This week’s parashah is taken from Genesis 1:1–6:8. Listen in as David evaluates Parashat Bereishit from a different perspective. In Part 2, he discusses how to get back to the Source – to Hashem, as revealed through the first seven days of Creation: From Day 1 to the Seventh Day.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to PART 2 of today's Parashah:
As mentioned in my previous teaching on Parashat Bereishit, there is a wealth of insight concealed within the Hebrew Scriptures. As such, I have done this additional teaching on Parashat Bereishit to help reveal a different perspective of insight from the parashah.
As we move through each of the days of Creation, we see a Creation full of order. Remember the emphasis we placed on the first verse of the chapter in the previous teaching? That it ultimately embodies the thought, plan and intent of God within it? Then, throughout the six days of Creation, we see God speak and order each of the base elements and instructions into their proper place in the Universe. Moreover, there is a beauty in the order of it all, with each new day building upon the day that came before it, from Day One all the way to the seventh day.
Notice how I referred to Day One as a cardinal number, but on the seventh day as an ordinal number? In the Hebrew, in Genesis 1:5, we read “יוֹם אֶחָד” (“yom echad” “Day One”), while for days 2-5, we read ordinal numbers: “יוֹם שֵׁנִי” (“yom sheni”“a second day”) all the way to “חֲמִישִׁי יוֹם” (“yom chamishi” “a fifth day”).
When we move to the sixth day, the language changes again, to include a definite article: “הַשִּׁשִּׁי יוֹם” (“yom hashishi” “the sixth day”). We also see similar language for the seventh day, including a “ב” (“beit”) conjunctive prefix and a definite article: “הַשְּׁבִיעִי בַּיּוֹם” (“bayom hashevii” “in the seventh day”). There is a clear importance being applied to these three days in particular:
1) Day One speaks solely of the Unity of Hashem associated with that particular day – that on Day One, all that existed was Hashem. This fact has to be clearly established from the start – that the sovereignty of Hashem rules over all.
2) The next most important day in the Creation account was the sixth day. This was the day that Adam – the first man – was created. Hence, the addition of the “ה” “heh” (“the”) definite article.
3) In the seventh day, God rested after He completed all of His work, the day of Shabbat. The importance of this day is marked not only by a “heh” definite article, which means it is intended for Man to observe, but it also includes a “beit” conjunctive prefix that means “in” or “on”. Moreover, the “beit” prefix – as pointed out in the previous teaching – alludes to the concept of duality. What this means is that man can choose to connect with the significance of the day or not. More on this shortly. Moreover, the “beit” prefix alludes to the day being “blessed” – as it says in Genesis 2:3: “God blessed the seventh day.”
It is said that on the sixth day, 12 hours elapsed between the creation of Adam and Eve, their sinning and their ultimate judgment and eviction from the Garden – all before the sun set, heralding in the seventh day of Shabbat. Returning back to what was said just now about the duality of Shabbat suggested through the “beit” conjunctive prefix in “bayom hashvii” (“in the seventh day”), as I said, man can choose to connect with the significance of the day or not. The obvious fact is that God does not in anyway need a day of rest, for He is Almighty and Sovereign. When Adam created the first sin by “missing the mark” and proving that he was incapable of replicating his Maker, Hashem had to “reset the counter”.
It is a great mystery what would have happened if Adam had not sinned and, rather, progressed into the seventh day without committing the sin that he did. It is likely that he would have proved himself worthy of his Creator, instead, heralding in the World to Come.
Instead, the day of Shabbat, the seventh day of the week, was added to the end of the week as a day of rest, to replicate our Creator’s action of rest, to reflect on Him and our connection to Him, but also to prepare for the start of a new week. In addition to all of this, Shabbat was created to give us a mere glimpse of what the World to Come will be like.
Ultimately, the story of Creation teaches us about how to return back to our Source, how to return back to Hashem. From “Day One” to “the sixth day”, just as God was in a state of Absolute Unity on Day One and built one day upon the other, man should be going through the week recognizing that he is one day wiser than the previous day, and as such, should be in a constant state of progression and growth, so that by the end of the week, just as God’s Creation was “very good”, so man’s progress through the week should be “very good”.
Where are we today? We continue in the natural cycle laid out in Creation, living our lives in the shadow cast upon us by Adam. In no way is this intended to blame him for all of our faults – I believe any of us would have failed in his place. Mankind was doomed to fail that test from the beginning because of our nature. Yes, we were created in the image of God, but that doesn’t mean we are on the same level as God. We will never come close to achieving His level of sovereignty. Man had to fail, he had to miss the mark, to bring him to a place of contemplation so that he could refine himself to rectify his mistakes and draw closer to his Creator. And that’s the point. We have to keep our eyes fixed on Day One, on the Unity of our Creator, to keep us focused, to keep us humble.
God gave us the weekly cycle to reflect on all of this. He topped it off with Shabbat to give us a taste of what the World to Come will look like, but we keep missing the mark. The question is: Are we truly achieving a state of progression and growth in connecting back to our Creator throughout the week? Are we entering Shabbat with an eager anticipation as if we are about to experience a glimpse of the World to Come?
Rather, week turns into weeks, month into months, year into years, and generation into generations. And here we are 5,783 years from the birth of Adam. What have we learnt? How much are we taking to heart this simple yet profound truth of the Creation account… of the error committed by Adam and Eve? Yet, just as God tested Adam and Eve in the Garden and knew they would fail in typical human fashion, He also created a better way for us to return back to Him.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul compares the “first” man Adam to the “second” man Yeshua (1 Corinthians 15:45-47, 49): “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living soul’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
Yeshua’s mandate was to rectify the original sin of Adam, and as the “second” Adam, provide a new root through which we can connect into, in drawing closer to Hashem, our Creator. If we are looking for the perfect representation of Hashem to replicate, we need look no further than Yeshua. As I pointed out in the first teaching, Yeshua was the living Torah. He embodied the entirety of the Torah – which was the blueprint through which God created the universe – in his being. Remember, the Torah is about a way of living, Hashem’s way of living. It is the only way to live. And if we absorb the Torah into the core of our souls, we become like Yeshua – unified sons (and daughters) with our Heavenly Father. He came to reveal how to do just that – to rectify the original sin of Adam… To return us back to the state of purity and teach us how to return back to our Source, Hashem.
As we look at the natural world around us, may our eyes be opened to the inherent beauty of it all as the handiwork of God. As we go through each new week, may we treat each day as a new, higher step on a ladder, with a higher pursuit to draw closer to Hashem through to the end of the week, and ultimately, Shabbat. May we do so with our eyes fixed on Yeshua as the perfect representation of our Heavenly Father, providing the perfect blueprint on how to draw closer to Hashem throughout the entire week and through the entirety of our lives in this world.