Simchat Torah (The Joy of the BIBLE) in our midst

RabbiJames

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Jan 21, 2006
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SIMCHAT TORAH (Bible Joy)


We have finished our Torah study cycle and are starting over. In many synagogues and Messianic Congregations worldwide, those who have Torah scrolls have rolled back the scrolls to Genesis to start again next week in our study of God's Word.

We also did this at our congregation in San Salvador. We did something very special. All members of our congregation lined up and each one took some foreign nation's flag from a chest and held it to their heart. Then, we marched around the sanctuary and prayed for that specific nation. Each person would pray for the nation whose flag was in their hands.

The Israeli flag was in front and we marched around the room 7 times. Then, all sat down and the scroll was forwarded to the end of Deuteronomy, and the last verse in Deuteronomy was read, or rather chanted. Then, the scroll was re-rolled back to Genesis, and the first verse of Genesis was chanted. A mother and her daughter helped in re-rolling the scroll back to Genesis.

The "Joy of the Bible" is meaningful, in that the Bible plays an important role in our lives. B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).

We are only "visitors" and "sojourners" on this planet. We were made "perfect" and "sinless" yet when man sinned, we lost fellowship with God. The Bible helps us find our way back to God through a personal relationship with Yeshua/Jesus. The "Torah" (instruction) points us in the right direction, to help us find "the mark" on the target. The commandments help us live a righteous lifestyle before God and our fellow man. The Bible also teaches us history and errors, mistakes made by our predecessors, and warns us not to commit the same mistakes as in the past.

We have 66 books written by inspired writers from all walks of life, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to give us hope. We have the written word and the Living WORD. His spirit helps us understand what is written. So that when we breathe our last, in this world, we will be welcomed by HIM in the World to Come, in the New Jerusalem.

There is an interesting fact about the Hebrew Bible. In the Hebrew Bibles that include the vowel points (Nikudim) there are also musical notes below and above the Hebrew letters. Those are "C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and Middle C" So, if we know what markings are which notes, then, we can actually "play' the Torah on the piano or harp. The musical code was found by Susana Haik Ventura, a French Musicologist, and was passed down to a friend of mine who plays the harp and, in turn, gave me a copy.

It is interesting that the very last word in Deuteronomy is "Israel" and the first word in Genesis is "In" (The beginning). (Deuteronomy 34:12) and (Genesis 1:1) In Hebrew, the word is "Israel" and in Genesis "B'reisheet. The last letter in "Israel" is of course, the letter "l" and the first letter of Genesis is "B" (in) Now, when we join the "L" with the "B" we have the word "Lev" which, in Hebrew, is the word "heart".

Is there symbolism here? One could say that "In the beginning" God had "Israel" in his "heart". He had the whole world in his heart, and Israel would be the "light to the nations" The letter "B" in the Hebrew Bible is enlarged, as it is the first letter in Genesis, it is emphasized. "B" stands for "Blessing" it also symbolizes "house" and "unity or division"

What can we say about Genesis then? In the "beginning," God created planet Earth as a "house" for mankind, plant, and animal kinds. In the "beginning" before sin entered the world, the world was indeed a "blessing" for all. death did not exist, only "unity" co-existence in a human-plant-animal world. After sin entered, there was "division" The perfect environment was "split' and "divided" death now came onto the scene, for all living things.

The very first verse in Genesis has a lot to say: "In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth" In English, there are 10 words. Ten is the number of completion, the number of Torah. In Hebrew, the verse reads "B'reisheet Bara Elohim Et HaShamayim V'et HaAretz". There are 7 words, 7 being the perfect number of God. We have the "action" of "creation" (Bara) we have "Space" (Heavens/HaShamayim) "Time" (B'reisheet/In the Beginning) and "Matter" (HaAretz/the Earth) The word "Bara" means "creating something for a specific purpose" (not just throwing something out there and leaving it on its own)

Yet, the very first word is interesting; "B'resheet" (In the beginning). But what is the "beginning?" the beginning of what? Everything has a "beginning." So, this is the "beginning of what?" One could say; "the beginning of creation, the beginning of "time" as we know it. God steps out of eternity past, speaks into existence all that was created, sets into motion the planets, the moon, etc, to create what we know as "time" (seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc) in order to relate to HIM in special days and times, seasons (moedim).

what can we say? We have two timelines. The infinite line, which goes from eternity past to eternity future, yet in the middle, we have the "finite" timeline which starts in Genesis 1:1 and ends in Revelation, when we read about "New Heavens and a new earth".

Another aspect or idea; There are 7 words in the first verse of Genesis. Within the 7 words, six of the words contain the letter "Aleph" which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The word "aleph" can also mean 1000 (Eleph) but in Hebrew, it is still spelled the same. Could the 6 Alephs in the first verse symbolize 6 thousand years for man on this earth? and then one thousand years for Messiah Yeshua to rule (The Millennium) equaling 7 thousand years? Well, just an idea to throw out here. Next week, we will go more into Genesis.



Shalom, and pray for peace in Israel, that the war will end soon.
 
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