Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi

Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi
Portrait of Hacham Agassi painted by Mrs Ruth Gila, Beit Meir , Israel

Friday, October 9, 2015

  In the Beginning-In The “Raishit”
 בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ
1.’In the beginning G-d created the Heaven and the Earth-בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ (2701=10=1 or + 7 words=17=8 or 4631=14=8 counting final Zadik and Mem as 900 and 600).

The verse can be divided so:
·         In the beginning G-d created- בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים(1202+3 words=8);
·         The Heaven- אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם(1356+2 words=17=8counting final Mem as 600);
·         And the Earth- וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ (703=10=1 or 1513=10=1counting final Zadik as 900).
Rashi here begins his commentary of the Torah with the fundamental words of the Tanna Rabbi Yitzhak which I have quoted above in the Introduction to the Parsha. So fundamental are these words to understanding the “reason d’être” of the Creation of the Universe and its ultimate “end” that I shall repeat them:

“In the beginning”: Rabbi Yitzhak said: G-d need not have begun the Torah but from “This month shall be for you [the beginning of the months]” (Shmot 12.2) because it is the first commandment which Israel was commanded. What is the reason that it began with the book of Beraishit (Genesis)? It began thus because [it wished to convey the message of the verse in Psalm 111:6], “The power of His acts He told to His People in order to give THEM the estate of nations.” So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, “you are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” Israel will reply to them, “The entire earth belongs to The Holy One, Blessed is He. He created it and He gave it to the one found proper in His eyes. By His wish He gave it to them and by His wish He took it from them and gave it to us” (Beraishit Rabbah 1:2).
This then is the purpose of Creation; for Israel to inherit the Land of Canaan as Israel is Hashem’s first-רֵאשִׁית and there Creation began. The first point of contact between the Metaphysical and Physical worlds was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This Place was promised to Israel, His Firstborn as the Place where they would serve Hashem. 

This explains why the Torah ends with the word “Israel”-יִשְׂרָאֵל as the end (Israel) is its “Beginning”- רֵאשִׁית

All of Israel are in the “Head”-ראש (“Mind”) of Hashem at the beginning as they are at the end:

Before My eyes (I swear)! All of Israel are in My Mind
לְעֵינֵי! כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרֵאשִׁי
1274=14=8 or + 4 words=18

At the End of Days Israel will return to its rightful place, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the Land of Canaan to serve Hashem their Father for the benefit of all Mankind. This is the ultimate purpose of Creation, the dwelling of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel which is the Will of Hashem from before the beginning of time as we know it.

Rashi adds that this verse requires expounding (as there is no noun in the sentence); the verse is to be understood that Hashem created the Universe for the Torah which is called “the beginning of His Way”- רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ and for Israel who are called “His first of His Crop”-רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה (Mishlei 8.2; Jeremiah 2.3; Tanchuma Yashan 3; Vayikra Rabbah 36.4).

Torah-The beginning of His Way
תורה- רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ
1752+3 words=18

Israel- His First Crop
יִשְׂרָאֵל רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה
2266+3 words=19=10=1

All of Israel are in the Raishit
כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּ-רֵאשִׁית

Israel in My Head
יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּ-רֵאשִׁי


Rashi also explains that from the words “In the Beginning He Created”- בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא one cannot understand the order of Creation, and that Hashem created the Heavens and the Earth first as there is no example in Scripture of the word “Raishit”- רֵאשִׁית which is not attached to a noun after it (see Rashi here for examples). Rashi concludes after his long commentary to this verse that the versecannot possibly teach us the chronology of what was createdearlier or later. Rashi states that the waters preceded the creation of the earth which we learn from verse 2 and the waters even preceded the Creation of the Heavens, as the Heavens were created from fire and water (verse 8 below; Chagigah 12.a).

In other words according to Rashi the first verse of the Torah stands alone.

This supports my opinion as expressed in the section above “Before The Beginning” that the initial thought of Creation on Shabbat cannot be separated from the end, the Shabbat to come at the End, “the Day that is all Shabbat"- יום שכולו שבת. “The End” was thus created at the same instant as “The Beginning” and everything was, is and will be in the Mind of Hashem simultaneously at one point, the mid-point.

This point is Shabbat- שבת.

In other words, the first verse of the Torah relates to what entered the Mind of Hashem on Shabbat which as I explain above is one day divided into two half days, one half before the physical creation and one half at the end of the creation process- the World to Come, that already Came.