Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #1: B’resheit (In the Beginning) B’resheit (Genesis 1:1-6:8
Haftarah:Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 42:5-21
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 21:1-5: 22:1-5
Where do we start? How about the “beginning?” Today we begin a new cycle of reading and learning G-d’s Torah (Instructions). Genesis (beginnings) is a book that holds the record of the beginning of our world, family, civilization, and the history of mankind culminating with salvation and an eternity to be spent with the Creator YHVH/Yahshua for those who are reconciled to G-d through Yahshua’s sacrifice, and follow His instructions; the Torah of G-d.
There is so much information that is written and encoded in G-d’s Torah, including the book of Genesis, that we will spend our time today on the first chapter!
Genesis sets the stage for the remainder of the Bible which includes the Old Testament and the B’rit Chadashah(Refreshed, renewed Covenant). We learn something of the “person” and nature of G-d as the Creator, Sustainer, Judge, Redeemer, and the value of human life which has been lost in our society that is rapidly returning to paganism. We learn there is a price to pay for sin and it always requires an innocent life as a sacrifice such as the animal that was killed to make coverings for Adam and Eve once they realized the concept of nakedness. This event serves as a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice of the innocent Lamb of G-d, Yahshua, for our past sins. The reality of separation and judgement from G-d for a life of rebellion against G-d’s instructions is made clear, even “in the beginning.” But let’s go back to the first sentence “In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth. In the Hebrew this statement is made up of seven words, the fourth being the Hebrew Alef-Tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is significant in itself because Yahshua identifies Himself as the “Alef-Tav, the Beginning and the End” in the Book of Revelation 1:8;22:13. So now we know the identity of this Alef-Tav that is untranslatable in the Hebrew!
Furthermore, this word is in the fourth position in the sentence, the same position as the servant candle in the Temple menorah! We can see that Yahshua was present from the beginning and interacted with the G-d aspect of Himself as we will see in a moment. This also supports the Oneness of G-d and not a Trinity as mistakenly but deliberately taught in Christianity. The L-rd G-d is One, a complex unity also taught in Kabbalah also called the Ein Sof( the Endless One; Without End; Infinite).
In Genesis 1:26 we read a passage that indicates G-d is talking to someone else as he prepares to make humans. The conversation is between G-d and Yahshua. Although YHVH/Yahshua are One, He assumes the appropriate role for the task at hand. For example, he came to Earth to show us how to apply His instructions. Up until that time, men followed the letter of the law in the strictest sense with no room for compassion or extenuating circumstances. This was rabbinic Judaism that included the traditions of men and man’s laws that were added on to G-d’s laws. This was the Oral Torah, not G-d’s Torah. Yahshua came to teach mankind how to apply His instructions with compassion and to realize the very thought of committing a sin is a sin of which one must repent. Ultimately, he came to offer himself as the perfect Olah (complete) sacrifice for the sins of man that they MAY be saved. Keep in mind we do not have a free card when we accept this sacrifice made by the Lamb of G-d (Matt. 22:14: Seven-Fold witness in the Book of Revelation; John chapter 14: Romans Chapters 2-3). Now back to the creation itself.
In contrast to the idea that the world was created with one big bang, Kabbalah teaches that creation is happening all the time. It is happening as this lesson is being presented. According to the Hebrew calendar, about 5,700 years ago, human consciousness became a new reality through the creation of Adam and Eve. However, the consciousness is not spoken of as happening in the past because it is an unceasing phenomenon. This is not to say there was not a point of conception od the physical universe. Indeed, Kabbalists submit that the beginning of the physical universe exceeds 15 billion years ago because we were not the first universe as we perceive it. The point is that creation is ongoing, and this can easily be observed by looking closely at the world around us.
This principle of continuous creation without beginning or end is based on the idea that there is a source that is at the scenter of it all continually sustaining everything else. If this source were to withhold itself for even a second, everything, and I mean everything would vanish. This brings us to the concept of Tzimtzum which is another kabbalistic idea that G-d began the process of creation by “contracting” His infinite light in order to allow for a space in which the universe which he created could exist. This makes perfect sense as this is the concept that humans must learn in order to ascend to G-d and grow in a close relationship with Him. We must decrease so He may increase, just as the John the Immerser stated (John 3:30). I submit the kabbalistic view that we are to accept the Light then essentially pass it on for G-d’s glory.
The idea of continuous creation changes the way we see ourselves and the world. When we have a sense of solidity and substance, we tend to place more faith in the past and future. But subscribing to the theory of continuous creation, we are led to a relationship with life that is consistent with the belief system of the mystics/kabbalists; that the only reality is the present. There is an additional dimension in Judaism which is consistent with G-d’s Torah. That is that the dimension of the moment is entirely supported by the Hand of G-d. We can do nothing, not even exist without His intervention. But all things are possible with G-d (Mark 10:27). May we follow the example of our Creator on a daily basis, withdrawing our egos and allow the Light to fill us for the purpose of glorifying the One who loved us so much that He left his throne in heaven to save those who will love and obey his instructions. This He knew from the beginning.
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 42:5
There are two connections between the Parasha and the Haftarah.
First, the Parasha begins with the creation of the world. In the Haftarah, the prophet Isaiah reminds Israel that G-d is the creator of the world, sustaining the creation each day. Creation is not something that was done once; it is a continuing miracle. We are to be reminded of this with each Shabbat observance.
Second, in the Parasha, man is the only creature given the power to choose between right and wrong, In the Haftarah, Yesha’yahu tells the people that G-d created Israel to be a “light for the nations.” It is our responsibility to show the nations what is right, so that they too, can come closer to G-d. How do we accomplish this? The Chassids have a great definition of what we are supposed to be if we are to identify ourselves with Israel and as servants of YHVH/Yahshua. We are to be constantly moving from what we are to what we can be, and from what we have made of ourselves to a deeper truth of what we really are. We are to be engaged in perpetual quest to improve ourselves and G-d’s world; to transcend the world and transcend our “selves”. We are to be engaged in a lifelong conversation with G-d: to present our questions, needs, grievances and aspirations to Him; and then listen carefully for His responses. We are to do good because G-d commands it and because we love Him. G-d told Abraham to: Lech lecha me’artzecha, me’moladetcha, ume’beit avicha, el ha’aretz asher areka… which is translated in English “Go, you, from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.” In Kabbalistic interpretation the phrase means: “Go to your innermost self: move away from your will, from your feelings, and from your intellect, to the desire that I will reveal to you.” To be a light unto the nations, we must learn to imitate the Light of the world. Make sense?
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 21:1-5
The first passage describes the sinless condition of Eden that will be restored after thousands of years of groaning with the pains of childbirth to be finally set free from its bondage to decay, to enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that G-d’s children will have (Rom. 8:19-23). It describes the restoration spoken of in Acts 3:21 in which Yahshua “has to remain in heaven until the time comes for restoring everything, as G-d said long ago, when he spoke through the holy prophets.” It is also the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Is. 65:17-19; 66:22-24).
The Bible depicts creation as in a constant struggle. For example, light conquers darkness. The sea is allied with darkness. It has to be contained and limited- this is done on the second day of creation (Gen. 1:6-10). The sea is active in bringing destruction and death through the Flood of Noach. But the sea is under G-d’s control as seen in the episode of the red Sea, and Yahshua’s calming the sea. Psalms 148 attests to the subservience of the sea to His command. The sea will never be used again as a means of universal destruction. Our internal battle between our Esau and Jacob is also a constant struggle. However, we can emerge victorious at the finish line through trusting in the faithfulness of Yahshua and following the commands of G-d.
The Holy City of Jerusalem mentioned in Verse 2 is considered feminine (Ga. 4:26) Could this resemble the verse on our Parasha that describes a man leaving his father and mother in the context of Yahshua leaving His Father and “mother” and cleaving to His wife (Israel in the future?) This is food for thought. Jerusalem is seen coming down out of heaven from G-d (as a bride is brought to the alter by her father), prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. The bride is Israel (all true believers defined by Yahshua in the book of Revelation and NOT the church!
Verse 4 speaks of the restoration of the relationship between Israel (all true believers) and G-d as was the relationship between Adam, Eve, and G-d in the beginning. G-d (YHVH/Yahshua) will dwell with His own, never to be separated again.
I want to touch on Verse 6 because of its applicability to the Alef Tav (Yahshua). Here is validation that Yahshua is the Alef Tav mentioned in genesis 1:1. Verse 6 reads “And he said unto me, it is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. The Greek word for beginning is arche, “beginning, ruler, initiator, beginner,” that is, he who stands above and beyond time, Who creates and rules everything. YHVH/Yahshua was not only essenced “in the beginning”; He is the beginning as G-d/Yahshua!
Et Ha’or (1:4)
By studying Torah and keeping all of the commandments that G-d gave us, we will see the Light.
In Hebrew, “the light” is et ha’or. Its numeric value is 613, which equals the number of the commandments in the Torah. Add each letter of et ha’or and it equals 613.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart