Beginnings and endings are significant

As we gain new experiences and learn every day so does the confrontation of reading the Torah every year again from beginning to end, which makes us discover each time some new things, making us grow in our Bible knowledge.

Beginnings and endings are significant. This is true in the Torah as well.

writes Karen Miller Jackson in “Simchat Torah: Celebrating Torah!

Every year we have to face that we went from one day into another. Each year we are placed in the reality of life:  Sukkot reminds us that we as human beings are just a little ball rolling on this earth. We are reminded that really we own nothing, though we may think we have so many things. Everything around us is just something which is there but not going to be there for us forever. Once we die, everything that we gathered throughout our lifetime shall not be ours anymore. In death we can do nothing with anything we gathered during our lifetime.

During days like we have at the High holidays, we are reminded that our lives are fragile and transient, even our houses and possessions are really shacks that could blow down and this is OK because God is in control, not us.

On Simchat Torah we complete the Torah when we read parshat Vezot Habracha and then begin again with sections of Bereshit.
{Simchat Torah: Celebrating Torah!}

“The Feast of the Rejoicing of the Law at the Synagogue in Leghorn, Italy,” Solomon Alexander Hart, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

During the holiday of Simchat Torah (שִׂמְחַת תורָה which literally means: “The happiness or rejoicing with /of the Torah”), many Jews will be gathering and dancing energetically around in circles with Torah scrolls in their communities following their evening and morning synagogue services, in celebration of the Torah (Five Books of Moses).

We are so pleased that we may have received the most precious Words. More than once we have read them from the first letter to the last, and then over again. And every year we open our eyes and ears, to learn again new things.

King Solomon set a precedent for celebrating a “siyum,” completion of a book or the entire Torah. The midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1:9) teaches that King Solomon awoke from a dream having acquired great wisdom which he had requested, so he celebrated with great joy and thanksgiving.

This early source for celebrating the completion of the Torah on Simchat Torah highlights the importance of acquiring Torah wisdom as well as personalizing, innovating and ultimately celebrating our relationship with Torah. {Simchat Torah: Celebrating Torah!}

It is a day in the year when we want to express special gratitude for the chochmot and tevunah or wisdom and understanding God wants to put at our disposal. It is incredible how God’s Word has stood the test of time and fed generations of people with ‘inhuman’ wisdom. It has been spread all over the world and reached all sorts of people.

Though every year we are confronted again with similar facts, co-related events, again difficulties we do have to overcome, good and bad news, again finding the readings from the beginning or Bereshith, we learn to find new things in what we have read already so many times. That is precisely a very good school of learning, to be obliged each time to shed new light on what was supposed to be known. Such cycles that we may go through during our lives enrich us on many levels.

The Ten Commandments Project, with biblelifestudies born and raised in Los Angeles, California, questions

Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?

and brings us

A Simchat Torah Tale

The site looks at the physical Torah scroll, not its words, and considers it might perhaps give some answers to our inquiry. It explaines

the scroll or parchment made of animal skin is connected to two wooden holders that are called “eitz hayim.” over the course of the year, the scroll is moved or rolled forward. eventually, most of the parchment is placed upon one side. at that point, one holder literally has the entire weight of the torah. {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

Then it goes on looking at the moment when we take up the Torah scrolls high up in the air. At the hagbah, when  the Torah is shown to the whole congregation, the person performing the hadbah has one hand on each of the respective holders, which is not always easy to keep it in balance,

the person lifting struggles to maintain balance and hold it steady. the congregation emotionally shares in this struggle. any visible strain by the lifting is appreciated. there is concern. no one wants to see the torah to drop to the ground. with this event, the service takes the feel of a roller coaster ride. a collective anxiety is present for that short moment. {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

Having reached the end of the scroll with the readings, one knows that in doing so, there is no end to reading through that infallible Word that provides us with spiritual nourishment daily.

When the torah is begun anew with the epic “in the beginning” or “breshit barah elohim,” the torah service is again confronted with the hagbah that has a serious imbalance problem. the weight is now on the future readings rather that the past. when the torah is lifted for hagbah again, the same anxiety and concern is present. it is the same imbalance. {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

This might remind us that it is not always so easy to have our life in balance. With both beginnings and ends, we suffer from imbalance and pachad or anxiety. an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness. Throughout the year so many things happen which demand our attention, we have births, graduations, weddings, and retirements which are events that are cause for celebration. The writer of the project thinks those celebrations

are to cover up for the imbalance and anxiety felt during these moments. there is uncertainty. the past has concluded and that story is over. a new and unknown story will proceed. {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

But such positive occasions need not throw us off balance at all. On the contrary, they can strengthen us and make us see the positive side of life. It is different with confrontations during the year that do pull us off balance, such as work not going as it should, illness and death among those we love. These can even get us very upset.

To be on the safe side, we may trust that when uncertainties occur in our lives, which certainly happens, there is always that confidential Word of God that gives us the necessary yiutz or etzah (counsel or advice) to get through all difficulties.

The Ten Commandments Project, wonders

one may ask, if the torah is merely going to be re-read over the next year, why should there be any imbalance or anxiety. after all, we know the story. we know where it will go. one answer is that, while the story remains the same, we don’t. {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

Not one year is the same as the previous one. We also should not be surprised when we encounter some difficulties throughout the year that comes.
How many times do we have to go through trials or face seemingly insurmountable issues?

As we grow up, we set goals, but during the course of one year, those expectations are not always met. It takes several years before the goals we hope to achieve are actually achieved. The vast majority of the time, we set our expectations way too high and can hardly help but be discouraged about it because we do not achieve our goal that year.

Throughout the year, we are bound to encounter things we don’t like or even suffer from. But that itzavon (suffering) should make us stronger. We grow through such experiences. And if we cannot cope on our own, there is God’s Word to help us on our way and to overcome those difficulties.

We should certainly not be discouraged, as we should be strong and draw in our faith from that provided Word of God that gives us all kinds of possible solutions.

Every day we are confronted not only with ourselves but also with what is happening around us in a constantly changing world, where in many cases events are determined by people who are not committed to God or commandments.

As we gain new experiences and learn every day; as we reread Torah texts, we can still observe new things here and there that can make us think further so that we discover even more new things and grow in our Bible knowledge.

our lives and our life challenges have changed. with this, our perspectives have changed. thus, we are reading the text through a new pair of lenses. we can see new and different things with reach reading.

with the end and the new journey, the conclusion of reading the torah, the congregation says “hazak, hazak, ve-nithazek”, “be strong, be strong and may we be strengthened.”

is this need to be strong arise from the fact that we experience anxiety and imbalance when we approach beginnings and endings? {Are Beginnings & Endings The Same?}

+

Preceding

Best to read and study the Bible

End of Summertime and the Time of introspection.

A celebration of harvest, and of thanksgiving for the provision God has given

Feast of Tabernacles 2021 – Israeli Guest Night

Setting Up the Sukkah Today 🍋🌿

Hidden Presence

Looking forward to Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Rabbi Aaron Bergman’s Simchat Torah message 2022/5783

A House for God in our 21st century

++

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One thought on “Beginnings and endings are significant

  1. Pesach all about removing משל\נמשל the tumah חמץ\avoda zarah. What best defines avoda zarah? Forbidden מלאכה. Clear as the sun in the sky on a cloudless Summer Day, Shabbot serves as a precedent to all the Yom Tov observances based upon forbidden מלאכה. What does this have to do with Pesach?

    The enslavement of Israel by Par’o and Egypt constitutes as forbidden מלאכה like as does theft, oppression, ערוה, and bribery of judges! A completely different set of forbidden מלאכות. Based upon the Tree of Good and Evil. Shabbat has a set of forbidden מלאכות and Chol as a different set of forbidden מלאכות. Just as on shabbat, permitted to do מלאכה, like moving a couch from one floor of your house to another floor. So too on chol, the Torah commands to do מלאכות, required to work and make a living.

    Pesach Jews dedicate not to do/behave toward other Jews in a manner as did Par’o toward Israel. Hence the 39 “forbidden labors” which define Shabbat observance, to not do forbidden מלאכות … so too and how much more so the 6 days of Chol … equally applicable, not to do the forbidden מלאכות, measured by which Par’o enslaved Israel in Egypt. Ya cannot dedicate the one without equally dedicating the other.

    Rosh HaShanna judges the commitment to keep the brit relationship. Yom Kippur judges the generations of our People as a whole. Moshe & Aaron & Miriam, for example, could not enter the land of Israel because his generation died in the Wilderness. Their life destiny tied to that of their generation.

    The Goyim religions have no such depth. Their primitive/barbaric cult of personality of Moshiach/messiah – utter and complete narishkeit. For over 2000+ year Jews have informed Goyim of their false messiah error. The notion that the Moshiach builds the Beit HaMikdosh/temple, exists as only a משל/metaphor. The prophet Natan obeyed direct Torah commandments, he commanded David not to copy Egyptian and Canaanite cultures and customs and build some silly Catholic Cathedral! Israel did not come out of Egyptian slavery to worship God – not in a tent and nor in a damned Cathedral! Israel came out of Egypt for the direct purpose to conquer the lands of Canaan and rule these lands with justice. That’s the whole of the brit faith, end of story.

    The fancy halachic ritualism practiced by Judaism, its garments of religion, confuse simple Yidden just as does the mystery of church dogmatism baffles Goyim minds. Israel did not come out of Egyptian slavery to become Frumkeit religious, and wear beaver hats and long black coats. Israel came out of Egypt, accepted the revelation of the Torah in order to establish this Torah as the concrete Constitution of the Israelite Republic of Tribes, in the conquered lands of Canaan.

    Prior to the revelation of the Torah, יתרו/Jethro rebuked Moshe, “you cannot judge this People alone by yourself; set up courts of law”. The law court common law system which Moshe established, as seen through his final mitzva, before he passed from this world, a lateral common law court system. Not till the American revolution did Goyim attempt to establish a lateral legal system, by means of establishment of jury trials.

    The simple 3-man Torts Court breaks down into appointing 2 of the Court justices to function as both prosecutor and defence attorney. The Capital Crimes Sanhedrin courtrooms equally divided. The opposing judges attempt to persuade one another to switch sides, similar to jury duty. If at the conclusion of the case – the Court remains divided – then the Nasi of the Court makes the final ruling. The States of the American Republic originally sent Representatives to Congress to likewise work out majority coalitions among the States of the Union in order to pass Bills through Congress. The idea that Political Parties would overshadow and dominate individual State interests never occurred to the Founding Fathers. That “Party discipline” over-rules the interests of the States who sent their Representatives to Congress, utterly absurd, similar to the false messiah that Goyim worship as God.

    An initial equal division of court justices into prosecution and defence matches the picture of an opposing set of scales. A lateral court judges do not receive any salary from the State. All Goyim courts exist as vertical courts, the State “bribes” their (owned) Justices and (owned) Prosecuting Attorneys, by paying their salaries.

    Fair compensation for damages inflicted, committed through negligence or with intent, a simple definition for righteous justice. In Capital Crimes cases: measure for measure means life for life. Just that simple. Justice requires simplicity because compensation for pain and suffering should occur while the victim directly feels pain and suffering – not 30 years after the fact, as commonly defines the American appellate court system today.

    Justice requires compensations paid directly to the victim. Not to enrich the treasury of the State or prosecuting or defence attorneys — who profit from extended long drawn-out nightmare trials. Like any opposing team competition, a trial has a set time: beginning and end; not an end, followed by a retrial, retrial, retrial etc. A Capital Crimes Case that comes to a split court decision, the Torah rests with the final decision authority given to the Nasi of the Court. Just that simple.

    Herein defines the נמשל of the משל of the mitzva of Moshiach and the building of the משל Beit HaMikdosh. Justice depends not upon a building a building, constructed of wood and stones, nor a glorified Tent in the desert with a brass & golden altar. Justice depends upon rationally determining the value and amount of damages inflicted, and compelling the guilty party to compensate the injured party for damages inflicted.

    Limited to the times Jews rule the conquered lands of Canaan, herein defines the mitzva of Moshiach for all generations of Israel. During the 40 years of the Wilderness generation of exile, Moshe did not establish the Great/Small Federal Sanhedrin court system. Just as the Sanhedrin has no jurisdiction outside the borders of Israel today, so to Yidden cannot keep and observe Torah commandments לשמה in g’lut/exile.

    Moshe anointed the House of Aaron as Moshiach, not to burn animals upon a brass altar – a משל, but to commit and swear the nation to the oath of the brit faith: Justice Justice pursue – the נמשל. Two ways the Torah permits the generations of Israel to swear a Torah oath, to cut or renew the oath brit faith. The first option: bring a korban sacrifice with the intension to swear a Torah oath. The 2nd option: to stand before a Sefer Torah. Tefillah “”Amidah”” in the place of korbanot. An explicit ruling found in the Gemara of ברכות. In a beit knesset a Yid “”stands”” before a Sefer Torah when he “swears” ברכות/blessings – the Shemone Esrei.

    Blessings, toldot/offspring\ of oaths. The Gemara in both tractates Shabbat and Baba Kama affirms that the toldot follow after the Avot. Swearing a Torah oath requires k’vanna, just as knowing what means the intent of שם ומלכות. Translating words accomplishes nothing, because the ברכת כהנים, קריא שמע, ותפילה all lack שם ומלכות, yet all three define a blessing as opposed to saying Tehillem. Parshat Noach teaches that the floods brought a Shoah to all bnai brit civilizations – due to peoples’ lack of fear of Heaven. They swore false oaths in courts of law because they despised justice, much like American politicians permit a corrupt voting process in the US democracy today.

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