The Lakewood View

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Ten Luminous Emanations

Here is how Talmud Mesechta Chagiga explains Creation:

Ten specific things came into being on the 1st day of creation. Tohu and Bohu were among the earliest creations. Tohu can be expalined as a sense of bafflement, or astonishment. Bohu seems to be on a lower level that of vastness or emptiness.

Breaking away form Chagigah we can actually count the hebrew words that are contained within the 1st 5 lines of Bereishis. Try it each and every time there should be no surprise that there are 52. Why should it surprize anyone to learn that the length of the day as told by Chagigah was also created on the 1st day and so we could also have the length of a year, as in 52 weeks.

Amongst the ten things that were created on the first day was Shamyim and HaEretz. Then we get some descriptive words of the earth, it was not formed (as in the opposite of-yesod)- yiso, and then of course Tohu, and Bohu. The tenth word in the description is Tohu, and then bohu comes as word number 11 in this very detailed description of the creation of everything that has been, is, and will be.

The first description of the first (creation) seven words of our Torah ends in HaEretz. It really is enough to understand that Hashem created everything in the begining, but would Hashem-Elokim, our teacher, be satisfied to give us such a simplistic explanation. The details get explained however there are no so straighforward or simple to get.

The fact that HaEretz is the same word just used to complete the first line of our Torah is now used to begin the second line of this incredible explanation us to how:the world, the luminaries, water, light, darkeness, land, stars, the moon, the sun and jellyfish, and all the living creatures and plants were created or formed, might cause one to wonder why that word Ha-Eretz (The World) gets repeated. How is Ha-Eretz, the 7th word of Bereshis, equal to the 8th word or the the first word of he 2nd line of Bereshis? Exactly!

Hmmmm...? I imagine my reader to be rubbing his/her eyes right now wondering...wait did I miss something. Absolutely! We all did! Hashem-Elokim our teacher is showing us the story within the story. The seven words, not suprisingly enough corresponds to our seven days, our week has seven days because that is how G-d created our ever so important calendar. Seven words from the mouth of Hashem-Elokim, turns into seven days for us.

I could mention here, particularly since the length of the day has not yet been created in the Torah's narrative, that how long does it take the average person to say seven words, would you agree maybe two seconds. Well those same two seconds could be like seven days, or even seven years in the life of a man. There are authors who do a far better job on man time and days versus G-d time and days then I, one notable one being Susan Roth in a book entitled "Moses in the 20th Century".

Okay, now back to the Torah. The first word of the second line of the description of the creation of everything from nothing, picks up the expalantion by using the very same word that ended the previous sentence. does the seem like a fluid blow by blow description of the events of creation to you? If we were in pre-1a reading: See spot run. Run spot run. then okay, that would be fine. No, this is Torah, there is a depth which must be plumbed or mined. Only with much digging, can we penetrate the actual meaning of the first 8-52 words of the Torah.

No. It seems like something started, then abruptly came to a crashing halt, (the breaking of the vessels) then after some semingly immeasurable amount of time (eternity might be a good word to describe how much time seeems to have gone by) creation picks up again with Hashem, now picking up the pieces (both literally and figuratively) and taking inventory of what has become of The World - Ha-Eretz!

Now, of course I do not expect one to simply think, oh...thats how it went down. No of course not. Students all over the world stay up all night gazing at the stars, considering the vastness of the universe, thinking and wondering, in awe of G-d Hashem-Elokim's creation, and how it came to be, and how it came from nothing!

Then we further break down G-d's active creation and formation of the universe, from the initial thought of creation. The thought of creation is not typically discussed becuase the world we live in today puts such little value in what a person may be thinking!

Then suddenly G-d Hashem-Elokim, creator of everything that is, was or will be removes a portion of himself, simply to allow space for the creation to exist independently from him. Creating darkness, and forming light in the very same instant, and...

Incredible energy, (which would make an Atomic bomb seem like a firecracker) gets released, condensed, momentarily, then released again in an a cataclysmic explosion with shock waves which are still emmanating in all directions at an incredible speed (faster then the speed of light) to this very day. Kabalists refer to this event as the breaking of the vessels.

(to be continued)

Aharon Moshe ben-Dovid

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