Posts Tagged With: #redemption

Four Levites, Four Hours, and Redemption

Four Levites, Four Hours, and Redemption 

Looking over the chapter listings in the Table of Contents in my upcoming book to be published, I thought to myself there needs to be another chapter. Needless to say, I didn’t realize Hashem would create hashgacha pratit (Divine Providence) in the near future until the spring of June 2019. What I am about to share is very true, raw, and incredible.

My beloved family (myself included) had no idea our path ahead was the entrance into a battlefield; facing death in a blink of an eye. The day after an amazing family dinner gathering in our home, Hashem sent forth a trail that would rock us to our core; trusting Hashem with everything a man has within. Our lesson would teach us gam zu’ l’tovahthis too is for the best.

We (my husband, son, daughter, and I) endured a very difficult tribulation that affected us physically; penetrating every emotion (thrown in all directions), thought process, measure of the heart, life, breath, love, fear, discouragement, pain, injuries, humbleness, gratefulness, compassion, endurance, and forgiveness. This placed us at the door of death and life.

Who is the key holder?

I will place the keys of David’s palace on his shoulders; and what he unlocks none may shut, and what he locks none may open.” (Isaiah/ Yeshayah 22:22)[1]

“In token of abundant authority And of peace without limit Upon David’s throne and kingdom, That it may be firmly established In justice and in equity Now and evermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts Shall bring this to pass.” (Isaiah/ Yeshayah 9:6)[2]

The story begins:

My sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew arrived from California for a mini vacation, with plans to fly home. They joined us for dinner, along with my lovely and amazing Mom. The table was beautifully set; the food was amazing, sharing delicious Jewish dishes. They had brought up our SUV. A friend of theirs had given it to us. They have a soft heart for children with special needs, and with their loving generosity, they gifted it to us. They said it was a “tank” and that we would love it. My brother-in-law, who is an awesome mechanic, did some repairs before the arrival.

After dinner, they left our beautiful truck [the best vehicle we’ve ever owned our entire lives!]; returning to my Mom’s home in her car. The following day, we got the truck registered, put on new license plates and set off on a wonderful scenic drive to a bird sanctuary for a peaceful family drive.

Returning home, my husband was driving, our kids were in bucket seats, and I had dozed off. I was awakened to my husband yelling, a sudden change in motion of the brakes, and an extremely hard hit by a truck slamming into my side. We were T-boned! A speeding (angry) driver failed to yield the stop sign. On impact, we were instantly airborne which rolled us over to the driver’s side. At the point of rolling, skidding on its side, hearing the crunching of metal, and seeing the severely broken and cracked windshield around the sides of the airbags, I began screaming, “G-d please help us, G-d please help us!”

My husband held on to the steering wheel with both hands; keeping his arm from amputation from the opened window while the truck was skidding on the driver’s side along the road, down an embankment, into a field! Our truck flipped back up, landing on its tires.  By all rights of gravity, the truck should have rolled more; however, something “Mighty” stopped the truck. Our truck flipped back up on its tires where it rested. My daughter called out for “G-d” about the same time I did. She said she saw a bright light (covering/shield) around us when the truck suddenly came back up on its tires and rested– hashgacha pratit!

When the truck stopped, steam from the heating cord (radiator) was coming in at me. The mixture of steam, the smell of the “firecracker elements” (airbags deployed at 135 mph), and with the dust from the gravel sediments, I thought the engine was going to ignite. I went into hysterics; trying to open my side of the door to help my children! People came running into the field to help us [my husband told them to get me out of the truck]. Someone, obviously, called 911 as soon as we were hit (7:26 pm recorded time). The Firetruck, Ambulance, and Police arrived within minutes. Two people helped get our son out of the truck. One of those helpers was the man who hit us. Additional care was taken for our son as he has Cerebral Palsy, shunts for hydrocephalus, and he’s nonverbal with additional disabilities.

The passenger doors were smashed in so extensively that the inside door handles were completely broken, hanging by its wires. The doors on the passenger’s side were smashed in eighteen inches and partially ripped from its hinges. There was so much damage! Our Limited Sequoia was totaled, as well as the other driver’s truck. We are very grateful that the original owners had added more airbags (wrap-around curtain), customized bucket seats, and more; creating additional impact protection!

The Fire Department covered a very large area on the street with cat litter because of the excess oil and other fluids that spilled from both trucks. Someone found our daughter’s eyeglasses in the street, ruined. Our son’s eyeglasses were located in the field. The other driver’s hood on his truck looked like an accordion, crushed to the windshield. A policeman told me that the street looked like a “Garage Sale.”

I want to add an interesting moment that took place. A woman approached me, smiled and told me it was good news that my necklace was still intact. My necklace has the Star of David, and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9).

It reads: “שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד”

Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One. (The Shema is a beautiful Jewish prayer that is recited twice daily. The Shema was also prayed on Mount Sinai upon when the Jews, and mixed multitude received the giving of the Torah and were sealed into Hashem’s covenant).

We were treated on the scene and released. But not before Hashem opened a door for me to share with the good citizens, policemen, firefighters, EMT’s, and the other driver that the mercy (rachamim) of G-d protected us all. There should have been fatalities, yet we all walked away from two totaled trucks. G-d’s Hand was upon us. While sharing how G-d protected us, I pointed at our truck and shared about the loving people who gifted us, even though it’s totaled, we were protected. I further said that life is precious and it can’t be replaced. Hashem found favor (Chen) in us—B”H!

I don’t recall anyone responding back, but I do remember one EMT gentleman continually watched and listened. I also shared with the other driver that I had forgiven him and I would be praying for his situation. He stopped in his footsteps, looked at me, and in a somber voice he thanked me. He is a young man of twenty-five years of age who didn’t heed the “stop sign.” I pray Hashem opened a doorway of divine healing for him; bursting forth a new outlook in life, being refreshed in Hashem’s Light!

My brother-in-law came to get us at the accident scene and safely got us home. Arriving home in the driveway, I broke down crying. I told my brother-in-law how scared I was; expressing my sadness for what happened to the truck that was gifted, the hard work, love given, and time it took to get it to us (one thousand miles apart). But the bottom line is: Life is precious, it can’t be replaced! The love of others and the hand of G-d saved our lives!

Hashem saved us with the gift of life (Chai); giving everyone a second chance to determine our direction in life and choices. Will we stay in the “Fastlane” seeking worldly desires that offers emptiness, deceitfulness, masquerades, and dead ends? Will we use the time Hashem has given us wisely that is pleasing to Hashem?  Do we love Hashem enough to walk, speak, breathe life of Hashem’s goodness, and study Torah teachings, daven (prayers) with blessings daily? If not, why? Ha’satan’s (Satan’s) greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of G-d’s Davar/word.

We need to have complete Teshuvah (repentance, returning to Hashem) with a change of heart, a desire to be in Hashem’s covenant; living in obedience to Hashem’s word. We are given “Stop Signs” in life. We are to have wisdom and discernment to heed before entering our next path. Let’s be like a Jacob (one who studies Torah), not an Esau (running wild, untamed).

Let’s continue the story: 

Thankfully, everyone was responsible to have worn seat belts. As the night progressed, the aches and pains set in. The next day, my sister and brother-in-law took the four of us to Urgent Care for evaluations and X-rays. We suffered from severe bruising, swelling, contusions, abrasions, seat belt trauma, and pain. Additionally, our son sustained a fractured knuckle and I had a severe concussion. By the second day after the rollover accident, I was experiencing loss of balance, impaired cognitive skills, extremely light sensitivity [covering my eyes inside my home while talking to others], and some confusion. We also were having nightmares from the accident.

My husband and sister took me to the Emergency Room. CT scans and more tests were run. It was confirmed that I was to be on complete concussion protocol. Our children and I followed up with additional medical care for months.

Hashem will continue to heal our Souls, mend our hurting hearts, and restore us physically and spiritually during our journey in the Wilderness.

Why so downcast, my soul, why disquieted within me? Have hope in G-d; I will yet praise Him, my ever-present help, my G-d.” (Psalms/ Tehillim 42:12)[3]

Hashem answered our pleas for help with Hashem’s Chesed and an out-stretched Arm. Hashem’s blessings and chen came from those who ran down the embankment to help us, strangers who offered a soft blanket to sit on [to not have to sit in the weeds, gravel and dirt], and my dear family (sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew) who stayed with us; offering love, help, prayers, and support! Hashem sends the people who will respond (Mitzvoth).

Baruch Hashem (Blessed is G-d) to have received assistance with our care, as well as concerned phone calls, texts, prayers, visits, rides to medical appointments, meals, groceries, medical supplies, light house cleaning, yard work, and more good deeds for three weeks! Love poured out with Hashem’s help. Baruch Hashem for He is Good and Faithful. His Chesed was sent to us in many ways! His kindness endures forever!

Let’s take this to a deeper level of understanding while looking at some connections. I don’t know the ultimate reason why this event happened, but names, times, dates, and numbers have a significant purpose and a function.

  • Sequoia: Sequoia trees are also known as “Sequoiadendron giganteum.” They are the largest trees on Earth, and endangered. These fantastic trees of awe can live over two thousand years, and reach enormous heights topping three hundred and fifty feet high. Standing next to a giant magnificent Sequoia tree, we as human beings are very small in size. We are but a speck in comparison. How does this resemble the Jewish people? “‘A Sequoia’s roots “are so shallow that it can hardly stand up to a strong breeze” says Rabbi Dannel Schwartz.  So how is it that this extraordinary species is able to grow so large and live so long?  The answer is simple – the trees spring up in groves and their roots intertwine.  Or as Rabbi Schwartz says “they hold each other up – they give each other the strength necessary to withstand the angriest winds.[…] As Frankl himself said “the more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.’”[4]

 

Doesn’t this resemble the life story of the Jewish people? Our lifelong generations continue to overcome with unity. Have we not held up one another, like a tree, for over thousands years through the harshest of storms, and through winds of terror during the evilest of times? And here we are! There is strength in numbers. We need to stand together in unity, like roots, take hold of each other, not divided. When we come together, we can block out the “angriest winds.” Hashem’s Light is Life.

 

  • Date: June 17, Jewish calendar of Sivan 14. Sivan was covered in “In Flight for Life” chapter. Fourteen is a multiple seven, which means a “Double measure.” The Hebrew letter of fourteen is Nun. Nun means “fish” and “Life.” Hashem gives us life. Fish are also connected to Day Five of Creation–taking the Torah out to the Nations, rapidly.
  • David’s name has a gematria value of 14 (dalet, vav, dalet).
  • Time: The time of the accident was given at 7:267-26: The gematria of seven means completeness, stability, wholeness, ripeness. The Sabbath was sanctified by G-d on the seventh day of Creation. Day Seven of Creation is Holy (Shabbat/Shabbos/Sabbath). There are six days of labor, and the seventh is complete, to rest. The gematria of seven is Zayin, which means sword, to arm. Completion. “26”: G-d’s four-lettered sacred name that means: “The One Who is, Who was, and Who will be” which is Hashem’s Divine Name in the Torah. The true pronunciation of Hashem’s Name remains “hidden” in plain sight. We are to call out in the Name of Hashem, our G-d, for He is our Father in the Highest Heaven. Man had to wait twenty-six generations before receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai through Moses (Moshe). “The very act of serving G-d is the vehicle to reveal G-d.[5] Our existence isn’t for self-glorification, but to glorify G-d. When we truly live our life in Torah, “And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the LORD’s name is proclaimed over you, and they shall stand in fear of you.”[6]
  • The truck rested on four tires. Creation Day Four is to have authority to Govern, to have “Rulership.” The sun, moon, and stars were created on Day Four. The sun, moon, and stars are the natural light that separates the darkness. There are also Four Rivers of Eden. We are to wear tzit-tziyot (Tzit-tzits) on all four corners of our garments.

 

  • There were four Levites on board. The Levites only had the Limited Sequoia in their names for four hours.

 

  • The license plates given had the number of 713. “7” was already covered above. “13”: A powerful meaning in the Hebrew gematriot value that means “Love” and “Oneness.” It’s the connection that binds the eternal love of G-d and Israel in “Covenant” as Hashem’s “Set Apart” people (those who are Torah Observant and living Torah). The Jew and those who are in covenant with Hashem recognize that G-d is the Creator, and center of the Universe. When G-d revealed to Moses His 13 Attributes of Mercy, it was the most powerful expression of love, compassion G-d had given to His people: Love, Compassion, Covenant, and Eternity.

 

  • The Rose has thirteen petals: Zohar 1:1a teaches that: It is written, as a rose among the thorns …the rose is the Assembly of Israel. Because there is a rose and there is a rose, just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel consists of judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, the Assembly of Israel is surrounded on all sides by the thirteen attributes. Hashem will safeguard her. And like Israel, and the Thirteen Attributes of G-d’s Mercy, He safeguarded us too.
  • Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) G-d speaks His unremitting love of Israel: “I am for My Beloved, and My Beloved is for Me.” The acronym Elul (the sixth on the Jewish calendar which means “to search.”) means “Ani l’ dodi lil.”

It’s interesting to note that the Shechinah resided in their midst of the Mishkan. The Mishkan was a symbol that Hashem had forgiven the Israelites from the sin of the Golden Calf. Along the Camp of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, in the center (of their camps) was the G-d’s Presence (13th Spiritual center).

Highlights:

  • G-d remembered four Levites in an exiled land. His eye (Ayin) was upon us. His Light “Covering and Shield” protected us. The increased light (our daughter saw a bright light) was a shield and a “double measure.” I do believe my cry out to G-d, like a shofar, rushed mightily through the Heavenly Gates, into our Father’s Divine Throne room and fell upon Hashem’s feet for rachamim.
  • When I desperately cried out to G-d, “G-d please help us, G-d please help us!” I was recently reminded when Miriam was given leprosy for speaking Lashon Hara against Moshe, and his wife, Moshe cried out to Hashem to please heal her, please!” The Father, at the request of Moshe saying “please” twice granted Moshe’s plea. Perhaps my plea was granted by asking with “please” twice? A very profound thought, indeed! But then again, Hashem is Mighty and will answer our pleas. Hashem’s ways are higher.

The surrounded light brought Hashem’s “Set Apart” people to a “Rest.” The sword is mighty of G-d. The Tzitzits are attached to the four corners (remember His commandments) of our garments, and the Four Rivers of Eden pour out from the Throne of Heaven where G-d reigns.

  • The Shechinah (His Presence) is the center of the Universe. Jerusalem is the center of the Earth. One day, we will return home in Jerusalem. Israel is the “Apple of His Eye.”

 

  • “Love” and “Oneness” is the connection that binds the eternal love of G-d and Israel in “Covenant” as His “Set Apart” people. His Thirteen Attributes demonstrate Hashem’s rachamim and compassion. G-d answered our plea, and He stopped the truck from rolling more by reversing the direction of the truck, against gravity, to a “rest.”
  • The G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) is my Beloved, and I am His Beloved.

 

Bringing it together

Earlier, I mentioned in this story that the other driver was mad while speeding. Yes, he was very angry about a life situation he was dealing with. The driver made known that his actions were not an excuse for failing to stop at the stop sign. He admitted to his wrongdoing. I cannot fathom the thought of losing any of my family, or my children being left without their mom or dad, or any of us witnessing the death of the other driver. As you have read prior regarding my son born extremely early, and the hardships he endured, I am extremely grateful his life didn’t end in the rollover accident.

The severity of the impact from both vehicles should have left fatalities! It’s tragic to think how many angry drivers are on the roads and can end up killing lives needlessly. Sadly, death impacts others deeply who have to go on in this life without them. I am so thankful that every one of us was able to walk away. B”H!

It’s important to remember when we leave our Nefesh (flesh/Soul) unchecked by not allowing our spirit within to lead, we can become overheated, like Esau (red and hairy); running wild in the field. When there’s no accountability for our behavior, our “Esaus” lead, and we conform to a beast rather than a “Jacob.” Jacob was a man who studied the Torah in a tent (covering). Do we want to be under Hashem’s covering, shielded and protected?

Hashem loves and desires to protect us. Before the accident, a dear friend of mine, Landra, who has the gift of visions when praying for others shared something she saw while praying for me. I contacted her two days before the accident; asking if there were any changes. She said there had. In the vision, I was standing, worn out and tired with long brown hair and bangs. My body was weak with my hands at my side. I didn’t move, but stared at her (Landra). Beneath me, a daisy flower grew and encircled me. As I stood wearing a long white tunic (down to my feet), the daisy encircled me. I was entwined. The leaves and branches held me when I sat upon the leaves and its supporting stem. I was securely (protected). In front of me, there was a thin ravine, a parting of the ground. It was hardly noticeable. It didn’t concern me. The important part of this vision is that in my weakness I was supported, shielded and protected. She was able to see that I was fully at peace and I wasn’t surprised by any of it.

Was this vision a warning? Was the ravine a separation in the ground during the rollover, skidding from the road, down the embankment into a field (ravine)? Was the stem that entwined a way to alert me that I am held, yet in my weakness, I am supported and protected?

Seven days after the accident the vision changed, slightly. I was no longer held by the daisy. There was no longer a ravine (ground separation); but instead, I was lying down on my right side on top of brown soil. My hands are under my head, sleeping peacefully. The daisy bowed over to protect and shield me by its flower petals (twenty petals, Hebrew meaning of redemption, kaph opened palm; freely giving) and leaves (five leaves, Hebrew meaning of Salvation: I will raise the cup of salvation, Spirit of Power/Gvurah). The covering is pure; protecting me from harshness or storms. I am truly at peace as it’s a resting time that G-d Himself is assuring. Recently, the vision changed somewhat. Hashem has placed me on a new quest– adventurous journey! After jumping over a division of land, I am standing at an alter, holding a stone (river rock) in the palm of my hand. We are called to G-d’s Divine Rulership, to keep and guard the Torah. Hashem is our Rock of Salvation, fortress, and deliver (Psalms/ Tehillim 18:2). Hashem is our high place of refuge (misgav).

I am learning the importance of giving myself time to heal from my concussion. Through a recent session for PTSD, I learned that I can go through the accident step by step to look for the positives by removing the scary negatives (images) that steal my joy. I can talk about the accident; knowing that everyone is safe. Death itself cannot separate me from the love of G-d.

In my PTSD session, it was very helpful to have a different perspective on how to heal; giving myself patience and  reminding myself I can get through this. Stepping back in time, I can imagine a second “June Pamela.”  What would I say to her (stepping back in time) after the accident? Imagine that she hasn’t walked in my recent footsteps yet. She’s shocked and doesn’t know what to expect next. How can I be a good “sister” to her? What can I offer? How will I encourage her? Will she feel loved, safe, and helped with compassion and understanding? Will anyone cover her in prayer? Will anyone daven for her? Will she feel protected and shielded? Can I bless her with what I know now? In other words, will I be patient with myself and see the amazing Attributes of Hashem, His strength, and power to heal me? Yes! Positive words heal.

Rebbe Lubavitcher elegantly addressed his response to a tragedy regarding healing. He states, “I was placed in this unfathomably challenging situation for a purpose and I’ve been given the strength to overcome it.” G-d gives us the strength needed so that we can be overcomers with Hashem’s help. We are given a journey that takes us into the Wilderness. It’s a time of hardship, uneven ground, stumbling rocks, dryness, uncertainties, challenges, sadness, and tragedies.

During this time, we are stripped of our self-seeking ways. We learn to rely on G-d for our provisions. This is our journey; a path that allows us the choice to follow Hashem’s Way, to trust, and believe that G-d is our Protector and Shield.

Time has been given so that we can come to Hashem; seeking Teshuva (repentance by returning to our Father) which is finding Life in Hashem. Will we choose Life? Rabbi Gartner teaches us to look toward the Torah to find perspective on our inner self by asking what we can learn from the Ancient Torah of Wisdom (Chokmah). He reminds us that the ultimate good is experiencing G-dliness. We will find Hashem’s righteousness when we can truthfully ask ourselves if our heart, in its current condition, can house G-d.

Rabbi Gartner asks, “What are the influences of your Father’s House?” Our purpose is to go through our journey; trusting Hashem has given us the needed provisions, to overcome our trials and tribulations, to serve others (mitzvoth/deeds), to do good, seek forgiveness, and return to Hashem with Teshuvah. We will never taste the goodness of G-dliness if we will not allow ourselves to align with the Divinity of Hashem; having a change of heart.

We receive healing when we respect others, have a sense of belonging to family and friendships, feel safe, and have food, clothing, shelter and rest. Our life is found IN the Torah. G-d is the Giver and the doorway to Life. He separates darkness with Light (Torah) and Truth (Emet). He gives us rest, a shield, protection and a covering. He forgives our sins upon repentance; giving us opportunities to choose life in Him. He is the center and the Shechinah (Divine Presence) of the Universe. Hashem IS Compassion, Justice, Mercy, and Loving-kindness (chesed). Let’s remember that everything that comes our way, we can be certain it’s Gam zu’ l’tovah—this too is for the best.

“Hashem opened two doors–one in Shamayim (upper heavens), and one in the heart of man. When one opens his heart for the needs of his fellow man, then the corresponding door of Shamayim is opened to hear his cry.”[7]

G-d is my strength and my shield. He is my refuge. My hope is found in Him.

  • G-d is strength
  • G-d is a shield
  • G-d is refuge
  • G-d is hope

Shalom!

 

[1] Isaiah/ Yeshayah 22:22, Sefaria

[2] Isaiah/ Yeshayah 9:6, Sefaria

[3] Psalms/ Tehilliam 42:12, Sefaria

[4] https://www.jcfhartford.org/NewsEvents/ViewArticle/tabid/171/smid/619/ArticleID/62/reftab/170/Default.aspx

[5] Jewish Wisdom in Numbers, pg. 228, Osher Chaim Levene with Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman

[6] Deuteronomy/ Devarim 28:10, Sefaria

[7]  On the Shoulders of Giants, by Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, pg.115

 

 

 

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Bereishit/ Bereishis (Part 1)

 

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Bereishit/Bereishis

Tishrei —In the Beginning

Gen. 1:1-6:8

 Is. 42:5-43:10   (Haftarah)

 

Hashem’s Torah is our treasure of Truth, Light, and Life.

As we open up our Holy Tanach to Genesis we are blessed to read: “In the beginning of G-d’s creating—the heavens and the earth.” [1]

 

One Day:

When G-d began to create heaven and earth— the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from G-d sweeping over the water— G-d said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. G-d saw that the light was good, and G-d separated the light from the darkness. G-d called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5) [2]

Hashem is Light. Wind is Spirit (Ruach) of  G-d Who hovered over the waters of Chaos. On Creation Day One, darkness was separated by light. Light was called  Day, and darkness was called Night. Hashem said it was Good, Tov.

Day Two:

“G-d said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, that it may separate water from water.” G-d made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. G-d called the expanse Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”(Genesis 1:6-8)[3]

Day Two was the separation of the expanse (Rakiah) between the upper (heavenly/Shamayim), and the lower (earthly/Mayim) waters. The firmament was separated the upper and lower waters. The Heavens in Hebrew is “Schamiam.

Day Three:

 G-d said, “‘Let the water below the sky be gathered into one area, that the dry land may appear.” And it was so. G-d called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good. And G-d said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: seed-bearing plants, fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that this was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.’”(Genesis 1:10-14)[4]

Day Three was a gathering of the lower waters into one place so that dry land could appear. The gatherings of the waters were called Seas, and the land gathered was called earth. There was vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and fruit-bearing trees. G-d called it good.

Day Four:

G-d said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night; they shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years; and they serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so. G-d made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. And G-d set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And G-d saw that this was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.” (Genesis 1:15-20)[5]

Day Four, Hashem gave us His set times, the Moedim. The sun, moon, and stars were created to be great lights: the sun to dominate day, while the moon to give lesser light at night. The day separates the darkness– Rulership. To Govern. And G-d said it was good. We, too, are to illuminate Hashem’s light, bringing Torah to others in kindness. Like the moon, our face should illuminate His Truth that shines down on us.

G-d is our King and Ruler. He is Sovereign Who created the heavens and the earth. He is our Shield and Protector. He is merciful, yet “Elohim” means judgment. Man cannot live under strict justice alone. Man needs a merciful G-d in order to have existence. Hashem’s righteousness is too powerful contrary to our sinful nature.

Our Father knew we needed Hashem’s mercy, a delicate balance of Mercy and Justice. “Reisheet t’vuato” is referred to the Children of Israel as the “First Fruits” of Hashem’s Harvest, according to Jeremiah 2:3. Israel is Holy to Hashem.

“Through the reishis Hashem created [the heavens and the earth],” and reishis means Torah, as in “Hashem made me [the Torah] the beginning (reishis) of His way” (Proverbs 8:22) [6]

Hashem created the world for the sake of Israel. Hashem made the Torah, and He created His Throne of Glory. Hashem is Light yet, be He can be concealed in darkness by restricting too much light into the world. The darkness cannot comprehend light. This reminds us when Moses returned down the mountain, the people couldn’t bear to look at the brightness of Moses’ face; therefore, he covered his face from the people.

Day Five:

“G-d said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and birds that fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” G-d created the great sea monsters, and all the living creatures of every kind that creep, which the waters brought forth in swarms, and all the winged birds of every kind. And G-d saw that this was good. G-d blessed them, saying, “Be fertile and increase, fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.” (Genesis 1: 21-24)[7]

Day Five was creation of birds of the sky and fish of the sea. Hashem blessed them to be fruitful and multiply (according to its kind). Hashem endowed the living creatures to reproduce,  to teem in swarms of currents in the wind, or through water; rapidly with Hashem’s might and power given. G-d said it was good.

Likewise, with Torah, we are to take the Torah out to the Nations, rapidly, planting our Father’s seeds of Truth; bringing G-d’s Light to others.

“Come and see how powerful is the might of the Torah, and how high it rises above all! Because whoever conducts his life according to the Torah has no fear of those above or below, and mishaps or illnesses of this world do not concern him. Through the Torah, he is attached to the Tree of Life and learns from it every day.”(Zohar 1:11a, 3)[8]

Day Six:

G-d said, “Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: cattle, creeping things, and wild beasts of every kind.” And it was so. G-d made wild beasts of every kind and cattle of every kind, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. And G-d saw that this was good. And G-d said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.” And G-d created man in His image, in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them. G-d blessed them and G-d said to them, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.” G-d said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the birds of the sky, and to everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the breath of life, [I give] all the green plants for food.” And it was so. And G-d saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. “(Genesis 1:25-31)[9]

Day Six was the creation of Beast and Man. Hashem provided light, soil, water, seeds, plants, trees, and food for all living creatures, and Man. Beast needed to be created before Man so that Man (Human kind) could have domain over all things. Adam came from the dust. G-d blew in the Breath of Life, Ruach, into Adam’s nostrils. With the dust being formed into man, we can only imagine a little of the kneading and forming by making Challah, separating it with a blessings. Chavah (Eve) was designed from Adam’s rib. She didn’t come from his heel to be walked on, nor from Adam’s head to be above, but to be at his side, evenly, protected under his arm.

Day Seven:

“The heaven and the earth were finished, and all their array. On the seventh day G-d finished the work that He had been doing, and He ceased on the seventh day from all the work that He had done. And G-d blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it G-d ceased from all the work of creation that He had done.” (Genesis 2:1-3)[10]

Day Seven was declared the Sabbath, G-d abstained from His work. It is to be a day of rest from the ordinary six days of work– to be set apart from what is ordinary. The Torah tells us that G-d blessed and sanctified the seventh day to be a Holy convocation unto Hashem. Our fourth commandment tells us to “Remember” the Sabbath and keep it holy. Adam and Eve were created just before Sabbath. Man was given the intelligence and wisdom to bring the holiness of the Sabbath (Shabbat/Shabbos) into their ordinary weekdays. Animals were created to perform like beasts, while Man was created imperfect so that we could continue to improve ourselves; having the ability to grow closer to Hashem– to learn how to surrender ourselves to G-d. The Torah is our lifeline back to the Father. The Torah is like our umbilical cord, life source, connecting us to Hashem. Our souls are like a newborn baby, crying out to our Father, waiting for Hashem’s comforting love and guidance.

The Torah is powerful! It was given to us (through Moses) by the Hand of G-d; written by His Almighty finger. Hashem brought forth the cure for the sickness (sin) of man that will draw us to our Redeemer through Teshuvah. When we have Emunah (Faith) in Hashem’s Truth, through His light given, Redemption comes with the might and power of Hashem—returning us back to the Garden.

Hashem will always protect Israel, without her, nothing would continue to exist. Israel is the Bride. She will be redeemed!

Let’s take a closer look at “Bereishit/ Bereshis.” It means “Beginning.” Hashem is the beginning and the end. Hashem is the first and last. There is no other G-d. The first letter of the Hebrew letter is “Aleph” which is silent. “Beit/ Beis” is the second letter which means “to build.”

“A house is built by wisdom, And is established by understanding.” (Proverbs 24:3)[11]

Wisdom (Chokmah) builds (Beis) her home with understanding (Binah). Binah is part of the sephira, below Keter (Head/crown) on the Tree of Life. Binah is discernment to foresee what belongs, and what doesn’t.  In the beginning, Elohim brought forth His Healing Power, with Chokmah. Binah builds the house with Emet (Truth) of G-d, as it is written in the Torah and lived through in the Oral Torah.

 “For the commandment is a lamp, The teaching is a light, And the way to life is the rebuke that disciplines.(Proverbs 6:23)[12]

“Mitzvah” is Hebrew for Commandments. Hashem’s Torah (Law/Instructions) is our Light! We are to keep Hashem’s mitzvoth daily. Can one remove the Torah from their life and believe they are truly living out their days that honor Hashem, our Creator? Removing the Torah would remove the Truth Hashem gave to us on Mount Sinai.  There would be no more light. No Truth. No Life. The Adversary is the Evil Inclination who lies, wandering “to and fro” on the earth seeking for someone to devour. Did he not question G-d’s authority back in the Garden of Eden when he asked Chavah what Elohim really said? Hasatan twisted the Torah for man to question G-d’s authority. It’s important not to take verses out of context. The Torah is our guidance, and way to have Life that is Eternal.

“[I swear] by the Torah and the teaching, that they will make this statement to you, that has no light of dawn.”(Isaiah8:20)[13]

We look to the G-d in Heaven, our Creator, Who is mighty with great power Who brings our redemption.

Let’s briefly recap:

Let there be light, and light came into the world. There was light, but man hated darkness. G-d created the light and said it was good, but wicked men hated the light, therefore, G-d separated the light from the darkness. Those who hate darkness do not seek what is light, and those who love truth, seek to walk in the light—TORAH!

Torah is the living truth and light. If we do not want to be corrected (to be teachable), then the alternative states we do not want Truth.

“And the LORD G-d said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad, what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!” So the LORD God banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he was taken. He drove the man out, and stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:22- 24)[14]

When Adam and Eve (Chavah) sinned, they became separated from G-d, and had to leave the Garden. The Tree of Life needed to be guarded by Angels (with swords) until Hashem brings Redemption for us to return to the Garden. Hashem’s love, mercy and grace protected man from the Tree of Life, not to be left in a sinful state [Eternally] that would leave man dead, spiritually.

You shall make a curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine twisted linen; it shall have a design of cherubim worked into it.” (Exodus 26:31)[15]

Just like the Cherubim’s that guarded the Tree of Life, we cannot just go through the Holy of Holies by ourselves as there is a sword.

“The LORD said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come at will into the Shrine behind the curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the ark, lest he die; for I appear in the cloud over the cover.”(Leviticus 16:2)[16]

We cannot return to Gan Eden by ourselves, based on our own terms.  Hashem is an all- consuming fire. We cannot return to the Garden without His restoration through Hashem’s redemption—it is amazing to know that the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden) was not part of the Creation. He didn’t speak it into existence. He planted it HIMSELF. Hashem is the Gardener!

“HASHEM G-d planted a garden in Eden, to the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed.” (Genesis 2:8)[17]

When Elohim created Adam, he formed Adam outside of the garden, breathed-life (Ruach) into man, and placed him into the garden. Adam was the one who was given the commandment not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve wasn’t designed yet. She was designed from Adam’s rib later on. It was Adam who forgot about G-d with his ego. Eve sinned when she desired to have more knowledge (pride). Sadly, Adam blamed G-d and Eve without taking any responsibility that he had forgotten G-d and listened to a different master–hasatan. OUCH!

“The LORD G-d formed man from the dust of the earth. He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)[18]

Also read:

The LORD G-d took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it. And the LORD G-d commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.” The LORD G-d said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” And the LORD G-d formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to all the wild beasts; but for Adam no fitting helper was found. So the LORD G-d cast a deep sleep upon the man; and, while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that spot. And the LORD G-d fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman; and He brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This one at last Is bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called Woman, For from man was she taken.” (Genesis2:15-23)[19]

G-d brought forth the woman to be Adam’s “protector.” We will talk more on that later on a different topic.

This Torah Portion is about the Creation of the heavens and the earth. Man was nothing until Elohim breathed life into him. The Haftorah is about the creation of the Nation of Israel.

Thus said G-d the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and what it brings forth, Who gave breath to the people upon it And life to those who walk thereon: the LORD, in My grace, have summoned you, And I have grasped you by the hand. I created you, and appointed you A covenant people, a light of nations— Opening eyes deprived of light, Rescuing prisoners from confinement, From the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not yield My glory to another, Nor My renown to idols.” (Isaiah 42:5-8)[20]

Just as Elohim gave light on the fourth day of Creation (before the sun, moon and stars were created), Hashem is a going to build up and restore Israel! Hashem separated light from the darkness in Creation; Hashem also separated Israel from the Nations with His covenant to be SET APART. Hashem will bring our Messiah to come. G-d will bring the restoration of One Accord (Echad), One Belief, and One G-d.

The LORD desires His [servant’s] vindication, That he may magnify and glorify [His] Teaching. Yet it is a people plundered and despoiled: All of them are trapped in holes, Imprisoned in dungeons. They are given over to plunder, with none to rescue them; To despoilment, with none to say “Give back!” If only you would listen to this, Attend and give heed from now on!” (Isaiah 42:21-23)[21]

Hashem will restore all matters. He will bring us all home to Israel for His ingathering:

Fear not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, Will gather you out of the West; I will say to the North, “Give back!” And to the South, “Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth— All who are linked to My name, Whom I have created, Formed, and made for My glory—“(Isaiah 43:5-7)[22]

Hashem will call His Witnesses:

My witnesses are you —declares the LORD— My servant, whom I have chosen. To the end that you may take thought, And believe in Me, And understand that I am He: Before Me no g-d was formed, And after Me none shall exist— None but me, the LORD; Beside Me, none can grant triumph. I alone foretold the triumph And I brought it to pass; I announced it, And no strange god was among you. So you are My witnesses —declares the LORD— And I am G-d.”  (Isaiah 43:10-12)[23]

Hashem separated Israel and became scattered. But He will bring an ingathering; calling back His Sheep (people) to Israel when there is a restoration of Israel. You can read more about Hashem’s Sheep in “Our Shephard’s Voice.”

After reading through these verses, we can verify the truth of the Torah, given to us by Hashem. Hashem is our G-d, Creator, and will make all things right.

The (4) Rivers will flow out from His inmost being. Just like in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, the (4) Rivers flowed.

A river issues from Eden to water the garden, and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.) The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” (Genesis 2:10-14)[24]

 

Stay-tuned to Bereishit Part 2 . We will look for the connections of the four rivers to the Creation Story.

 

[1] Genesis 1:1, The Stone Edition, Tanach

[2] Genesis 1:1-5,  Sefaria

[3] Genesis 1:6-8. Sefaria

[4] Genesis 1: 10-14, Sefaria

[5] Genesis 15-20, Sefaria

[6] Bereishit Rabbah 1:1

[7] Genesis 1: 21-24, Sefaria

[8] Zohar 1:11a,3

[9] Genesis 1:25-31, Sefaria

[10] Genesis 2:1-3, Sefaria

[11] Proverbs 24:3, Sefaria

[12] Proverbs 6:23, Sefaria

[13] Isaiah 8:20, The Stone Edition

[14]Genesis 3:22-24, Sefaria

[15] Exodus 26:31, Sefaria

[16] Leviticus 16: 2, Sefaria

[17] Genesis 2:8, The Stone Edition

[18] Genesis 2:7, Sefaria

[19] Genesis 2: 15-23, Sefaria

[20] Isaiah 42: 5-8, Sefaria

[21] Isaiah 42: 21-23, Sefaria

[22] Isaiah 43:5-7, Sefaria

[23] Isaiah 43:10-12, Sefaria

[24] Genesis 2:10-14, Sefaria

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