Results tagged “knowledge” from BNTI Blog

ב ' ח


Genesis Chapter by Chapter

Genesis 3.1 - 24

Individual And Group Accountability - 3


Bereisheit Limood

Weekly Genesis Video 1 and Video 2


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Course Text Begins Here:

We will try to review four areas in Genesis 3.


First  is a discussion on  who the serpent was and does the serpent pose danger today as then?  We discuss why the serpent was NOT Suton / Satan, i.e. the devil. We discuss the role the Creator has mapped out for Suton.


Bereisheit 3.1

 וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן:  ב


Genesis 3.1

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made... And he said to the woman, Has God said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?


Let's compare  עָרוּם the word subtil... clever to עֲרוּמִּים naked. The plural for  subtil... clever... is עֲרוּמִּים which is also the spelling for naked. STOP! Who was naked? They were both naked. What is the point? עֲרוּמִּים naked is plural for  עָרוּם subtil... clever... 


Bereisheit 2.25

 וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יִתְבּשָׁשׁוּ:


Genesis 2.25

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


The point is that they were naked... they were exposed... they were uncovered... Yet could they have been subtle... clever... shrewd... crafty...prudent... deliberate... foxy...?



Second is a discussion on accountability. Who is accountable for taking the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?  

Is the Serpent responsible? 

Is Eve / Chavah responsible?

Is Adam responsible?

Are all responsible?


Adam was present for the entire conversation.


Bereisheit 3.1-5

וְהַנָּחָשׁ הָיָה עָרוּם מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן:  ב וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־הַנָּחָשׁ מִפְּרִי עֵץ־הַגָּן נֹאכֵל:  ג וּמִפְּרִי הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֹךְ־הַגָּן אָמַר אֱלֹהִים לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא תִגְּעוּ בּוֹ פֶּן תְּמֻתוּן:  ד וַיֹּאמֶר הַנָּחָשׁ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לֹא־מוֹת תְּמֻתוּן:  ה כִּי יֹדֵעַ אֱלֹהִים כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְכֶם מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִפְקְחוּ עֵינֵיכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם כֵּאלֹהִים יֹדְעֵי טוֹב וָרָע:  ו 


Genesis 3.1-5

 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman [WIFE], Has God Said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, surely you shall not die; For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 


Should we consider the serpents choice and number of Words? YES! Why? Nothing is by chance. The serpent was subtle... clever... shrewd... crafty...prudent... deliberate... foxy...? The number of Words are highlighted in Yellow. The serpent spoke 26 Words to the Wife of Adam. The Gematria of Yud Kay Vav Kay. This is the Gematria of the Holy Name of the Lord.  


י ה ו ה


י10  -  ה5  -  ו6  -  ה5  = 26

Chavah did not stop the conversation with the serpent.  Chavah did not use her authority over the serpent. Chavah listened. Chavah reasoned. Chavah did not consult with her husband.


Genesis 3.6

And when the woman [WIFE] saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate, and gave also to her husband with her; and he ate. 


1. The Wife saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was good for food...

2. The Wife saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was pleasant to the eyes

3. The Wife saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a tree to be desired to make one wise,


Adam did not stop the conversation. Adam did not intervene. Adam did not use his authority over the serpent. Adam listened. Adam watched. Adam did not consult with his wife nor advise her. 'Chavah took, i.e. she stole of its fruit, and ate, and gave also to her husband with her; and he ate. 


Each are individually responsible and each are responsible as a group. Ha Torah is Teaching individual responsibility and group responsibility it this life story.


This should raise many questions about human and group behavior. Should Adam her husband spoke up? Should he have intervened? Should he have done something? Ha Torah does not say, Adam saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was good for food... or that  Adam saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was pleasant to the eyes or that Adam saw that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a tree to be desired to make one wise.  Adam was standing right there with Chavah. Chavah's eyes were opened first. She realized that she was naked first. Yet, Chavah gave to Adam and he ate of the forbidden fruit. He ate of the stolen fruit. 


Dear one, this is exactly how each of us are. We know better. We know what we should be doing. We know that what we are about to do is wrong yet, we do it anyway... 


Third we discuss clothing.

There is NO PLACE in The Bible that says The Lord God sacrificed animals to cover Adam and Chavah. The Bible does not say anything about the Lord God shedding the blood of any animal. 'The Lord God made coats of skins, and clothed them.'  The Lord God took the skin of the serpent and combined that with the wool of sheep and goats to provide coats for Adam and Chavah.   עוֹר Ohr means skin.



Bereisheit 3.21

 וַיַּעַשׂ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתּוֹ כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם: פ 


Genesis 3.21

For Adam and for his wife the Lord God made coats of skins, and clothed them. 


In Chapter 1 we learned about אֶת־הָאוֹר 'The Lord's Revealed light through the 613 Observances of Ha Torah. We discussed the Word אוֹר Ohr meaning Light. When Adam and Chavah sinned their Glorious Shekinah which covered them departed. leaving them unclothed... The aura... the light... the shekinah they once enjoyed was now gone. In place of the Ohr / Light the Lord God made coats of עוֹר skins, and clothed them. 


Our Sages Teach that one may interchange the Letters א Aleph and ע Ayin. When we interchange the Letter Aleph for Ayin in  אוֹר Ohr meaning Light it becomes  עוֹר skins. The Gematria changes from 207 to 276. The difference between them is 69. אוֹר Ohr is a Spiritual cover.  עוֹר Ohr is a skin covering. אוֹר Ohr represents a nearness to The Lord. עוֹר Ohr represents a greater distance from The Lord God. This is the result of our parents sin. סוּג Soog means to withdraw, to retreat, to move back, to recede. The Gematria of   סוּג Soog is 69.


 סוּג

Soog / withdraw, to retreat, to move back,

ס60 ו6 ג3 = 69




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Rebbetzin Revi's Reflections


Equanimity versus Agitation

Acceptance of the Present Moment


By Rebbetzin Brachah Rivkah Belk

 

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Man's soul is the L-rd's lamp, which searches out all the innermost parts. Mishlei (Proverbs)20.27

 

Equanimity is a state of mental or emotional stability or composure arising from a deep awareness and acceptance of the present moment.

 

When the mind is settled man has free choice and the control over his spirit to take the time to focus his thoughts upon exercising his sovereignty over his animal spirit and to device strategies that activate or restrain his animal spirit for his personal benefit in this world and in the World to come.  Cheshbon ha Nefesh Rabbi Mendel of Santanov page109

 

My son, keep the commands of your father, and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.  Bind them always upon your heart, tie them upon your neck.  When you walk, it shall lead you; when you lie down, it shall guard you, and when you awaken, it shall speak for you.  For a Commandment is a Candle, and the Torah is Light, and disciplining rebukes are the way of life;  Mishlei (Proverbs) 6.20-23

 

Acceptance of the present moment.

 

What a goal that is and extremely daunting.  To have true freedom of choice we must be able to control our emotions so that we can choose the correct path to take in any circumstance.  Each and every moment of our lives is a Gift from our Creator.  What we do with that gift is our choice.  We often look back over times in our lives where in certain circumstances we wish we had made better choices.  The past is the past and that cannot be changed.  We can, however  begin a new path that will G-d Willing be full of better choices.

 

Let's take a look at equanimity.

 

Equanimity in Hebrew is menuchat hanefesh.  This phrase literally means settling of the soul.  When life throws multiple curve balls and when things don't go as planned or expected we can react horribly, allowing anger and frustration to control us and getting caught up in the drama of being busy, stressed and challenged.  The story of Noah and the flood (Noah's name comes from the same route as menucha, resting or settling.) provides some insight.  The raging flood waters represent the unpredictability of life.  We can be caught up in the craziness and the drama of these waters and possibly drown, or we can be in the ark, rising above them and, from that perspective, have a more powerful effect in the world and with those around us.  Equanimity is the quality of being able calmly to take all that life throws at us in our stride. 

 

Most of us are so accustomed to our own reactions to different situations, so defined even, by our anger, impatience or arrogance and we think that our patterns of behavior are just who we are and we cannot really change

 

The soul that inhabits our body has its work defined for it from the beginning, there is a known quantity to the lessons that this soul needs to learn in its lifetime and that every day is going to throw us opportunities to work on this, yet we have absolute free choice in how we respond to what we get. 

 

From the ten Sefirot the soul derives its corresponding ten soul-powers, all of which have names identical to the Sefirot.

 

(Keter - Crown; Subconsious)

 

[INTELLECTUAL]

Chochmah - Wisdom; Conception; Seminal Point; the Aha Moment; Lightning

Binah - Understanding; Comprehension; Articulation; Building; Expansion

(Daat - Knowledge; Attachment; Application; Internalization)

 

[EMOTIONAL]

Chesed - Kindness; Love; Giving; Attraction

Gevurah - Strength; Restraint; Discipline; Judgment

Tiferet - Beauty; Harmony; Empathy; Mercy

 

[FUNCTIONAL]

Netzach - Victory; Ambition; Fortitude

Hod - Splendor; Devotion; Humility

Yesod - Foundation; Bonding

Malchut - Kingdom; Royalty

 

We won't be studying these - they are included so that going forward we will have a reference if needed.  Let's continue our journey, the path through the garden of our soul.  We need a bit more study on equanimity to ensure we have a solid foundation to walk on.

 

Blessings and Peace

 

Rebbetzin Revi


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