YISRA’EL – THE HEART OF TORAH
This is to teach us that when it comes to Torah, there is no beginning or end. We live Torah continuously as never-ending instructions for our life. “Their end is embedded in their beginning and their beginning in their end”. Let us examine the verses at the beginning and end of the Torah and discover what we can learn from them.
Torah opens with the words, “In the beginning, YaHuWaH created the heavens and the earth”. The word Bereshit (In the beginning – בראשית) means for the sake of “Reishit”. In other words, YaHuWaH created the world for “Reishit”. Now, there are two things that are called “Reishit” – Torah and Yisra’El. This means that YaHuWaH created the world for the sake of the Torah, which is called “The beginning of His way” and for the sake of Yisra’El, who are called “The beginning of His crops”. “YaHuWaH possessed me, the beginning of His way, as the first of His works of old.” Proverbs 8:22
Now, the very last word in the Torah is the word “Yisra’El”, as written: “And concerning all the mighty hand and all the great awe-inspiring deeds which Moshe did in the sight of all Yisra’El”. Through the first and last words of the Torah we see that ultimately, the Torah is all about Yisra’El. From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra’El) meaning “YaHuWaH contended”.
In addition, Torah begins with the letter Beit (ב) and ends with the letter Lamed (ל). Together they spell “Lev”- (לב) which means “heart”. This teaches us that the Hebrew people are at the very heart of the Torah. Just like the heart is central to the body, so is Yisra’El central to YaHuWaH’s creation. Though it is one of the softest organs of the body, the heart is the source of the life of all the organs. Yisra’El is similarly so relative to the other nations. The heart is an organ that must not have any blemish in order to function properly and is vital to the survival of the body. Yisra’El is likewise so relative to the world. About this it says: “You are all fair, my love, and not a blemish is on you.” Song of Solomon 4:7. The heart takes in the purest and cleanest blood and then distributes strength and vitality to the rest of the body. The same is true of Yisra’El; YaHuWaH’s abundance comes through them and is distributed to all the nations of the world.
In truth, not only is the beginning and end of the Torah about Yisra’El, but the rest of the Torah too is focused primarily on the Hebrew people. Torah speaks about the genesis and formation of the nation of Yisra’El and the events until they became a nation with the giving of Torah – from Avraham, his son Yitzchak, then Yaakov and his twelve sons, followed by the seventy root souls who went down to Egypt, then the birth of the nation of Yisra’El with the 600,000 general Hebrew souls who left Egypt and received the Torah at Sinai. In the desert, they spent forty years learning Torah – the “handbook”, so to speak, of how to fulfill our purpose in the world. As the Torah concludes, the Hebrew people are standing at the borders of the Land of Yisra’El, ready to enter YaHuWaH’s Chosen Land. From all this we see that to properly understand the Torah, it must be understood through understanding the centrality of the Hebrew people. This is because Yisra’El is the essence and ultimate purpose of everything.
As stated above, “Their end is embedded in their beginning and their beginning in their end”. This means that ultimately, there is only one reality. Ultimately, “There is nothing beside Him”(אין עוד מלבדו). As such, there is no beginning or end. Being that they are a part of Elohim from above and the heart of creation, the Hebrew people were chosen to be a light unto the nations and to reveal YaHuWaH’s Holiness and Oneness to the world. May this come about speedily, in our days, with the coming of our righteous Mashiach. Yahmein.