The letter [bet] at the beginning of the word [breishit], is an allusion to 2 phenomena, G’d’s largesse on the one hand, His providing us with unlimited potential, whereas man by defining words in the Torah narrows down, limits the potential, in a sense limiting G’d’s input in the physical universe….The oral Torah, i.e., man’s interpretation of the letters of the Torah, imposes limitations on G’d’s largesse. When man defines letters in the written Torah, however broad such a definition may be, it excludes whatever is beyond man’s definition.
Continue reading Breishit: Great Source(s)
Language issues in early chapters of Genesis/Breishit include differentiating between “adam” — which may or may not carry a specific gender — and “ish” and “ isha,” who are always gendered.
Genesis/Breishit 1:27 involves a notable shift from singular to plural pronouns as ha-adam (a singular something) is created in what appears to be (plural) variety: “male and female.” Older translations use “man.” “Human” or “humankind” is favored in newer ones. “The earthling” — a gender-neutral term reflecting the relationship of ha-adam to adamah, “earth” — might be more profitably used.
Continue reading Breishit: Language and Translation
If the first human(s) are created “male and female” in Genesis/Breishit 1:27, who is created from the adam’s rib (or side) in 2:18-25?
Continue reading Breishit: A Path to Follow
The word “havel” — vapor, mist, steam; futility, vanity — features prominently in the book of Ecclesiates/Kohelet, beginning with the second verse:
The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Utter futility! [havel havalim] — said Koheleth —
Utter futility! [havel havalim] All is futile! [ha-kol havel] Continue reading Breishit: Something to Notice