Genesis 1:1
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1  When Hashem began to create heaven and earth—

b’-ray-SHEET ba-RA e-lo-HEEM AYT ha-sha-MA-yim v’-AYT ha-A-retz

א  בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ׃

“Heaven and Earth” – Dead Sea landscape

 1:1 When Hashem began to create heaven and earth

If the Bible is essentially a book of law, why does it begin with stories of Genesis? Would it not make more sense to skip the stories and start with the legal sections of the Torah? Rashi, the famed medieval commentator, answers this question with an essential lesson that should inform our reading of the entire Tanakh. According to Rashi, one day the nations of the world would accuse the Jewish People of stealing Eretz Yisrael. In response, the Jews will point to the Torah which begins by telling us that God created the heaven and the earth. Since Hashem is the Creator of the world, He may give the land to whomever He wishes, and it is the divine will that the Land of Israel will belong to the People of Israel.


 1:1 When Hashem began

The first word in the Torah is Bereishit (בראשית), which begins with the letter bet (ב), while the last word in the Torah is Yisrael (ישראל), ‘Israel,’ which ends with the letter lamed (ל). Together, these two letters spell the word lev (לב), which means ‘heart’ in Hebrew. The first lesson hinted at in the very first letter of the Tanakh is that Torah is the heart of the People of Israel, and the ultimate expression of Hashem’s love for us. By studying the Torah, from the first letter through the last, we can access the ‘heart’ of Hashem.

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Comments ( 30 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • I wish there was a "like" or "love" button for all of your comments.

  • I love you all and just enjoy "listening" to your comments. It is great to watch how Hashem is working in so many people's lives. Thank you. Shalom, shalom.

  • I am excitedly looking forward to this study. Thank you. Shalom.

  • The bible is a book for teaching human being. Since God knew we need a savior, God told us from the beginning about our Savior (genealogy, nation, etc.) so that we can understand.

  • I love the Bible and we should consume the Word daily, as it helps us delve deeper into understanding God's great love and His heart for us.

  • Yes, I believe that it is understood that the Land of Israel is God’s to give to Abraham and his descendants. I am new in this. I just started to read The Israel Bible today. It's so interesting.

  • I am really glad to learn the scripture in its original form. I have been reading the scripture for years but I didn't know that the verses has so much meanings in it. Thanks to you.

    • I agree 100%. Also, I am 73 y/o and took 1 year of modern Hebrew in college in 1973. I have forgotten most of what I learned {but not everything 🙂 } but it has helped me to learn that no translation of a language into one word equivalents can be 100% accurate. That only by reading the Tanach in Hebrew and then with the commentary of the Rabbi's can it be better understood. I have only just started to read The Israel Bible today, and already I love it.

    • This is why I'm here too. I've read through many versions of the bible but never the original.

      • Dear Pat. Me too. I am reminded of the Schema. "Schema Israel Hashem our God, Hashem Echad. All of that is just to highlight the word "Echad" which is one of the Hebrew words for the number One. I have read that the word Echad means much more than then the number one. That it means may things that are all in harmony with each other so that they form a single unit. I don't know this for 100% certainty so appreciate any corrections.

    • been reading BIBLE nearly 20 years but today its opened my eyes more deep ,Genesis is amazing book….

  • Ooooooo I love THE CREATOR'S treasures hidden in darkness <3

  • I'm drawn to what Boanerges OKC says. In respect to the reference to Prov. 25; 2, Elohim has hidden truths throughout Scriptures (glory of God to conceal a thing). He has so done in order to cause us to search them out (search out a matter). Of course, Elohim could just write/speak in a plain manner so we could readily understand. However, that would not give us strength. In depriving us of the ability to dig below the surface, our faith in Him would become weak and of no value.
    *
    With that in mind, there is a great mystery hidden within this first verse of Torah regarding the "Aleph/Tav symbol. To other comments I've made on the symbol, I would like to add two quotes from noted Rabbis.
    *
    From the "Ask the Rabbi" website: "The sages deduce laws from the places where the 'Aleph/Tav' appears. The rule is that it is meant to include something above and beyond the limited definition of the word".
    *
    Rabbi S.R. Hirsch says the symbol is related to the word, 'Os' or sign. For example, the symbol stands for more than itself.
    *
    That is the mysterious uniqueness of this symbol. It's not just a random symbol. It appears over 2600 times in Torah alone, and nearly 3 times that much in the whole of Tanakh. In addition, about 800 times more, it appears with another letter before or after it, giving it a different meaning yet. With its very wide use, I think it's a very valuable jewel, well worth digging for.

  • The “heart” of God that is so amazing. I love learning when the words have hidden truths. Reminds me of Mishlei/ Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

    • I can not tell you how much my heart responds in love for God just reading what you wrote. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  • Creo que al decir que Dios creó,es para eliminar las ideas paganas que fueron los dioses los creadores,algo que los hebreos estaban acostumbrados a oír en las tierras de Egipto.

    • I think that saying that God created, it is to remove the pagan ideas that were the gods developers, rather than the Hebrews were accustomed to hearing in the land of Egypt.

      • That is his translation from Spanish using the online Bing Translator.

      • Also, the prevalent materialist view is that all of the Universe, all life, and man himself, came about by accident. And then all life, "evolved" by accident, into the present life forms. By saying God created the World and everything in it. Genesis gives the lie to that view. The Magnificence, size, and perfect harmony of the Universe tells us how great is God's power and intelligence. That everything was created by God to be in perfect harmony tells us how great is God's Love for us.

        • True Albert – a view that science itself denies! We are a closed system – where nothing can be created nor destroyed and as such a system requires the existence of a creator.

          God has given us all that we need to prove His Hand in the creation of life. It never ceases to amaze me that He should care for me

          • Pat, you are so correct! I was about 12 y/o (I am 73 y/o now) when I first realized that God did not have to create me but He did anyway! I often lose sight of that but your comment to me reminds me of that and in addition, the miracle that you share with us, that God should love each one of us, individually! Thank you so much for sharing your realization that God cares for you and therefore for each of us. The love of Hashem that flows through you warms my heart at this very instant and I love Hashem more because of you.

  • God created the world and placed everything in the correct place so as to be useful, productive and remain as long as God wants it to, sharing with mankind, all good things. God selected Abraham and blessed him with all good things and asked him to multiply purely because he was the chosen among all His Creation.

  • Truly G-d’s people long for intimacy with their Creator. We all are born with a heart shaped void that only G-d can fill. The world tells us we can fill the void with relationships, careers, money, materialism etc. but it can only be filled when we are in relationship with our Creator who loves us and created us to love Him. G-d is love!

    • That our life is empty if we try to fill it only with material things is one of the main ideas of the Book of Ecclesiastes (see, for example, chapter 2). What King Solomon concludes at the end of the book is that man’s purpose to have a relationship with God, to fear Him and follow His commandments. In his words: “The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

      • YOU ARE RIGHT I LIKE UR COMM

    • I agree 100% yet I still at times seek satisfaction in exterior things and not Hashem. When will I stop trying to seek what does not satisfy rather than rest in Him who created me?

  • I so agree with jideoforozodinobi, the yearning for the Word is intense and place there by God, Himself. But remember Job was told to take the tablet, scroll and eat it. That is would be sweet upon the tongue but bitter in the stomach. So, so true. Sweet is the Word but it is so hated by the world and those of us who embrace it, wrap ourselves in it are subject to so much bitterness from those who do not love our God.

  • I only wish the Torah can be eaten once and for all. There’s this inward yearning that propels me to desire to know God so intimately. I really love the Israel Bible and what it stands for.

    • jideoforozodinobi, your comment reminds me of Ezekiel 3:1-3. Ezekiel is commanded to ingest a scroll, symbolic of internalizing God’s word.

    • me 2 I love BIBLE very much and I want know more about it.

 

Genesis 1:1

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