SIMCHAT TORAH V’B’REISHEET “The Joy of the Torah and Genesis” (starting from the beginning)
The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the “High Holy Days” which ends on the 8th day, on the 22nd of Tishrei. It is a special day which is called “Simchat Torah” or “Joy of the Torah”. We rejoice because we have the WORD of God in our midst. It is His complete word, complete revelation comprised of 66 books, divided up in three parts; The Torah, “Genesis through Deuteronomy” the Prophets and Hebrew poetry, and the Brit HaDashah, “New Testament” or “Covenant”
Some would like to challenge the word “New” or “Renewed” since we are not governed by the Old Covenant. True, we are not under the Old Covenant, based on animal sacrifices, yet the covenant basically is the same; it is a “Blood Covenant”. The way that it is “new” is that it is based on the blood of “Yeshua” our Messiah and LORD, and NOT on the blood of animals. Scripture tells us that the blood of animals had no power to atone for sins by getting rid of them, or abolishing them, or erasing them. The blood of animals only “covered” sins for one year during the time of Yom Kippur, yet through the sacrificial death of Yeshua, our sins were “atoned for” once and forever, for all time.
Let’s just talk about the word “Torah” for a moment. It has been mistranslated in Bibles as the word “law” which comes from the Latin “Legis” Something legalistic. Yet the word in the original Hebrew “Torah” means “instruction”, so, every place in the Bible where the word “law” is found should really be translated as “instruction” (from our LORD and God YHVH). Once we get this word from the right perspective, then, a lot of misunderstandings can be corrected.
So, how many “Torahs” are there? One? Two? Three? If we investigate way back going about six-thousand years. We come to the creation of this world. Up to the time of Moshe (Moses), YHVH spoke verbally to the patriarchs, starting from Adam and Chavah (Eve). They passed on the words of Elohim to their children and their children to their children and so forth. One could say that this was the first “Oral Torah”. Finally, we come to Moshe and YHVH speaks to him in person. Moshe writes down everything the Adonai tells him and thus, we have the first five books of the Bible.
The prophets follow writing down the words of God, continued by a few kings, namely David and Solomon.
Then we come to the New Covenant letters, and books comprised of Yeshua’s talmidim (disciples) and followers. They were all inspired by the Ruach HaKodesh (The Holy Spirit) as to what to write. They wrote down Adonai’s words in Hebrew and in Greek, since the world was dominated by the Greeks. The best way to reach the nations was to write in Greek. From Greek, the Bible was translated into Latin and then to all the languages of the world.
The WORD of God is correct in every detail, there are NO contradictions in it. If there were, that would mean that YHVH is a God of error, and this is not so. Those who say that there are contradictions, do not understand the original words and their meanings, therefore, it is a good thing to have a basic knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. Why did YHVH give us HIS complete and Holy WORD?
The WORD of God is read in a continuous cycle. It is all related, one part with another. There are a few ways in which we can look at it. For example. When we finish reading Deuteronomy, we begin again with Genesis. The last word in Deuteronomy is “Israel” and the first word in Genesis is “B’reisheet” (In the beginning). So how do we inter-relate this? One could say that “In the beginning” even before the foundations of the world, God had “Israel” in his heart and mind. We could take a step further. The last letter of the word “Israel” is the “l” (lamed) and the first letter in Genesis is “B” (Beit). Lamed and Beit spell “Lev” which means “heart”
We could say that God had Israel always in his “heart” even in the beginning of everything. The gematria for “Lev” is 30 + 2 = 32. 3 + 2 = 5, “5” is the number of “grace”. God had grace in his heart for Israel, even when Israel walked away and went after idols. “Lev” is also “instruction for the house”. The Torah is instruction for the “House of God”.
We could go a step further. The Torah doesn’t stop at the end of Deuteronomy but continues to Malachi. The last word in Malachi is “curse” (in English) but in Hebrew, the word is “Cherem” The prophet is admonishing his people to repent or Adonai will strike the earth with a curse.
Genesis starts with a “Blessing” the perfect creation of the earth for mankind, yet at the end we see “curse” which man brought upon himself when he sinned, so in that way, “blessings and curses” are related. We can have one or the other, obedience or disobedience, our choice.
We can also see that the last letter in Malachi is a “mem” (m) which symbolizes “water” and in Genesis, the earth was formed out of “water”.
First, He is a perfect and Holy God, whose most holy name is Yod Hey Vav Hey (YHVH). Written with the ancient paleo-Hebrew letters, the letters symbolize “Behold the hand, behold the nail”. A perfect revelation of Messiah Yeshua on Calvary’s cross, receiving in his hands, the nails that held him fast to the crucifixion stake. There he paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future.
Second, the Bible was written to humanity because, in the fallen state caused by sin, man had to be re-directed back to YHVH, through Yeshua. In this way, mankind could have a renewed covenant relationship with his creator. Yeshua described it as the “New Birth” in John 3:3.
Once man has a renewed relationship with YHVH, he is directed towards a holy, sanctified living through following the commandments which were written down by Moshe. Yeshua also fulfilled the commandments by giving a correct interpretation of them and how they applied to our lives. Even though there are 613 commandments (mitzvoth) in all. Not all apply to us today, since we are not under the Levitical priesthood, nor are we under the animal sacrificial system. Still, many DO apply to us, and that is the reason for Bible/Torah study.
Today, we have “commentaries” on God’s word, or, “Midrashim”. About 400 years after Yeshua, the rabbis and sages compiled the “Talmud” which are commentaries over the Torah, written by the rabbis of old. These are books, articles, writings, that rabbis have written, giving THEIR interpretation of what the Torah means, but, it is only “commentary”. Is it good to read and study the Talmud? I would say it is good to read ALL things related to God’s Word, BUT, we should always compare commentary to the written WORD of God. If it lines up with what the Bible teaches, it is a good thing, if not, as I said, it is just, “commentary” the opinion of someone who is not God.
As one rabbi said, “Reading commentary is like eating a bony fish. Throw away the bones and digest the meat!”
The following are “Torah Parashot” or “Portions from the Torah” which are read and studied every week for one year. A “Torah portion” is a “Parashah” and it consists of readings from the five books that Moshe penned down readings from the Prophets, and readings from the Brit HaDashah, “The New Covenant”. The readings start on the Day of Simchat Torah. On this day, we start from the “beginning” which is a perfect place to start any reading……SO…...”It’s Torah Time! let’s start from….
PARASHAH: “B’reisheet” (In the Beginning)
GENESIS 1:1-6:8…………………ISAIAH 42:5-43:10……………MATTHEW 1:1-2:23
During Simchat Torah, we begin in Genesis…But…Some have the tradition of reading last few verses of Deuteronomy, (34:10-12) “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moshe……..and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moshe shewed in the sight of all Israel.”
Interesting that the very last word in Deuteronomy is “Israel”. We read verses 10 through 12 and in the same breath, continue with Genesis 1:1. Meaning that the Torah is a continuous book, like a circle.
The very first line in Genesis, the very first line in the Torah has so much meaning; “B’reisheet bara Elohim ET haShamayim v’et haAretz”(the first 7 words) (In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth). One thing to point out, in many English Bibles, the word “heaven” is singular and should be “heavens” (plural), because in Hebrew, “HaShamayim” is “heavens”. Also, in the words; “B’reisheet Bara Elohim” (In the beginning, Elohim created) we find the mixed letters that spell out “Israel” also. So, the Torah begins with “Israel” and ends with “Israel”. If we look at the Hebrew letters that spell out “B’reisheet Bara Elohim” we find “Israel” how? Well let’s see;… Beit, Resh, Aleph, Shin, Yod, Tav……Beit, Resh, Aleph…..Aleph, Lamed, Hey, Yod, Mem sofit. Then we pick out the letters that form “Israel” Yod, Shin, Resh, Aleph, Lamed. What can this tell us? That from the “Beginning” Elohim had Israel in mind! This is just one way one could look at this.
Another aspect we can look at is the letter “Alef” which in Hebrew, has no sound by itself, yet takes the sound of whatever vowel that is placed below it. Within the first 7 words, there are 6 Alefs, When one spells out “Alef” in Hebrew, we get “Alef, Lamed, and Peh” (A L P) these three letters together also mean “One Thousand” (pronounced “elef”). Many rabbis believe that the symbolism of these 6 Alefs in the first 7 words, is “6 thousand years for mankind living on the earth” followed by another “thousand” (7 thousand years) which would be the Millennial reign of Messiah, then the number “8” (the eighth day of Sukkot) which could be the beginning of the “New Heavens and the New Earth ” (of course, this is just a possibility).
Another thing is that Within the first 7 words, we find the word “Emet” (Truth) “Alef, Mem, and Tav” and this is one of the titles of Yeshua, who is the “Way” the “TRUTH” and the “Life”. He is also the “Living Word” (See John 1:1) so we see Yeshua even in Genesis 1:1
“7” is the perfect number of YHVH. If we take the seven words, and take the middle word “ET” and take this word “ET” and draw a vertical line from it, we can make a “Menorah” three lines from the middle line connected to “ET” to the other words in this first verse. The word “ET” has not a literal translation, yet it points to a specific object which is very important. “ET” in the ancient Hebrew letters are the “Alef and the Tav” or in Greek, the “Alpha and Omega” Or…. the “God of the Covenant”. So, every time we see “ET” in the original Hebrew, we are reminded of “YHVH, the God of the Covenant”
Why does the Bible start with the letter “Beit” or “B”? why not with “Alef” or “A”. Isn’t the “Alef” the symbol for “God”? There is a story about the letters “Alef” and “Beit” who are having an argument as to who would be first. They both came to Elohim and presented their case. Elohim-YHVH said, “Alef”, you are very important as you represent who I AM. You will be the third letter in the Bible because “3” symbolizes “Elohim” because we are united as Father, Son, and Spirit, three entities in one “Echad” being.
“As for you, letter “Beit” you will be first because you symbolize the “house” which I will make for mankind, for the plants, trees, and flowers, and for all the beasts which I will create. This house will be called “earth”. This perfect planet will be a “B’rakhah” a “Blessing” to my creation, therefore, the Torah must start with “B”
Also, the letter “Beit” is closed on three sides, yet open on one, the left side. This means that before the “beginning” there was nothing, only Elohim, and revelation starts with “B” going towards the “left” as the Hebrew is written.”
So, therefore, the Alef and the Beit left, both satisfied with the verdict from Elohim-YHVH. We also see in the first line, the creation of the three basic elements of the universe; “space” (the heavens) “time” (in the beginning) and “matter” (the earth). We have an infinite God that comes out of infinity past and speaks and creates a finite earth. Creates matter. The first law of Thermodynamics states that; “All matter has been created and that there is no more matter being created” what we do see is that “matter changes states” (from liquid to solid, = water to ice) or from liquid to gas = water vapor.
We can also see today the effects of the “2nd law of thermodynamics, that shows that everything in the material world is on a downward spiral, from order to disorder, from composition to decomposition, from perfection to imperfection, why? Because of sin! The wages of sin is death, and therefore, not only in the world of the living but also, in the material world, everything is “dying”
Elohim looked upon the earth he was forming, which was then, a lot of water and earth elements, and then spoke in verse 3 saying; “Haya haOr” (let there be light) “V’yahi or” (and there was light). And Elohim saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness” (vs 4) There are 4 levels of Torah understanding which are “Peshat” (literal), “Derash” (moral and spiritual), “Remez” (Symbolic), and “Sod” (hidden), (this is when we use gematria, or numbers with math to come to different revelations, mind you this is NOT numerology!)
There was the physical light, the light we can see, and also, the WORD of God which is looked upon as “light” YESHUA also is referred to the “Light of the World” light is also “sinless perfection” and the “darkness” is also the physical darkness, which is needed, for us to rest at night, so that the flowers can close up and sleep. I can also refer to the “spiritual darkness” which is “evil” or “sin”. SO… there is a separation between what is holy and what is not holy, between sin and perfection, between evil and good. Between our “daylight” and our “nighttime” (taking it literally).
Now, if I were going to study every verse, this first parashah would be perhaps ten pages long, so, we are going to jump a bit. Elohim created all that this earth contains in 6 literal days, of 24-hour periods. Now, there are some SSs (silly scientists) that say, “the six days are considered a period of four-billion years!” really? Really? Well, if we look at verse 12 it says that Elohim created the plants, trees, grass, etc, then in verse 14, it says that Elohim created the lights in the heavens, which include the sun, moon, and the stars. Well, if each “day” consisted of, let’s say 600,000,000 years, then, how would the plants and trees, and life itself survive without sunlight for this amount of time?
Many times, we just have to take God’s word literally. “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…and Elohim created the man and the woman in His own image” (vs 26-27). What does this mean, in HIS own image? What is the IMAGE of ELOHIM? One could say that the image of Elohim is complete holiness and perfection! Sinlessness! That was how the first couple were made. The earth was “created” without any previous existing matter, yet man and woman were “created” using “already existing matter” namely,” the dust of the earth (adamah).
The name “Elohim” shows the “plural unity (Echad)” of God, and just as Elohim consists of the Father, the Son, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) so man and woman were also joined “Echad” with Elohim in mind, soul, and spirit. What is man? What is woman? But a soul and spirit inhabiting a flesh and bone body. Bodies that will one day (because of sin) deteriorate and cease to function and return to the earth.
Elohim loved his creation of man and woman. He placed them in a perfect paradise home, a garden full of trees that produced fruit, nuts, flowers, clean water, animals that were friendly. The only prohibition was the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. But…as we know the story, HaSatan, tricked them into eating the forbidden fruit. As soon as Adam and Eve ate the fruit (and nowhere does it say that it was an apple) the Word says that they “realized that they were naked” (3:7) but weren’t they already naked? I mean, they weren’t created wearing Levis!
however...remember that the word “light” the words “light” and “skin” are written almost the same way in Hebrew, the only difference is the first letter, “skin” is “OR” w
It is possible, and probable that Adam and Eve were created with a covering of “light” When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after being with God for 40 days, he was “glowing” with light, the Shekinah light, and Moses was a sinner, imagine Adam and Eve who were sinless, their light covering would have been permanent had they not sinned (and would still be alive today). When they disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit, the light covering must have vanished, THEN…they saw that they were NAKED, without the light, which served, one could say as, “a skin of light over the skin of flesh”
The sin of eating the forbidden fruit shows the following; the LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE. Eve was hungry, she “saw” that it looked really delicious, and, she, “thought” it would make her “wise” as the serpent lied to her saying the same. Sin today is the same, it is a mix of all three things, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life
“And YHVH Elohim made coats of skins for the man and for the woman and dressed them” (3:21) This is the very first blood sacrifice in the Bible. YHVH had to sacrifice one or two innocent animals, perhaps two lambs or goats, to “cover” Adam and Eve. This is a reminder of Yom Kippur, where the blood of animals covered the sins of Israel for one year. This would be a reminder to Adam and Eve of their sin. Their sin caused an innocent, blameless animal to lose its life.
The Word of God does not say, but we can imagine that YHVH told Adam and Eve that they would have to sacrifice a lamb, or a goat, or another kosher animal every day, to remind them of their sin. We look towards the cross of Calvary and we see YESHUA the LAMB of God who offered himself up as a blood sacrifice for our sins, once and forever, not just to cover, but to erase.
In chapter 4 we see the birth of Kayin and Hevel (Cain and Abel) They were born with the sin nature, and we see in both boys, the direction of the world that would follow; some would choose holiness and all that is good and others would choose the unholy and all that is evil. There came a time when they both had to offer sacrifices (that is why I said that Adam and Eve must have taught them to do the same). Hebel chose to obey and Kayin chose to disobey. Kayin offered a sacrifice, but it was not a blood sacrifice, rather it was a “grain offering” nothing wrong with a grain offering, but a blood sacrifice was needed. Therefore, it was rejected.
Hebel however, offered the correct sacrifice, a blood sacrifice, and it was accepted. This caused anger and jealousy in Kayin and we know the story, Kayin rose up and murdered his brother Hebel. Yet YHVH Elohim still offers him an opportunity to repent and confess his sin, but Kayin does not. Then YHVH Elohim says;
“The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (4:10) the Hebrew word is “damei” or “bloods” it is written in the plural. But why is this? This is eluded to the idea (which is written in the Talmud) that “he who saves the life of one person is as if he has saved a whole nation, and he who takes a life of another, is as if he has murdered a whole nation.” It is as if the souls of all the “would have been” descendants of Hebel were crying out for vengeance because they would not be permitted to be born. “the voice of thy brother’s bloods cries out…” the many “bloods” cry out in “one voice” so it seems.
Hebel is slain, his blood is sacrificed, and Kayin goes away, runs away to the land of wandering (Nod) and becomes a vagabond, just wandering, living off the fruit of trees and whatever grows of its self, since now, his farming days are over, YHVH curses the land he farmed as punishment.
We can see here again a shadow of Yom Kippur. In Yom Kippur, two goats were selected, one was sacrificed and the other was “sent away” Here, Innocent and righteous Hebel is sacrificed, and Kayin “goes away” yet this “going away” is in the negative light, he “goes away” from the presence of Adonai, while Hebel goes “into the presence of Adonai”
There is a saying that goes like this; “you can mix good apples with bad apples, and the good apples will never correct the bad, rather the bad-rotten apples will corrupt the good ones. Well, that is the way the “world turned” way back then, as the years pass, the descendants of Kayin mixed with the descendants of Seth, (who was born after the death of Hebel.
“and it came to be that when men began to increase on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And YHVH said ‘My Ruach will not strive with mankind forever in his going astray. He is flesh, and his days shall be 120. The Nephilim (in some translations, the giants) were on the earth in those days and when the sons of Elohim came into the daughters of men, they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men of old, men of name (fame). 6:1-4
There are two schools of thought when the issue of “B’nei Elohim” comes up. Some believe that it refers to the godly line of Seth mixing with the ungodly line of Kayin. The other school of thought which is more probable is that the “sons of God” refer to the fallen angels that were kicked out of heaven together with HaSatan. These “b’nei Elohim” somehow and someway transformed themselves into flesh and blood, and the offspring of those “demon-human” relationships were born “giants”. The word “Nephilim” means “fallen ones”. It does not mean “giants” …however…those “mighty men of old” many were “giants” we have examples; Goliath of Gath, Og, king of Bashan.
There is archeological and paleontological evidence of a race of giants in the pre-diluvian world. Many fossil skeletons have been found some 20 and 30 feet tall. The Indians of the South-West claim that there was a race of red-haired giants who were cannibals, they could run after a herd of buffalo, catch one and bite off a leg and eat it on the run.
These giants were destroyed during the flood, however, their DNA still survived. “His days shall be 120”
What is it saying here? YHVH has decided to destroy and cleanse the earth by a universal flood, and Noah and his family were found to be the only righteous people around. Noah will receive instructions to build an ark, and it will take him 120 years, so, the people will have 120 years to repent, which they did not. This was a very short time being that thousands of years ago, people lived 800 or 900 years. 120 years would be like a week in our times. Noah was a “Tzadik” a “righteous person”. He went “against the flow”. Imagine a school of fish going in one direction, and you are going in the opposite direction.
How about you? If the world is going down the tubes, headed for destruction, will you follow the world? Or will you remain with Yeshua and go HIS way? The choice is yours. The only way we can be a true “Tzadik Ben Elohim” (a righteous child of God) is through faith in Yeshua HaMashiach/ Jesus the Christ, through faith in HIM trusting in HIS one-time atonement for sin.
The prophet speaks through the Spirit of YHVH saying: “I, YHVH, have called you in righteousness, and I take hold of your hand and guard you, and give you for a Brit (covenant) to a people, for a Light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house” 42:6,7
Some say that this is referring to the prophet himself? Really? Was Yeshayahu called to be a “covenant?” to open blind eyes? To set the prisoners free? Yet re-arrange the letters in the name “Yeshayahu” and we get Y-E-S-H-U-A-H! it was HE who the prophet was talking about. His name means “Salvation” and He came as a ‘blood-covenant” that would not simply cover for a year, but to get rid of, wipe out, the sin we inherited. He came not only to his own Jewish people but also for the peoples of the nations outside of Israel.
He not only opened the eyes of the physically blind but also for those who were spiritually blind. Once we did not understand the Bible, or we could have cared less for the Bible, but since we have accepted Yeshua as Messiah and LORD, now we have the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Torah. Once we lived in spiritual darkness, in the prison of HaSatan, called the “lost world” but we have been freed to follow HIM who set us free.
“And I shall lead the blind by a way they have not known, in paths they have not known. I lead them. I make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight” (42:16)
The new paths are the Torah paths, David wrote; “thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
By allowing God’s Word to take root in our lives, our paths are made straight, we know now how to tell the difference between the Holy and unholy, between the clean and the unclean. The WORD which is taught to us through the Ruach HaKodesh, using God’s chosen teachers is His gift to us, as born-again believers, it is our duty to stay on the right path.
There are “blind people” who have eyes, yet do not see, they may see physically, but they do not see spiritually, God’s Word can change all that (43:8)
MATT 1:1-2:23; JOHN 1:1
We read the ancestry of Messiah Yeshua, his birth during one of the evenings of Sukkot, and his escape with his parents to Egypt when Herod sought to kill him. Later, YHVH “brought up HIS SON out of Egypt” Adonai saw his children go into Egypt through Jacob, and they also came out of Egypt through Moshe, Adonai led HIS SON down to Egypt with Miriam and Yosef, and Yosef and Miriam led him BACK to Israel.
Now, Yeshua, HIS Son leads us ALL out of the Egypt of this world through a relationship with HIM, In John 1:1 it says; “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with YHVH, and YHVH was the WORD” In this we see that Yeshua took part in the creation of this world, as “The WORD” this is the essence of the name “Elohim” the plural G-d who is “Three” yet “One” like; 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.
Another aspect to point out are the words; “Bethlehem and Judea” Yeshua was born in “Beit Lechem Y’hudah” (Bethlehem in Judea) In the Hebrew we can understand; “Yeshua, who is “Salvation” who is the Bread of Life, was born in the House of Bread of YHVH! It was sensible for G-d to come to earth in human form in the House of Bread, if He is going to have the title “Bread of Life”
We can look at this prophecy; “And you Beit Lechem, In the land of Y’hudah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah, for from you will come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” No wonder King Herod was terrified. He misinterpreted this prophecy, thinking that his kingship would be replaced by Yeshua. Yeshua DID become a “Shepherd” who “guided human sheep” at least those “sheep” that chose to follow HIM! As for being a king. This “kingship” would be in the “World to Come” as explained to Pontius Pilate.
Yeshua came to this world to shepherd the lost human sheep to the “Living Waters” of “Yeshuah” (salvation), to heal the sick, to teach the Torah, and to die for our sins. The king’s crown…well…that would have to wait…until the next coming, which might be just around the corner.