This Shabbat we will be starting a new annual cycle of Torah reading.
We will read the first portion from the book of Genesis – בראשית (B’RESHIT).
It starts with the verse:
BE’RESHIT BARAH ELOHIM ET HASHAMAYIM VE’ET HA’ARETZ.
Thus, our initial understanding is that Heaven and Earth were the first creation of this universe.
But, let us examine the first verse more thoroughly.
This opening sentence is constructed of seven Hebrew words.
In Judaism number seven (7) is recognized as a very special number. It is a number that speaks of spiritual completeness and fullness.
Now let’s look at the first verse even more closely.
The fourth word את (ET) is an untranslatable word.
It is a unique Hebrew preposition not having an equivalent one in many other languages.
The unique thing about this word is that it actually consists of two Hebrew letters: the Aleph and the Tav.
The aleph-tav (את) does serve a grammatical purpose in that it points to the direct object of the sentence.
Let us now read gain the first verse:
BE’RESHIT BARAH ELOHIM ET..
In the beginning God created ET
According to Kabbalah, in the inner layer of the Torah these two letters do not actually form the word את (ET), but rather they express a certain perspective and understanding of the process of the world creation.
The aleph (א) is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the tav (ת) is the last letter of the alphabet.
The placement of these two very significant letters at strategic locations within many sentences of the Hebrew Scriptures expresses a total completeness.
It is equivalent to saying “from a to z, from first to last, from beginning to end.”
Thus, one can interpret the beginning of the first verse as:
“In the beginning G-d created the aleph-tav (first to last letters…)”.
In other words, it means that the very first creation was the entire Hebrew alphabet.
Then, God proceeded with the creation of everything else in the universe using the spiritual Hebrew letters as the building blocks of everything in the entire creation.
The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet represent completeness.
These are the divinely ordained building blocks of life, by which all spiritual and all physical things have been created.
Wishing you successful and meaningful beginnings!
Yoel & Orly
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This multimedia eBook set presents the reader with fascinating insights, parables and commentaries associated with all 54 weekly Torah portions included in the five books of Moses.
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