TheHOPE ~ התקווה
The New Vision 
for Israel & Zion


"Re-GENESIS NOW" Project - PREFACE & INTRODUCTION

Dr. yitzhaq Hayut-Man 24.01.2010 13:16
"Re-GENESIS NOW" Project - PREFACE & INTRODUCTION - Bible study - Book of Genesis - Future Bible


Introduction: Genesis as Prophetic Book and Guide for Re-Biography



     "Re-Genesis Now" Project
               Introduction: Genesis as Prophetic
                Book and Guide for Re-Biography
                                                    By Dr. Yitzḥak Ḥayut-Man
 
Contents:
Preface
Preface to the English version
Introduction:
The worlds and Chronicles of the Genesis versions
When was the Book of Genesis written?
Genesis Numerology
The fractal pattern of the Torah

Preface:
The question that guided me in this book is whether the Torah (the Bible on the whole and the Book of Genesis in particular) contains guidance how to solve the existential questions of the contemporary renewed Israel and the problems that threaten all humankind.

"There are seventy faces to the Torah" said the sages, and left us hundreds of Midrashim (exegetic interpretations). Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity – and to a large extent Islam – are actually based on Midrashim to the Torah. Following the spreading of these religions, which have affected history, human history has become to a large extent a product of Torah exegesis, or that history itself formed other layers of exegesis and Midrash for the Torah. The Midrash that we offer in this book is special among all the Midrashim in being "A New Israeli Midrash". While it is supported by over two thousand years of Jewish Midrashim (and it also relates to the Christian and Moslem Exegesis that are found at the basis of these religions), it issues from the conception that the Torah was destined to be renewed in the Hebrew-speaking Israel. In fact, this Midrash may be seen as "Midrash of Shem and Ẹver" (עבר) that strives to expose the Hebrew (Ịvrit, עברית) meaning (Mashma'ut) of the Genesis text.

As we shall see in the introduction, the torah is not written in past tense, but in an "inverted future tense" that represents the extra-temporal order of hayah-hoveh-veyiheyeh – "was-is-and-will-be". The interpretations offered to the Book of Genesis by the different religions and sects have become, as noted, a part of the ensemble. It is nowadays possible, and possibly necessary, to regard the Book of Genesis as a prophetic history-forming book with a special message for our times and not just a book of past history.
 
This Midrash Bereshit (Genesis) uncovers several deep structures in the Torah, some of which have not been discovered till now, which allow in our opinion to expose the true original intention of the text. Among other things, there is reference to a basic layer of patterns that is at times built upon symbolic numbers. This does not mean the "Bible codes" of equal "skips" (that seem to us baseless) or the popular promotion of a book of "The Moses Code" (that seems to us to be nonsensical), but to symbolic number codes, much like Pythagorean procedure (contemporaries of the editing of the Torah) and later Neo-Pythagorean (contemporaries of the estimated writing of Sefer Yeẓirah {the Book of Formation}, whose principles will be mentioned in the sequel). Also we employed a limited usage of Gematria (assigning of numerical value to the letters of words - a practice often used by the sages, and especially the Qabbalah), but especially Gematria that have geometric meaning, which gives a validation that is often lacking in common Gematria.
 
Since it seems clear that not every reader feels comfortable with mathematical or geometrical treatment of the text, most of the mathematical insights were relegated to appendices. In other places are given guidance where to skip.

One "Midrash Shem veẸver" that serves our Re-Genesis exegesis is the interpretation of the Parashot (pericopes – the weekly portions of the Pentateuch read in the Shabbat (Sabbath) service in the synagogue) according to the name (shem) of the Parashah. That name is taken as a code that holds the major meaning of the Parashah.
 
This book started in lessons on the weekly portions in the Yakar community in Jerusalem and continued by writing comments and gathering of insights for well over 15 years. Many sections have been presented in the Internet and received at times criticism and comments from readers. I owe special thanks to Dr. Asher Eder. Most thanks are due to my wife, Tirtsah Arzi that the book would not have been written without her excellent editing.

I owe thanks for nurturing sensitivity for patterns to my distinguished teachers, professor Ạri Jabotinsky, Buckminster Fuller, Professor Christopher Alexander, Julius Stulman and Professor Gordon Pask and to my friend John Michell. Thanks to Rabbi Mordekhay Attiyah, Professor Moshe Idel and to Asher Madar who opened for me gates to the Qabbalah. Special thanks are conveyed to Rabbi Ạdin Even Yisra'el (Steinsalz) who opened to me the window to the wisdom of the Torah through the teachings of the Alte Rebbe of Chabad (ḤaBaD). If we have gained some Torah innovations (Ḥidushe Torah), this is mainly through their merit.


Preface for the English version
Serious Bible scholars have long realized that no one can find the deeper meaning of the scriptures without knowing something about their Hebrew originals and origins. As an example, Sir Isaac Newton studied Hebrew in order to understand the dimensions of Solomon's Temple and Ezekiel's visionary temple[1], these as means to understand the dimensions of the earth and of outer space (heaven).
 
Jesus did not speak English [2] (and probably neither Greek), he spoke Hebrew and Aramaic. There is nowadays a growing "Hebrew Roots" movement that attends to Hebrew clues even for the understanding of the Christian Bible. Many use the Biblical Hebrew Dictionary of the late professor James Strong (1822-1894).[3]  From the living Hebrew perspective, these attempts are in the right direction, yet many of them just scratch the surface, and even Strong's work is too weak for the task. There are layers upon layers of meaning and a peculiar flexibility in the Hebrew text, accessible almost only to fluent native Hebrew speakers.
 
Part of the glory of the re-emergence of Israel in the modern era is the restoration of the Hebrew language as a living language that serves as its cultural infrastructure. Admittedly, this often profanes the Holy Language, yet it also breeds lovers of Hebrew who connect most intimately with the Hebrew Scriptures and resonate with its peculiar clues.
 
This edition thus often draws terms back to their Hebrew origins and transliterates them (much in agreement with the transliteration rules of the Israel Academy of the Hebrew Language) quite differently than is commonly offered in most English versions of the Bible, in particular with Biblical names. We put such transliterated words in italics and often bring the Hebrew letters as well, because many of our interpretations depend on Hebrew "word games" and letter permutations which are lost in translation. Admittedly, this can make our text rather cumbersome for some readers. So we tried to avoid excessive pedantry and bring such transliterations just once or twice in each chapter. Noting that the Biblical Hebrew script is made only of the consonants and very often does not include the vowel letters, and that the Hebrew insights are based on the letters of the text (which could be pronounced in a number of ways by assuming different vowels) – we often bring the transliterated words and names in capital letters and the interposed vowels in small regular script. This is particularly so in case of Hebrew abbreviation words made of the initial letters of the words of an expression[4].  Again, this could render the text cumbersome, and we'll try to put it just once or twice in a chapter.

 
Introduction:

Since the Giving of the Torah, the religions that are connected with and are nourished by it have put the Torah at the center. For thousands of years no one disputed its stories in theory or deed.
 
Only by the 18th century, when the sciences developed and new discoveries were being made about the world, and geological and biological evidence about the development of the universe in the course of millions and billions of years seemed to contradict the story of creation found in the Book of Genesis, there fell a mortal blow upon the simple belief in the Torah, among Christians and Jews alike. Also the modern historical and textual research which sought evidence that the scriptures of the Jews and of the Christians were edited and re-edited for many years after the date accepted by tradition have added to undermining the authority of the scriptures, the Torah included.

So what, then, is the Torah?

Is it an ancient literary text, which still merits to be read even today, because its literary-psychological value is still valid? Is it a sacred scripture, transcending human understanding and mediating between the human mind and the Infinite? (as claims, for example, the Chabad (ḤaBaD חב"ד) doctrine).
 
Should we regard the Torah as the cultural-folkloristic background upon which Judaism and Christianity (and to some extent also the Koran) grew? Or perhaps, as the traditional exegesis claims – a means for creating and renewing the world: "The Torah says: I have been the tool of the Creator... the Holy One, Blessed be He was looking at the Torah and creating the world" (Bereshit Raba 1:1).
 
Whereas we shall present an approach which includes all the approaches listed above, and connects them. True, we shall claim, the Torah has served human needs in the past, and had a decisive influence - for good and also for bad - upon human history. But its major importance and possible influence is reserved for the future, from our generation and onwards.
 
This approach will also settle the apparent contradiction between the prophecies "a new Torah will issue from Me" (Isaiah 51:4), as well as "for out of Ẓion will Torah issue forth" (Isaiah 2:3, Micha 4:2), where the emphasis is on the future mode: the Torah has not yet issued forth from Ẓion, but it will, and between the principles of faith of Maimonides, which Judaism has been receiving as its principles, including "that all the Torah which we now have is what was given to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him" and "that this Torah will not be superseded and there will be no other Torah from the blessed Creator".
 
Our claim is that the same Torah which is with us for many generations may be rediscovered in our times as a new Torah which our forefathers have never imagined, and that this new understanding will lead to a new creation, for which humankind will be a full partner.

Also among traditional interpreters we can find clues and references to radical innovations that will be discovered in the future, which for them was very distant, whereas for us it may turn into the present time.
 
In the Likutei Amarim of the Magid of Mezerich it is written about "for new Torah will issue from Me", that the Torah is (like) a whole stature (of a man) - skin and flesh, ligaments (gidim) and bones. The skin is called the shell of the Torah, and flesh in the manner (as was said) that whoever tires himself (in studying Torah) tastes the taste of beef, and ligaments (gidim) in the manner (as written) "vayaged lahem" (and he told them), that he told them judgments that are hard as ligaments. And bones (ạtsamot עצמות) means that the essence (ạtsmiyut עצמיות) of the Torah has not yet been discovered. For the whole of the Torah is gleaned from saintly people, from Adam and the Fathers and Moses, that (the Lord) has bestowed his presence (Shekhinah) upon their actions. And this is the whole Torah. But the lucidity of the essence (of the Torah) has not yet been discovered until the Messiah comes and the people will understand the clarity of its essence (ạtsmiyut). And this is "a New Torah from Me", namely my essence. And this is what Ezekiel prophesied, that he saw the future reconstruction and said "will these bones (ạtsamot) live?", namely the essence (ạtsmiyut) of the Torah..." (According to "Magid devarav le-Ya'ạqov", item 6).
 
Rashi (RaShY, abbr. for, Rabenu shelomoh Yiẓḥaqi), who is considered in Judaism as the greatest of the Torah interpreters, opens his exegesis of the Torah, and the Book of Genesis in particular, with a question that perhaps throws doubt about the relevance of the story of the Creation. "Said Rabbi Yitzḥaq: it was necessary only to start the Torah with "This month is for you.... "(Exodus 12:2), which is the first commandment that Israel were commanded. So why did it start with Bereshit (in the beginning)? ...so that if the nations of the world will come to Israel and tell: you are robbers that you have occupied the lands of seven peoples", Israel will say "the whole earth is the Lord's, He created it.....".

This is actually a very surprising claim, on the background of medieval France, when Rashi lived, when might was right to conquer lands. And here this exegesis assumes an international regime which tries to assess "the legitimate rights" of each nation to their land. For what can this apply if not for our times, and to the bitter conflict between the Jews who return to their ancient land and the current "native people" (Ạm ha'Aretz). So does Rashi hint at the contemporary settlers of Gush Emunim and gives them the moral support to disregard the claims for rights to the Palestinians?
 
But if so, immediately another question rises: if the Book of Genesis is becoming relevant only in our generation, was it at all necessary to educate one hundred generations of Jews upon it before its time?

Let us continue and follow the exegesis of Rashi to the Book of Genesis.
 
After the first two chapters in the book, which incidentally contain two alternative creation stories that we shall return to discuss, appears the story of the Garden of Eden. God prohibits Adam and Eve (Ḥavah) to eat from one of the trees. The serpent (Naḥash) has an explanation for this prohibition, and he relates to Eve: "for God knows that on the day you will it of it and your eyes will be opened and you shall be as God, knowers of good and evil" (Gen. 3:5), "for God knows... from this tree he ate and created the world", and Rashi explains "you shall be as God - producers of worlds". We can of course claim, metaphorically, that each person, at each generation, produces a small world of his own, and that the sum of all human production is the making of an artificial world. But it is only in our generation that there was produced technology that allows the production of entirely new worlds, in the deserts and Polar Regions and under the sea, and on our horizon appears the possibility of producing habitable worlds in outer space and in "terra formed" planets. Moreover, technologically and culturally this generation has produced the great creation (e.g. the Internet) that turns all the people of the earth to a kind of a single "Global Brain".
 
Again we see here, in Rashi's exegesis, a hint of evidence for future Rabbinical Judaism, or the establishment of the Catholic Church, which viewed itself as "the true Israel".

Assuming that the ultimate aim of the exegesis of the Torah is not just for the Jews but to all our contemporaries who choose to relate to the Torah, in the sense of the prophetic "for out of Zion will Torah issue forth", let us examine the meaning of the term "Zion" (and thus Zionism), in the Torah exegesis.
 
In the introduction to the Book of Zohar (Splendor, the major book of Jewish Kabbalah), there is an exegesis on the verse "to plant heaven and found earth and to tell Zion you are my people" (Isaiah 51:16), in which the word Ẓion (Zion) is related to Meẓuyan (excellent) whereas the word Ạmi (My people) is turned into Ịmi (with Me), so that the Zohar interprets: "to tell those..... who are excellent, who create excellent innovations in the Torah: you are with Me. Just as I have created heaven and earth through my words, as is said "with the Word of the Lord heaven was made" (Psalm 33:6), so are you, that with your words of wisdom you have produced new heaven and earth". This can then be understood that the future Zion and future of Zionism, is in the partnership of excellent people to create new heaven and new earth, for the Acts of Creation are going to be present.
 
Let us start, then, with this. We shall base ourselves on the words of the Torah, but shall aspire to produce "a new heaven and a new earth", excellent innovations and calculations, which will allow us (among other things to be discovered in our following treatment) to settle apparent contradictions in the chronology of the creation, contradictions which have distanced many good people from the Torah in face of scientific evidences. We might thus enable well educated contemporaries to return and regard the Torah as a guide and life-teaching, and not just as an interesting vestige of folklore.


The Worlds and Chronicles of the Genesis Versions

Chapters 42 and 43 in Isaiah form Haftarah (portion from the prophets read after the Parashah - weekly portion of the Torah read in the synagogues on Sabbath) for the Parashah of Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8), and not without reason. These two chapters deal with creation, chapter 42 with the creation of heaven and earth and chapter 43 with the formation of Jacob and Israel. As we shall see in the conclusion, the overall movement of the Book of Genesis is between these two creation stories.

Verse 7 in chapter 43 has drawn the attention of the Mequbalim ("Kabbalists", from Qabbalah, literally "reception" or "acceptance"). "All that is called by My name and for My honor, I have created it, formed it even made it". The Qabbalah deduce from this that Creation was accomplished through different levels and different processes: Creation-Bri'ah, Formation-Yeẓirah and Making-Ạssiyah. Moreover, the Kabbalah relates different worlds in which these processes take place: the World of Bri'ah, the World of Yeẓirah and the world of Ạssiyah, with each one separate from the Creator, who surrounds them all and vitalizes them. These "worlds" pertain to the different levels of Being in the human psyche called "Neshamah", "Ru'aḥ" and "Nefesh" which will be clarified in the following. It should be understood that these worlds operate with entirely different time scales.
 
If we thus return to the description of the Creation in Bereshit Raba (see above), according to which the Creator looked at the Torah as a chart or blueprint of a plan and created the world, it is certainly possible to conceive of a situation in which the plans were prepared for millions of years, were kept in "drawers" and were executed in a different time span, be it longer or shorter.
 
For even the production of contemporary humans demands as if "six days of creation", but is really the fruit of plans of millions of years. A human being, who wants to produce something, needs an adequate cognitive scheme. But the cognitive scheme which enables the design is a consequence of the development of the cognitive apparatus - namely the human brain of the designer - through a chemical and biological processes of millions of years, and of cultural developments of thousands of years, which are the basis for the current design which one is about to draw.
 
But it is quite possible that all the discussion above is not valid or just not necessary if we regard also time itself as a created concept that was produced by a certain process. For if Time was created at a certain stage, we cannot ask about the time that passed before Time was created. At most, we could try to check when was time created?
 
The researcher gave us a clue to the process, in that they have divided the life of humankind to history and to pre-history. "History" means "story" (likewise "histoire" in French, "Geschichte" in German and so on), namely - the time since humans learned to tell their story, since they learned to attribute meaning to human existence. This means that "history" is a cultural invention, which requires the existence of several preconditions, the primary of which is memory. Not just the passing memory of a person, but the collective cultural memory, a memory which requires means of recording. The hunters-gatherers did not yet need evidences, and hardly left such behind them. Humankind still needed to discover wheat, develop agriculture, to have permanent settlements, to build cities and to acquire writing.

And here we find that the transition to agriculture - the beginning of the cultivation of wheat - has started in our region, quite likely in the Land of Israel itself, about six thousand years ago (Not coincidentally do Jewish traditions claim that "the fruit of the Tree of Life" was wheat, as we shall discuss in the next chapter). Also the oldest script known to science is from the fourth millennium BCE, namely about six thousand years old.


Let us return then to our Biblical sources according to which the Creation – or more likely, "the expulsion from the Garden of Ẹden" - happened about 5,770 years ago, and we can find that this date corresponds with the creation of the human world - namely the creation of Remembered Time. According to this view, Remembered Time was indeed formulated about six thousand years ago, and there formed a higher dimensional world of space and time, in which humans navigate. It was about six thousand years ago when there sprouted the germs of the questions about good and evil and of the meaning of human life on earth. And the trees, the Trees of Knowledge, which grew from these germs, are growing till our own generation, and the need for an answer is becoming ever more pressing and even desperate.

More that it is a historical narrative - the Biblical story is the story of this reverberating question, and of its possible answer. This is the first question, which God presents to Adam, when calling him "Where are you?" (3:9).
 
Let us thus clarify for ourselves where are we in the works of the Creation.
 
According to the traditional concept, according to which (Psalm 90:2) "for a thousand years are onto Thee like one day that passes..", or as it was formulated in the New Testament (2 Peter 3:8) "one day is like a thousand years in the eyes of God, and a thousand years like one day" - we are still within the process of the Six Days of Genesis.
 
We can find further traditional support for this parallel - between each Day of Creation and a thousand years - in the exegesis of rabbi Moshe the Darshan of Narbonne, whom Rashi often quotes. In his Midrash called Bereshit Rabati he attributes the building of the two temples - which were built and destroyed during the fourth millennium of the Hebrew calendar - to the fourth day of Creation, in which the luminaries were created: "And God made the two great lights (1:16) – these were the First and the Second Temple, which were greater than the Tabernacle… "And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day" – the building of the Temples and their destruction were in the fourth millennium". In the Qabbalah (which appeared in Israel at the beginning of the sixth millennium) this historical account, according to which we are now in the sixth millennium, is widely accepted.
 
Therefore, living as we do in the sixth millennium of the Hebrew calendar, we are now at the sixth day of Creation - the "Day" of "the Creation of Adam". This is the time of "Let us make Mankind" (Gen. 1:26)na'ạse Adam – and actually the time when we all "Let us become Adam" – Ne'ạse Adam.[5]
  
And since we are now at the stage of the Creation of Adam – the unified humankind - we must consider the case of the Trees of Knowledge and of Life, and the punishment which they may entail - not as a past event, but as a real contemporary threat. In the following we shall discuss this very momentous possibility.

But we shall discuss not just this possibility, but also to what is implied by the Talmudic saying "the world exists for six thousand years and for one destroyed..." (tractate Rosh haShanah page 38), namely to the traditions that envision the Times of the Messiah and the End of Days to the end of the six thousand years. Or alternatively, to the tradition which envisions the end of the six thousand years as the transition from Ọlam haZeh (this World) to Ọlam haBa (the World to Come) - which is a world of different, and finer, human and spiritual attributes.
 
An ancient Kabbalah book, Sefer haTemunah (Book of the Picture) elaborates on the discussion of the alternative worlds. Continuing from the clue of the Midrash that God "creates worlds and destroys them" (Bereshit Raba 3:9) - or according to another version "first it came in (the Creator's) thought to create the world with the attribute of Judgment (Midat haDin), and (then) He saw that the world cannot endure and He preceded with the attribute of Mercy (Midat haRaḥamim) and joined it with the attribute of Judgment (Bereshit Raba 12:15) - the Sefer haTemunah develops a system of "Sabbaticals" (Shemitot): cycles of worlds which exist for seven thousand years and then are replaced by other worlds.[6]
 
The Qabbalah accepted - in its doctrine of the Sephirot (ten Divine attributes) - this division to seven thousand years cycles as a basic construct, and drew a parallel between "the six Sephirot of construction" (Ḥesed, Gevurah, Tif'eret, Netsaḥ, Hod and Yesod) to the six days of creation, and the seventh millennium, which parallels the Sephirah of Malkhut and the Shabbat (Sabbath) to "the Sabbath of the worlds". But there are many discussions in Qabbalah texts concerning the number of Shemitot that preceded the creation of our world. The more common version (which is more expected from a dramatist's perspective) is that we are on the threshold of the seventh world, which is made like its predecessors from cycles of seven thousand years, thus this version estimates the age of the world by forty-two thousand years.
 
But the Qabbalah holds still greater surprises for these times: Rabbi Yiẓḥak of Acre, a contemporary of Moses de Leon at the 13th century, has developed calculations which present the age of the universe much like the latest astronomical estimates.
 
In his book Oẓar haḤayim which was discovered only recently,[7]  Rabbi Yiẓḥak builds a Kabbalistic calculation according to the sentence we brought before "... for a thousand years are in Thine eyes like a day....". Thus 42,000 years, which were already agreed by his predecessors in the Kabbalah (six cycles of seven thousand years) X 1000 (since we are considering the years of the Creator) X 365 days in each such divine year = 15,330,000,000 of our years - that is, a bit over 15 billion, which accords with current scientific calculations regarding the time of "the Big Bang" (for example, Steven Hawkins, in his book "A Short History of Time" dates the age of the universe between ten and twenty billion years).

So here is, thus, "a scientific fig leaf" for those who shy away from the Torah for being obsolete, or irrelevant, by comparison with modern scientific theories.

However we, in the course of the chapters of this treatise, shall prefer to hold on to the accepted Jewish account, which is used for the Hebrew calendar, and which asserts that almost some six thousand years ago there happened something which is worth commemorating, and which is expected to last for six thousand years, namely: which we are approaching the acme - or alternatively the end - of. As the Talmudic source (Bavly, Sanhedrin 97a) "for six thousand years the world exist.... two thousand years of Tohu (chaos, or bafflement), two thousand years Torah, and two thousand years the Days of the Messiah". We are thus at the close of the "Days of the Messiah". There have already been many Midrashim and explanations about this, and the most detailed and profound is of the GRA – "The Ga'on of Vilna".[8]  The innovation of our new Midrash is that it also considers contemporary technological developments (like the Internet) to which past commentators did not relate.

When was the Book of Genesis written?

So far we have tried to contend with the challenge posed by the scientific-physical research to the authority of the Torah. Can we also contend with the challenge posed by the historic-philological scientific research concerning the authorship of the Torah? Was the whole Torah authored by Moses, as the tradition asserts? Or was it written and by different sects of priest-scribes until the destruction of the First Temple, and its final editing perhaps even in the times of Ẹzra the Scribe (as asserted by Bible criticism, including also by many Israeli scholars)?

For whoever is ready to relate to the work of the Bible critics, there appear considerable claims that the times of the Biblical texts are later than claimed by tradition. But the revulsion is also clear: leaving the sacred scriptures to the operating table of objective textual analysis might kill them. How could a collection of passages written by mere humans be a sacred living instruction? Yet the conception of their co-creation through collective prophetic holy work, in which the holy spirit in the Jerusalem Temple guides the scribes and inspires them to form the multifaceted material out of "the Letters through which Heaven and Earth were formed" and through primal templates, reclaims the Torah and makes it the most exalted allegory of the possibilities of human sacred work.

Let us clarify first how much agreement there may be between the apparently-contradictory assertions. The earlier date is that the whole Torah was written by Moses about 3,500 years ago; whereas the later date is that the Torah was edited in its final form about 2,500 years ago. From our contemporary perspective, the difference is not all that large. In either way it is claimed that the writing and/or editing of the Torah was done right in the middle period - between "the Creation of the World" as we have explained above, and the realization of the purpose of the Torah - the actualization of the six-thousand years "World Plan" of which the Torah is its code. The Torah regards the world, therefore, with two faces, backwards to the far past, and forward to an equally distant future. The scribes of the Torah knew the people among whom they dwelled and recognized that the historic opportunities were still far from enabling the actualization of the ideals which they aspired for. (Whether they were written by Moses or by later temple scribes, the chastisement to the people and the frustration from an immediate and speedy fulfillment of the expectations of the Torah is evident from almost every chapter, and is particularly strong at the Ha'azinu portion (at the end of Deuteronomy).
 
The writing - or editing - of the Torah among the scribes of the temple must have been the very pinnacle of the holy work of Israel. The high status of the scribes is recognized and clearly mentioned in the Torah and the Talmud. The scribes who were copying the Torah were cautioned (Bavly, Ẹruvin 13) that whoever adds or subtracts a single letter is "destroying the whole world", which means that the realization of the very purpose of the world is dependent on the exactness of the writing, and that negligence will bring about the dreaded destruction of the world, for because of it the aim of the Torah may not be actualize. Not only the high priest who entered the innermost place of the temple needed purification and ritual immersion, but even the scribes who copy ordinary Torah scrolls and Mezuzot, so most probably all the more so the priest-scribes who resided deep within the temple sanctuary, far from the people and close to the holy of hollies and the divine inspiration. The Torah descriptions of the giving of the Torah injunctions to Moses at the Mishkan must have been most meaningful for the priest-scribes who were concealed within the temple cells.[9]  The prophetic Holy Spirit which inspired the prophets and the scribes of the first temple, and which is so well described in the books of the prophets, must have been felt especially in and around the temple.

But, as noted, even then, at the golden age of Israel from the times of Moses to the destruction of the first temple, still the People of Israel were not regarded by the Torah and its writer(s) as virtuous and good as they were, but as some kind of raw material (in fact a kind of Ẹrev Rav - "mixed multitudes") that need processing and refinement - according to the patterns set in the Torah, through protracted processes which proceed - as noted - till our own times.

The stories of the Book of Genesis - about the cycles of relationship between God and men and about the patriarchs - were originally composed - and brought to our awareness - with the intention and purpose of serving the rectification of the people and the reconstruction of all humankind. It is this original intention of the Torah which is becoming evident nowadays, which are, as noted, the Sixth Day - the age of the construction of Adam.

And it is through this that we arrive at the possibility of settling the apparent contradiction between the traditional approach - that the whole Torah which is in our hands today was written by Moses - and the approach of Bible criticism according to which the Torah was edited - or even written - in the hands of the first-temple scribes. The settlement of this conflict seems important for preventing contempt of the Torah.
 
Even the sages agree that "the Torah was given scroll by scroll" (Shmot Rabba 5:22), which implies that the scribes had to combine and add them together. If we see these original Megilot (scrolls) as Megalot (revealing) the Word of the Lord, then the editing work of the temple scribes was a kind of Kibbuẓ Giluyim (gathering of revelations; a word-play on Kibbuẓ Galuyot - "the gathering of the exiles") of the words of the Lord to the people of Israel as they had been preserved in the different tabernacles and temples - in the desert, at Shiloh and Nov, in Jerusalem, in Shomron (Samaria) and at Dan. Our approach seeks to integrate between the apparently-contradictory approaches which are current in Israel nowadays - just in the manner that those scrolls did. There are reasons why it is precisely the perspective of the scribes of the first temple that could have made the writing of the Torah to a prophetic holy work which is particularly valid for our times.

If writing about the creation of Adam and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, for example, could intend to herald the approaching Babylonian exile and the gathering of the exiled due after it, then in writing about Noah who builds an ark in which to save the remnant of humankind - they could allegorize their own work, the writing of the Torah (whose place is in the box/holy Ark – Aron haQodesh) – a means that if the worst happen and destruction and exile come – it would remind the people to remember to return in due course (perhaps together with the ten formerly-exiled tribes) to the Land of Israel and to the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Therefore, from our viewpoint, it may be that the version of the Bible criticism will give us a preferred perspective for regarding the Torah as particularly geared for our times – times of the Return to Zion and the resurgence of Israel. The scribes of the temple lived in a period of preparation for the exile and for the re-gathering of the exiles of the First Temple (and a final redaction in the times of Ezra would mean precisely guidance for the reconstruction). It is possible that they themselves could not consciously envision the messages for times well beyond this first Shivat Ẓion (Return to Zion), like the renewal of modern Zionism. But through their entry into the inwardness of the Torah and by being charged with prophetic inspiration (no less than the great prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah), they could penetrate the archetypical and eternal primal patterns of Exile and Redemption, and to aim in their editing work even for the times of the second Shivat Ẓion and of the reconstruction, or rectification, of all of humankind in our times.


According to the most ancient book of Qabbalah – the Sefer Yeẓirah – the Lord created His world through "Sefer, sofer veSipur" (generally "Book, Author and Narrative" – but see next [10]). This creative triad can be read in many ways, and can also be compared with the three versions of the Book of Genesis of Creation-Formation-Making, or its three sagas – of the Descendents of Adam, of No'ah and of Abraham.
 
In the first part we learn of the Sofer – Author, namely God – (creator of the multi-dimensional space) who becomes "YHWH-Elohim" through His contact with Adam; in the second part there are formed and occur the fascinating Sipurim – narratives – about Adam and Eve and the Trees of Life and of Knowledge and the struggles of Cain and Ebel; whereas the third version we are at the Sefar – fringe area – of haỌlam haZeh – This World, which are Sefurim – counted – and measured in its 6,000 years duration.

It is fair to say that the point of view of this Re-Genesis Exegesis is "The Ẓion  Point"[11], namely Jerusalem, and from this point of perception the differences among the twelve main religions of the "Children of Abraham" are seen as repairable.
 

Genesis Numerology

Traditional Jewish exegesis makes much use of Gematria – assigning numerical value to letters of words and then seeing connections between words or expressions of similar numerical values. Researcher Me'ir Bar-Ilan[12] has recently published two books about "Hebrew Numerology", which he presents as a new legitimate approach to the academic Bible studies. Bar Ilan relates to the symbolic value of specific numbers and utterly rejects Gematria and letter skipping.

Our approach is fairly close to that of Bar-Ilan, though it does not abstain from using some Gematria (which is, as noted above, quite common in traditional Midrashic interpretation and constitutes a basic work tool for the Qabbalah in general and of the latter, Lurianic Qabbalah, in particular), but we prefer specific type of Gematria – the "Geometrical Gematria" of "Configurate Numbers" – numbers that have symbolic spatial significance (see below).

The recent fashion of seeking numerical codes and equal skips in the Torah, brought on an avalanche of wisecracks and is likely to give a bad name to the notion of systematic numbers in the Torah that carry meaningful messages. Even Gematria Misrashim is mostly merely recreational, and can purport to prove just about anything, as the sages said: "(matters of) bird sacrifices and menstruation are real corpus of Halakha; (calculations of time) periods and Gematria are condiments to wisdom" (Avot 3:18). But there are authentic numerical codes that were evidently used already when the scriptures were written. The Pythagorean mystery schools, which swore to keep their knowledge secret, were perhaps the visible tip of the secret work of the scribes.

"Sefer Yeẓirah" (that can be regarded as a Pythagorean book) emphasizes the role of Sefirah (counting), the Sefirot (later meaning of Divine emanations, but originally probably ciphers) and Misparim (numbers) in the work of creation (even though it totally abstains from Gematria). The writers and editors of the scriptures were called Sofrim (literally Talliers) and it is reasonable to assume that they took pains to count the verses, words and letters of their books. In the first portion of Genesis, anyway, we shall find many primal patterns, primal templates with which whole worlds were made.
 
The important numbers for our investigation will be "Configurate Numbers", which mark basic geometrical forms made by placing a certain number of tokens (like coins or game tokens) on a (2D) surface in a form such as squares, triangles, hexagons or hexagrams ("stars"), as well as forms in (3D) volume (cube, pyramid, etc.) and even forming hyper-cubes in 4D and 5D hyperspace (which is the basic space that the Sefer Yeẓirah deals with.[13]


The Fractal Pattern of the Torah

According to the Jewish tradition, Adam was created on the first of Tishre, which is the first of the Jewish year. Our New Year day is not a sign for the beginning of the Creation, but we see the beginning in the Sixth Day - the day of the Creation of Adam, the Adam of our image and likeness. Not a Cro-Magnon, not a Neanderthal, not the resident of a paradisiacal garden of nomadic gatherers, but a human being who is concerned with the same problems that beset us to this day.

Ha'Ọlam haZeh, "This World", is thus a human world, with human dilemmas, and not the set of geological structures of billions and millions of years. Nevertheless, we think that there is a certain similarity between the order of cosmic to the order of cultural processes. One is the reflection of the other, even if on a much smaller scale. Like the others in the modern world, we too draw upon examples from the newer sciences to illustrate this.
 
The new approach to the geometry of nature which is connected with the name of Benoit Mandelbrot, called "fractal Geometry"[14] presents - through amazing computer graphics - a law which applies to our case: an overall figure (which in the case of the special mathematical set called "The Mandelbrot Set" looks much like a sitting Buddha figure), is repeated innumerable times in reduced copies, all connected to the large figure by invisible filaments, and the shape of the small figures is quite similar to that of the large figure. Each figure is unique and not identical with another, but the changes call for acute discrimination.

Let us return to the Midrash we dealt with above, according to which "God was looking at the Torah and creating the world", and try to see how the general divine patterns reappear - just as with the fractals - even in the minutest details.

In a fairly simple way we can find this pattern in the subject of "the Sabbatical Cycles" which we have already touched. According to the conception of the Jewish tradition, cycles of seven "days of creation" appear alike in the formation of the universe and the stars, in the formation of human history as well as in the sabbatical and jubilee - which are the laws of the proper maintenance of the earth, the source of sustenance - and the structure of the week, of the six workdays and the Sabbath - which are the proper maintenance laws of humans.

Also when we examine the literary structure of the Book of Genesis, we can discern a definite repetitive pattern, where in the course of detailing there is also apparent a trend of development.
 
The very Story of Creation is told in three versions which, on the face of it, are entirely different from each other. Many Bible critics see in this evidence to the addition of different sources, but from our point of view this has a literary aim, and even necessity.
 
The first version is that of the story of Creation in six days, which can be divided to three and three. Three "days" for the appearance of the Earth, or the Adamah, and three for the appearance of the living, which climaxes with humankind, or Adam. The emphasis is structural, even mathematical; the style is lofty, but without drama.

The second version is the story of the Garden of Eden, according to which the whole creation occurred in one day ("in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens"), the creation of Adam occurred before parts of the creation of the earth ("And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field has yet grown", and even the name of the Creator has changed. The protagonists of the story are three: Adam, Eve and the Serpent, and there later join their two contending sons, and then the children of Cain.

The third story is the story of the third son - Seth - the grandfather of Enosh, namely, the progenitor of the Enoshut - humankind. Again the story opens with a one-day creation - "This is the book of the generations of Adam (Man). In the day that God created mankind" (Gen. 5:1). Adam is a marginal figure in this story, Eve and the other characters of the last story - are not mentioned, or even do not exist.

For each of these three stories there is also a characteristic ending.

The ending of the first story is idyllic - "Thus the heavens and earth were finished, and all their host..... and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done".
 
The second story - which contains three sub-narratives - also has three endings, all of which tragic. Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, Abel-Hevel is killed, Cain-qayin is sentenced to wanderings. Yet in the end there is also hope: Cain builds the first city and it is dedicated to his son Ḥanokh (Enoch) and thus also to Ḥinukh – education.

The third story ends with the birth of Noah - the one who will survive while all his generation will be exterminated in the Flood.

We shall dedicate extensive discussion of these three stories in the next chapter. It is worth mentioning here the parallel between the story(s) of the Creation to the building of the Mishkan – Tabernacle – (which is mentioned by many interpreters and in great detail in the Book of Zohar). There are, as mentioned, three stories of creation and three repetitions about the building of the Tabernacle. These three repetitions parallel the distinction we made between the Beri'ah-Creation (the concept of the Mishkan and its pattern, which is imparted through divine inspiration), the Yeẓirah-Formation (Beẓal'el who plans and builds the Mishkan, and the Ạssiyah-Making (the materials are gathered from he people and the Levite priests come to worship at the Mishkan). But in the three accounts of the Mishkan the process is reproduced with high fidelity from the divine inspiration to the work on the ground, whereas in the usual processes of the world and of human history there occurred defects and corruption.

An additional viewing will show us that that not just the creation narrative(s), but also the whole book of Genesis is divided to three stories, where the end of one story brings to the beginning of the other, which will be an attempt to improvement and development.

The first story, the story of the children of Adam, reaches its tragic ending in the flood. This is the first millennial Day of Creation, the first millennium of the two thousand years of Tohu.
The second story, the story of the children of Noah, reaches its end - which is perhaps tragic, but perhaps shows a breakthrough - with the generation of the Tower of Babel. This is the second millennial Day of Creation, the second thousand years of Tohu from which there start the two thousand years of Torah.
The third story of Creation start at the beginning of the two thousand years of Torah is the story of Abraham and his children. Also this story is divided - in the manner of fractal geometry - to three sub-narratives - the stories of the three patriarchs.[15] And in spite of the varying characters, there is one pattern that repeats in them again and again. There are instances when the characters fail, in others they rectify, but clearly there is no "Original Sin" that condemns them for ever. Human conduct is improving, and understanding progresses, to our days.
 
Indeed, also the story of our generation is inseparable from the story of the Creation. We are now within the third story of the creation, after the two thousand years of Tohu and two thousand years of Torah (the second half of which was the days of the two temples and the editing of the Torah), we are now within the two thousand years of the Messiah. The Fifth Day was the time of the formation of the Talmud and the Midrashim, and now - on the Sixth Day - "Let's make Adam".
 
In the course of the next chapter I shall try to assert, and demonstrate, that the meaning of these interweaving and repetitive patterns is quite different from what was asserted by the traditional Jewish exegesis. The tradition sees in the stories of the Bible a continuing process of Berur (selection and choice), of ever narrower selection: from all of humankind, the nation of Israel was "chosen", and from Israel - the Jews, who are the only people to know and keep the Torah. This approach was appropriate to a persecuted and humiliated people in exile. But the Torah was given to Israel on the threshold of entering the Land, and was later purveyed from the Temple!

In our view the Torah attempts to present a principle and instances that exemplify it (the whole of humankind is Adam, and the wide detailing is expressed in the figures of Judah and his brothers). But figures that were left behind in this account may still integrate into this meta-historical process and progress by the same pattern. Thus, for example, when the prophet Muhammad spread the religion of Islam, he redeemed the forgotten figure of Yishmạ'el (Ismael), and joined the Arabs to the Children of Abraham.

Our claim is that nowadays - when we are again in the stage of transition between exile and settlement in our land - the Torah may well guide us in ways that our forefathers have never conceived of. This may happen by dint of our residing in the Land of Israel and free from the fears, the pains and hatreds, of the exile and freely using the language of the Torah as our mother tongue.
 
An evident support for our approach, of studying the Torah as if it was given really for the future, as an instrument that would become relevant specifically for our generation, has to do with the very connection of the language.

Each Hebrew speaker is aware of the clear division to tenses and times. Were the writers of the Torah not aware of the same?

The Torah opens, as might be expected, in past tense. "Bereshit Bara Elohim..." (Initially created God....) but immediately it adopts a present continuous tense "...veRu'ah Elohim meraḥefet ạl pnei haMayim" (and the spirit of God is hovering over the face of the Deep..). Then from there onwards, in all the chapters of the Ḥumash (Pentateuch) - the writing is future tense, "va'yomer Elohim...." (and God would say....). It is true that no translation paid attention to this, and many generations of linguists regarded that form as "inversion" (vav haHipukh), but this is just a name that does not explain any thing. It is much more accurate to regard this letter vav (translated as "and" in English) as "vav haḤibur" (the hook of joining) of times - joining between events in This World with an eternal (or archetypal) world of revelation which is beyond time, and in which past, present and future are one.

It is therefore also valid to read the entire Torah as written in a prophetic tense which is a future tense in relation to the Torah which was recognized in the past and becoming a present in our times.

Let us go then to examine the story of Genesis in light of this possibility.

Notes:
[1]  See David Flynn: "Temple at the Center of Time – Newton's Bible codex deciphered and the year 2012". Official Disclosure Anomalos Publishing, Crane 65633, 2008
[2]  To the consternation of the complacent ignorant attitude of "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it is good enough for me".
[3]   James Strong: Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew Lexicon & Dictionary, World Bible Publishers, Iowa Falls, Ia, 1986. 
[4]   As a characteristic example, let's take the word "Chabad", which already appeared and appears in the next section. This is the name of perhaps the most important Jewish organization that distributes Torah insights all around the world. Yet this movement's rendering of its own name disregards the above mentioned transliteration rules (and the State of Israel, to this matter). The name is, in Hebrew, abbreviation of the three words Ḥokhmah Binah Da'at (Wisdom, Understanding Knowledge, חכמה בינה דעת), but this meaning is lost in their translation. In the following it is referred to as Chabad (ḤaBaD חב"ד), while the academy transliteration would put it as "Ḥabad".
[5]  The Hebrew script (as noted in the preface), including the Biblical text, has no vowels written down, so though there is an accepted reading, a Hebrew word (here נעשה) can legitimately be read in a variety of ways by using different vowels.
[6]  According to Gershom Shalom: "The Qabbalah of the Sefer haTemunah and of Abraham Abulafia", 8-9.
[7]  "Ọẓar haḤayim" by R. Yitzhak of Ạkko, manuscript No. 775 Ginzburg Library within the Lenin Library in Moscow; surveyed in Kaplan, Arie (1993): Immortality, Resurrection and the Age of the Universe. Ktav Publishing, New Jersey.
[8]  See Raphael Shohat: "A World Hidden in the Dimensions of Time: the Redemption Doctrine of the GRA of Vilna, its sources and influence over generations" (In Hebrew). Bar Ilan University Press, 2008.
[9]  Israel Knohl, "The Temple of Silence".
[10]  The many ways to read these three-in-one words also include "Counting", "Account" and the gamut of meanings of "Sefirot", which is perhaps the main – and most variegated – concept of the Qabbalah.
[11]   Zion – Hebrew Ẓion – is not just a place. It also has to do with Distinction – Ẓiyun and Excellence - Meẓuyanut
[12] Professor Me'ir Bar Ilan, the Talmud department at Bar Ilan University (called so on the name of his grandfather). The relevant (Hebrew) book are "Genesis Numerology" 12004 and "Biblical Numerology" 2005. See his articles about numerology
http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~testsm/bar-ilan_flyer2.pdf; http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~barilm/numfr.html.
[13]  See Appendix 'B' to chapter 1.
[14]  Mandelbrot, B.: "The Fractal Geometry of Nature". W.H. Freeman & Co. NY.1983
[15]   The story of Joseph could be seen as a fourth sub-narrative, that of Joseph as patriarch. But the Book of Genesis keeps to the tree-part scheme, and the end of the book is about the end of the life of Jacob, only after his twelve sons reached their reconciliation and collective identity.


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