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עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

Still Studying Breshit (#Torah)

Posted by rabbiart on November 6, 2009

Our Torah Study Chavurah meets once a month on Motzei Shabbat. We study one parshah each time in order. We have been blessed to finish one complete cycle of the Torah and are beginning again this Motzei Shabbat. I have the honor of facilitating. We’re going to consider Rashi’s opening comment, and then examine how HaShem creates the world.

How does HaShem create the world?

With pure speech – and note the symmetry of the language, which is difficult to capture in English translation.

3. Spoke Elohim: “Be Light”, therefore there is Light.

:וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר.

These six words reveal the intention with which the world is created; that everything in it should be in accordance with the will of HaShem.

By thinking/speaking and making stuff. Or is verse 7 simply a commentary on verse 6? (compare also verses 21-22)


וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם, וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל, בֵּין מַיִם לָמָיִםז וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הָרָקִיעַ, וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ, וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

6. Spoke Elohim: (let there) Be a rakiya in among the waters so it will divide between water and water. 7. Made Elohim: the rakiya {choose a meaning, either} “which divided”  {or} “He divided” between the waters below the rakiya and the water above the rakiya.

By commanding action

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל-מָקוֹם אֶחָד, וְתֵרָאֶה, הַיַּבָּשָׁה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

9. Spoke Elohim: The water should gather from under the sky to a single place so the ground (dry land) can appear. It happened exactly like that.

By causing self-perpetuating actions


וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ, אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.  יב וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, לְמִינֵהוּ, וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה-פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ, לְמִינֵהוּ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.  יג וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי.

11. Spoke Elohim: The earth should grow perennial grasses and self-reproducing fruit trees organized in species, upon the earth. It happened exactly like that. 12. The earth produced perennial grasses organized in species and self-reproducing fruit trees that put their seeds back into the ground, organized in species, and Elohim judged that it good. (liked the results)

By granting blessings and giving commands


וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, לֵאמֹר:  פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ, וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הַמַּיִם בַּיַּמִּים, וְהָעוֹף, יִרֶב בָּאָרֶץ.

22. Blessed them (did) Elohim, saying “multiply, mulitply” to fill the waters in the water, and with fowl fill the earth.

We learn from the creation of light how the world is designed to unfold and operate. HaShem wishes that there should be light in the world, so therefore there is light in the world.

HaShem desires that there should be dry land (for us to live on), and commands that the waters make way for dry land.  Dry land appears.

HaShem organizes the world so that living things shall bring forth their own progeny. They do, and we see that they do.

HaShem reveals HaShem’s self to be the source of blessing.  This is the great hidush of creation. From the beginning we find a blueprint and the build-0ut of it.

HaShem creates light. We live by the natural light and learn to make out own light. HaShem makes land in among the water; my neighbors live on landfill (fortunately, living in California, my house is on bedrock).

HaShem creates living things that sustain us; tonight we are eating fowl and (harvested) living produce. (Among our friends are familes with their own vegetable gardens, and one urban-dwelling family that has its own chickens; grow them, slaughter them, then eat them).

HaShem is a source of blessing. To quote Joe Pesci from one of my favorite movies (My cousin Vinnie). “I think I get it.”  To state the obvious (then why state it, you ask).  We should be a source of blessing.

Shabbat Shalom u’movorach.

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