Archive for May, 2010

“Let us make…”

Posted: May 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The following blog was inspired by a teaching by Rabbi Freundlich of Atlanta Scholars Kollel. The following is taken from my notes and thoughts on his lecture; Ramban: Five minutes a day – Bereishis (Genesis) 1:26

What does it mean when the Torah says; “Let us make man in our image” when HaShem (G-d) tells us that He has no form or image?

On the 1st day of creation G-d created all the elements that would be needed for creating everything else. By the time we get to the firth and sixth days we get a glimpse in to the creating process.

Heretics who have not been taught correctly the Hebrew and its proper interpretation will make falsified claims of the scripture. But when one learns and looks at the whole passage in context the simple and plain meaning comes forth from the word of G-d.

Bereishis 1: 24-26

And G-d said: ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.’ And it was so. And G-d made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and G-d saw that it was good. And G-d said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

A ton of wealth can be found in digging into this passage.

First we see here that G-d tells the earth to bring forth living creatures as the earth has a part to play in G-d’s creating process. We see this when we continue down within the same uninterrupted flow of statements. God is having a conversation with the earth – they are partners in the creation of man.

Then G-d says, “Let us make man in our image…”; G-d just finished telling the earth to bring forth animals then He speaks again, “Let us…”. What is learned here? That G-d is still speaking to the earth, the ‘us’ in the verse is G-d and the earth partnering together in the creation process.

The message here is that G-d, is telling the earth to bring forth man with all the physicality’s of the animal kingdom – the image of animals, flesh and bone – then G-d said that He will place with in man a part of Him, a part of the Elyon , the Divine Spark,  in man that will cause him to become a living soul. The eternal part of man or Divine Spark is not seen; as we have not seen any form or image of G-d and thus from that part of Him is where our souls come from.

Thus we now have the understanding of the ‘us’ in verse 26

A friend on Facebook posed the following question. In answering it I wrote the following blog to teach about what is called the Noahide Laws.

There is beauty and simplicity behind the laws that G-d gave all mankind to live by.

“If the entire human race is infected with the “Original Sin” and mankind is “totally depraved,” why does the Bible testify that there were many righteous people?”

The Bible (Hebrew Bible “Tanach” testifies of those that were righteous, Able, Enoch, Shem, Noach, Avraham, Isaac, Jacob and others because they were given orally the laws passed down by Adam and Noach. They were later written down in the giving of the Torah from G-d to Moshe. Today they are called the Noahide Laws as all of mankind today descended from Noach

They are as follows:

1. Do not worship idols. (Genesis 3:5)

2. Do not commit blasphemy. (Genesis 3:1)

3. Do not steal. (Genesis 3:6)

4. Do not murder. (Genesis 4:8)

5. Do not commit sexual immorality. (Genesis 6:1-4)

6. Establish courts of justice. (Genesis 6:5-7)

7. Do not eat the flesh of a living animal. (Genesis 9:3-4)

Also found with in the Torah is a conversation of G-d showing us the primary key to His ways that have not and will not change!

Gen 18:17-19

And the LORD said: ‘Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing;seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of the HaShem (G-d), to do righteousness and justice; to the end that the HaShem (G-d) may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.’

What is the way of G-d given to us in this verse?

Righteousness & justice – tzedakah & mishpat/mishpatim (Hebrew)

Tzedakah can be best understood by as righteous giving, whether it is of financial means or of oneself – it is charity

Mishpat is translated as Justice, judgment and even ordinance. This can point to law or laws that bring about justice and righteous living and making correct judgments in legal cases.

This passage denotes that Avraham would teach his children and household the seven laws that had come down from Adam to Noach then to Avraham.

Those who conducted their lives by these seven laws are considered righteous. The seven laws also are categorical as each law can be studied out individually and therefore sub laws under each one can be learned.

To this day this is the standard of G-d that is in place for all the non-Jewish nations. The nation of Israel went into a separate covenant that not only includes the seven but a total package of 613 that was not given to the nations as explained to us by the Israeli king David.

Psa 147:19-20

He declareth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances unto Israel.He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Hallelujah

There are websites to help those looking for the way of G-d among the nations.

My trip to Imax

Posted: May 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
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OMW, my wife and I went down to the Imax in Chattanooga. We went to see the show on the Hubble telescope. I was looking forward to seeing the pictures of deep space. I highly recommend seeing the Hubble show.

As I sat there what played out before my eyes brought back a discussion I heard on the Rabbi Tovia Singer Show. On the show they took a question about on of the Hebrew words and Names of God, E-l-o-h-i-m.

Below is a paraphrased version with added thought of mine as I watched the universe unfold before me on the big screen.

The opening statement of the Hebrew Scriptures (Torah) is, “In the beginning God…) the Hebrew word that is translated as God here is, ‘E-l-o-h-i-m’.

In the discussion we were taught that the word E-l-o-h-i-m not only is a plural word but also points an attribute of God and this attribute is vastness.

There are other Hebrew words that do the same thing. Like the word for water – ‘mayim’ even though it appears in a plural form it is water not waters, it can denote a drop or an ocean.

What can we learn from this? If one would walk to any sea shore and bend down and cup their palm, could they hold all the water of the ocean in their palm? No the ocean is vast. This is the picture we get from the word E-l-o-h-i-m, He is vast and not able to be contained.

The ancient rabbis teach us that the creation does not contain God it is God that contains the creation within Him. This is how He is omnipresent. They also teach us that the mentioning of the creation of the heavens and earth in the first verse teaches that He created, ‘heavens’ – the spiritual realm, all that is not seen by any human means; ‘earth’ – all that is physical including all that is contained within the universe.

The creation of the heavens and earth contain even within them a vastness that is unfathomable. So as I sat there looking at pictures of galaxies far far way I knew that if I could travel to the farthest on He would be there because He is E-l-o-h-i-m.

Trying to grasp Him is like holding the ocean in my palm; all I can do is hold maybe a tea spoon full at a time in my palm. So what does this say about those running around saying that the know God? They only have a tea spoon amount of knowledge at best.

As I sat there trying to grasp what little of the universe that He has allowed us to see I began to tear up at the vastness of the God who made me and loved me enough to create me in His image; to be able to have a share of Him In me when He put the divine spark (soul) in this hump of clay.

I hope this blog inspires someone to meditate on the vastness of God as they look up into sky and know that E-l-o-h-i-m is not able to be contained, not by space, time, the human mind or knowledge.

All of this was inspired by pictures that took my eyes billions of light years away from my little dirt mound in eastern Tennessee.

Hello world!

Posted: May 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

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