earth and man, because he was already here to greet us when we arrived. So Bereshit is not so much about creation as it is about choice and our relationship with Yahweh God.
Much intrigue surrounds the nature of the fruit of the tree of the "KNOWLEDGE of good and evil". Every tree produces after its kind, so a tree whose name is "knowledge of good and evil" will produce the knowledge of good and evil. Previously they had not known evil or known either what was good. They were in a state of innocence. The tree might just as well have been labeled, "the tree of freedom of choice" or "free will". Yahweh did not have to give them a choice. He placed the tree right in the middle of the garden so that Adam and Chava passed by it as they cared for the garden.
When they were apparently being very obedient to the command, Yahweh allowed the serpent to enter the garden for the purpose of enticing them to eat. He wanted them to have free will but not by command or creation design. He wanted them to choose for themselves what is good and what is evil and then, by an act of their own free will, chose to obey Him over every obstacle that was placed in their path. Satan was the agent of this test.
The Exercise of Free Will The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents an acknowledging of Yahweh's authority over man. Every time that man obeyed the negative command of not eating from the forbidden tree, he displayed who was the Sovereign of his life, and his God. This tree helped man to submit and humble himself, and so keep his delegated lordship and trusteeship over everything created. Therefore, this tree would, with time, be turned into some type of altar, a place for sacrifice and worship, where man’s will submits to the Creator’s will. It is thought that this tree was placed on what is now the Mount of Olives.
This tree was also the proof of the freedom of man. It was possible for man to sin. He was free to choose between obedience and disobedience. If man did not have any commandments, he would not have had the opportunity to be disobedient. Instead, his obedience would come from a place of willing submission and it would make him into a higher being than if he had not had this choice. This way, love would be founded on free choice which is what Yahweh desires, not our forced love.
He knew that the world would become very evil, but it was the only way He could create intelligent beings like Himself to fellowship with. That is why He created us in His own image after His likeness. He wants children of intelligence not robots which simply operate according to design. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Yahweh do all these things." Isaiah 45:7
The concept of evil coming "indirectly" from God (who is not evil Himself, nor does He create "evil things" as people often think of "evil things"), is difficult. Nonetheless, it is true, as there is but One Creator, and it is He who restricts His light in people and in situations to bring about His desired result. In Hebraic writings this is often called the "right hand" (merciful) and "left hand" (judgmental) of God.
It is interesting to note that according to the most modern scientific picture of the world, free will is an integral part of creation. Science teaches us that there is an element of indeterminancy or "free will" inherent in the very quantum nature of matter, and this clearly indicates that the universe was created as an arena for a free-willed creature such as man. The purpose of "evil" was to provide Adam with the opportunity to exercise free will. Without temptation, the choice of good would have been axiomatic. Evil was created not that man would succumb to it, but rather that he would be strengthened by overcoming "temptation" in order to gain perfection. Mankind's task is to labor to eradicate imperfection from himself first, and subsequently from the entire creation, as far as is in his power i.e to bring it under his dominion.
It is this freedom of will that gives man a wider choice than merely to react to his surroundings. Although an individual's actions may be influenced by his heredity and environment, neither of these absolutely determines his actions. Man can influence the highest forces (in the very Throne Room of God) in a positive or negative fashion. As with the physical realm, the slightest such alteration at the "cause" can result in enormous changes with the "effect." Sin of any type "energizes" the negative aspects of the spiritual realm. Ramchal points out that even words and thoughts have this capacity. The evil Forces are bound to the extent to which God’s light is concealed, which of course is determined by mankind’s actions. When these Forces are made strong (through man’s failure to repent) then the lower worlds of existence (angelic and physical) suffer the consequences.
There is a constant struggle against sin that exists between the spiritual and the physical "parts" of man (i.e., Romans 6:12-20, 12:21; Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Timothy 5:20-24, 2 Peter 2:19-20, 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26).
Light and Darkness in Conflict Yahweh told us that He visits the iniquities of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation (Deut. 5:9). This is obviously a spiritual transference which manifests itself in the physical lives of succeeding generations.
There is a conflict taking place on a regular basis in the spiritual for your soul and my soul. That is the battle being pictured here in Parsha Bereshit. However the same Bible which tells us that the spiritual battle which was lost to HaSatan by Eve (Chavah) and Adam’s disobedience, also tells us that the war was won in the spiritual which also manifested itself in the physical at the death and resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach. As the man of earth caused a spiritual and physical battle to be lost the man of heaven caused a physical and spiritual war to be won. The first battle for our souls began in the spiritual and it ended in defeat in the physical, the last battle for our souls began in the physical and ended in victory in the spiritual.
"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is Yahweh from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 1 Corinthians 15.45
"If then you were raised with Messiah, seek those things which are above, where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. When Messiah who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. .. .. ..But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him .. .." Colossians 3:1-11
"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)