Updated: Oct 28, 2019
We correspond with higher sources and higher forces, with our past, with our future and with other dimensions. May those would be in the lower realms of our physical existence or in the upper realms of our spiritual existence.
Parashat Bereshit which is in the beginning of the entire Torah has a wide variety of interesting and wonderful subjects in it and yet in terms of time, we have a very short time to study it due to the fact it always comes right after Simchat Torah celebrations. Bereshit portion in the Zohar is considerable huge as there are almost two complete books to read about this portion. In the beginning, the Zohar takes us on a journey to discover multiple ways of understanding what lay beneath the very abstract term of BERESHIT. Just by looking at this we can acknowledge the importance that is give to the Hebrew letters and the wisdom lays beneath each and every word in the Jewish tradition.
The first way of looking at BERESHIT according to the Zohar is, that if we would take the Hebrew letters that make up this word B E R E S H I T and play with them, we will find the Hebrew term of YERE BOSHET.
YERE in Hebrew stands for awe
BOSHET stands for shame
Now putting those two together, will give us a different kind of in the beginning.
In the Zohar’s explanation of the beginning we are about to find ourselves in an initial state of shame and awe from the divine, as we are tiny fractures of a much bigger creation. May this creation encamps the sky and earth, all living things, the oceans and even the vast space of the universe, we are to be in awe and in shame when considering those and ourselves in this spectrum. So reading this first word of BERESHIT and acknowledging the Hebrew term concealed in it - YERE BOSHET - should give us a great deal of shame and awe from the King of Kings according to the Zohar . It is how ever not surprising that right in the beginning we need to be retold and reminded to look at ourselves as considerably very small in compare to G-d’s true greatness.
Then, the Zohar continues to yet another way of approaching this first word in Torah - BERESHIT. Revealing that this word's initials - Hebrew letters - stands for the initials בראשית - בראשונה ראה אלוהים שיקבלו ישראל תורה. Meaning, In the beginning, G-d saw that Israel would reactive Torah. Or BERESHIT BARA ELOHIM if we take the final Hebrew letters of the first three words in Torah we will receive the letters – מאת – which will give us the word אמת which is the Hebrew word for Truth. Implying that the truth is that G-d created everything, and that the entire Torah stands for the greatness of G-d. This is the truth and we are to rise it high into the sky, and even more so - the point of truth is when one gets to raise truth high into the sky while doing his deeds very much on earth. Another verse of the Zohar says that we are to do our very human earthly tasks, while our soul is humiliated and humbled just as the earth is in compared to the greatness of its Creator.
Another way of looking at the Bereshit word is by dividing it to two, receiving the two words of BARA SHIT. BARA stands for created and SHIT is an Aramaic word for the word six. So BARA SHIT stands for ‘created the six’. In Kabbalistic terms, the six known as ZEIR ANPIN - the spiritual powers of the divine attributes Cesed Gevurah Tiferet Netzach Hod Yesod in the tree of life. those six are the ones that will eventually when accomplished and being fully expressed will enter Malchut (the seven) which will then execute them or manifest them as physical forces in real life. each attribute is a dress to all ten attributes all together and so forth. We maybe understand this better by the Baal Shem Tov saying about the fact that all worlds are like dresses or garments to one another. And so does the years of our life, and time in general.
G‑d’s creation of the world “took time” as we know – it took Him 6 days to accomplish the task so called of creation. On a deeper level, the Kabbalistic masters refer to the physical world as the last link of creation through a term called seder hahishtalshelut or by its English not so accurate definition “order of evolution” . the Seder hishtalshelut is some sort of a cosmic chain of “worlds” extending from heaven to earth. Kabbalah describes how G‑d began His work of creation by creating all existences in their most sublime and spiritual form,
Which then proceeded and evolved in some sort of a metamorphose, in many steps and stages, into successively more concrete forms, ultimately producing our physical world – The “lowliest” and most tangible embodiment of these realities.
And so every object, force and phenomenon in our world exists on the many levels of the seder hishtalshelut, ranging from its most unearthly state to its most physical form. further more, we are not necessarily talking only of the contents of our physical world, but also its defining parameters such as space and time are. those are too we can say end of the line products of the seder hishtalshelut. Sure we know space in our three dimensional world in the context of physical objects which are positioned in relations to each other - above, beside, behind. But there is also a conceptual space we can speak of like “higher” and “lower” planes of reality, and we can also describe ideas as “deep” or “shallow.” And so space even under its own definition is not something we can entirely grasp.
“Every object, force and phenomenon in our world exists on the many levels of the seder hishtalshelut, ranging from its most unearthly state to its most physical form.“
Time, too, exists on many levels as it evolves from its most spiritual form all the way down to our physical time. What we experience as a one-way time arrow through the tenses of past, present and future is also descends through the seder hishtalshelut, where time is expressed in many forms. when considering time as part of the order of evolution - seder hishtalshelut we have future present and past intertwined, and so while physical time is chronological - its past occurs before its future, spiritual time is not so limited.
In spiritual time there is no logical sequence - everything exists always. We can maybe understand it better from the world of feelings where the possessor of different feelings always had his entire spectrum of feelings within him as they developed simultaneously in his heart, during his life. May it be during childhood or otherwise. Although each of the feelings came to an actual manifestation in different time capsules and under different circumstances.
Seder hishtalshelut itself is a function of spiritual time. The very concept of an 'order' and an 'evolution' presumes a reality governed by cause and effect. So we need to remember then that each acquaintance that we will have, a meeting we will find ourselves with, a place we will go to, or any kind of other summoning we would face in this circle in time – on this year we are entering to, echoes through seder hahishtalshelut - the order of evolution.
Our physical is constantly echoing though different kinds of cause and effect consequences, may we are to be aware of or not. our daily existence is echoing our past and future physical world but other spiritual realms also. seder hishtalshelut, is some kind of a chain of reactions we have as physical human beings that are defiantly delivered from spiritual sources and from unknown spiritual realms. That would be the case in everything that we do, in everything that we think and in ways we act or hold and manifest ourselves on this earth. Everything is echoing – this is the idea of seder hishtalshlut: the order of evolution. The earth is echoing the sky as the sky is echoing the earth, and those two huge and magnificent powers of the physical world and the spiritual realms, both echo in other realms above and below them as well under the rules of chain reaction of cause and effect. everything happens simultaneously and without our knowledge
So when entering this New Year we need to remember we are entering also again the echoes of years we had before, as well as entering what would come upon us next year. So in this way we can say that the efforts of Hashem G-d in creating the world and maintaining the world correspond with our efforts of carrying ourselves during each year manifesting His Torah in our lives and in our daily activities.
Carefully walking the physical world or the physical realm, while also aware of the spiritual ones or the spiritual relations that we have with other worlds and with other realms, the conclusion of that is, that we correspond with higher sources and higher forces, with our past, with our future and it is not necessarily a chronological way of looking at it. So by entering this new Year knowing this we may stumble upon events, or people that already had part in our lives and they will return, or we may visit places that we have already been to, and were already part of our lives and will return now, Everything is in a divine dance of circulation we are circling everything just as everything is circling us. Again and again.
The beginning is much more complex and there is no end really. Even the first holy word we encountered through our yearly bible reading has so many different interpretations – each of them true, each of them is accurate as different as they are.
To find out more about this week's portion watch the Torah lesson.