1 To know there is a G-d

 

Mitzvah 1

To know there is a G-d

 

Shemot (Exodus) 20:2

אָנֹכִי יְהֹ-ה אֱלֹהֶ-ךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים

20:2 I am HaShem, your G-d, Who has Taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

This is a Command of the heart.

We are commanded to believe that there is a Supreme Cause who is the Creator of everything in existence.  In the Mishnah Torah, Hilchoth Yesode Ha-Torah, 1,1 page 138 it states: The most fundamental of all principles and the basis of all learning is the knowledge of the Existence of The Supreme Being.

 I ( Aleph – Nun – Chuf ) אָנֹכִי Anochi, I, myself

Anochi proclaims the Speaker as that Person who is Intimately Near to the one addressed, who Comprehends and Bears and Keeps him, through whose personality the one addressed really gets his personal existence and his standing. (Hirsch Commentary on the Torah Shemot pages 257-258).

אָנֹכִי יְהֹ-ה אֱלֹהֶ-ךָ

I AM HaShem ( The Name )

 

The letters in HaShem’s Name

The Yud

The Heh

The Vav

The Heh

 

The Yud is 10

 

            10 Utterances of Creations

            10 Trials of Abraham

            10 Sefirot

 

10 Utterances of Creation

  1. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let there be Light. and there was Light. (Keter) Bereishit (Genesis) 1.3
  2. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the Waters, and let it divide the Waters from the Waters. (Chochmah)Bereishit (Genesis) 1:6-7
  3. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let the Waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. (Binah) Bereishit (Genesi) 1:9
  4. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let the Earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth. And it was so. (Chesed) Bereishit (Genesis) 1:11
  5. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And it was so. (Gevurah) Bereishit (Genesis) 1:14-15
  6. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. (Tipharet)Bereishit (Genesis) 1:20
  7. And G-d (Elokim) Blessed them, Saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Netzach) Bereishit (Genesis) 1:22
  8. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Hod) Bereishit (Genesi) 1:26
  9. And G-d (Elokim) Blessed them and Elokim Said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Yesod) Bereishit (Genesis) 1:28
  10. And G-d (Elokim) Said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food. And it was so. (Malchut) Bereishit (Genesis) 1:29-30 (Zohar Pritzker Edition 3 11a-b pages 60-64)

 

 

10 Trials of Abraham

  1. When Nimrod, the king who opposed Avraham’s teaching of the One G-d, sought to kill him, he hid underground for 13 years.
  2. Nimrod finally threw Abraham into a furnace of fire in Ur Chasdim.
  3. Abraham was exiled from his birthplace.
  4. G-d Brought a famine in his time.
  5. Abraham’s wife Sarah was taken to Pharaoh’s palace.
  6. The kings abducted Abraham’s nephew Lot.
  7. G-d Revealed to Abraham the oppression of his descendants by later governments, who would rule over them.
  8. Abraham was commanded to circumcise himself and his son.
  9. G-d Told Abraham to drive his son Yishmael out of the house, along with Yishmael’s mother Hagar.
  10. G-d Commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Yitzchak. (The Midrash Says The Book of Beraishis pages 116-192)

 

10 Sefirot

  1. (Keter – Crown; Subconsious)

 

[INTELLECTUAL]

  1. Chochmah – Wisdom; Conception; Seminal Point; the Aha Moment; Lightning
  2. Binah          – Understanding; Comprehension; Articulation; Building; Expansion

 

[EMOTIONAL]

  1. Chesed  – Kindness; Love; Giving; Attraction
  2. Gevurah – Strength; Restraint; Discipline; Judgment
  3. Tiferet     – Beauty; Harmony; Empathy; Mercy

 

[FUNCTIONAL]

  1. Netzach – Victory; Ambition; Fortitude
  2. Hod       – Splendor; Devotion; Humility
  3. Yesod    – Foundation; Bonding
  4. Malchut – Kingdom; Royalty

 

The Yud represents Chochmah – Wisdom

We have the power with our Divine Soul to overcome obstacles and bind our soul, our thoughts, our will to G-d.

 

I Am HaShem Elokim

Elokim represents Gevurah – Strength – Restraint

G-d had to Restrict His Revelation of Himself to us (Tzimtzum) so that we could belong to Him.

 

I Am your Creator, Lawgiver and Judge.  I Direct your thoughts and each moment of your life.

 

The Hei is 5

            5 levels of the soul

            5 Books of Moses

            5 times light is mentioned in Day one of Creation

 

5 levels of the soul

  1. Nefesh – behavior and action
  2. Ruach – emotions
  3. Neshamah – the mind
  4. Chayah – the bridge between the first flash of conscious insight and its superconscious origin
  5. Yechidah – ultimate unity of the soul in G-d – pure absolute devotion

 

How the five levels of the soul relate to the sefirot:

 

  1. Nefesh – malchut
  2. Ruach – middot
  3. Neshamah – binah
  4. Chayah – chochmah
  5. Yechidah – keter

 

5 Books of Moses

  1. Bereisheit – Genesis
  2. Shemot – Exodus
  3. Vayikra – Leviticus
  4. Bamidbar – Numbers
  5. Devarim – Deuteronomy

 

5 times light is mentioned in Day one of Creation

 

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִ-ם יְהִי אוֹר וַיְהִי אוֹר:

וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִ-ם אֶת הָאוֹר כִּי טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִ-ם בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ:

וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִ-ם לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי

 

And G-d Said, Let there be light; and there was light:   And G-d Saw the light, that it was good; and G-d Divided the light from the darkness:  And G-d Called the light Day, and the darkness He Called Night; And there was evening and there was morning, one day: Bereisheit 1.3-5

 

The Vav is 6

            6 Days of Creation

            6 Directions of the physical world

            6 cubits – the dimensions of the Tables given to Moses

 

6 Days of Creation

Day One        – Chesed       – Ahavah        – G-d Creates light

Day Two         – Gevruah     – Yirah            – G-d Created the firmament with awe (fear)

Day Three     – Tiferet          – Rachamin   – G-d Created life with mercy

Day Four       – Netzach      – Bitachon      – Creation of G-d’s Transcendent Light

Day Five        – Hod             – Temimut      – Revelation of G-d’s Simplicity

Day Six          – Yesod          – Emet            – G-d;s Seal of Truth

 

6 Directions

Above            – Believe in the Existence of G-d

Below             –  Do not believe in any other gods

East                – Believe that G-d is One (Echad)

South            – Love G-d

North             – Fear G-d

West               – Shield the mind from negative thoughts

 

6 cubits

According to R. Berechiah, the tablets that the Mitzvot that Moses received were six handbreadths in length. In their delivery to Moses two handbreadths were held in the grasp of the Almighty, two constituted the distance between God and Moses, and two were seized by Moses (Ex. R. xxviii.). Babylonin Talmud Nedarim 38a

 

 

The Hei is 5

            5 final letters

            5 redemptions – The Pesach Seder –  the fifth cup of Elijah, the harbinger of redemption

            5 voices at the giving of the Torah

 

5 Redemptions Exodus 6:.6-7

  1. I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians – shun evil
  2. I will save you from servitude – engaging in good deeds
  3. I will redeem you – study Torah
  4. I will take you to Me for a people – cling to HaShem
  5. I will bring you to the land – the final stage of redemption (Chumash Shemot p.39 Kehot Publications)

 

And I shall bring you into the land – The four cups of wine correspond to the four expressions of redemption that G-d uses in describing the Exodus.  

 

The fifth: And I shall bring you into the land. Shemot (Exodus) 6.8   This expression is commemorated by the Cup of Elijah, since it is he who will herald the Messianic era when we will truly enter the Land in peace.  The five expressions of freedom are various stages in our redemption process. But while the first four are stages that we work on and achieve—the fifth, the final redemption is something that we need G-d to fulfill.

 

5 Voices

The function of any voice is to reveal something that was previously concealed; we utilize our voice to express ideas that lay hidden in our mind and heart. The five voices alluded to at the Giving of the Torah refer to five different types or levels of Divine Revelation. Likutei Sichot, Vol. 6

 

The events surrounding the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai are described in parshah, Yitro: There were voices [thunder] and lightening…and the voice of a shofar…and the voice of the shofar…and G-d answered him by a voice. The Talmud comments: The Torah was given in five voices. (The word voices appears once, and voice three times. Added together, they equal five.)

 

  1. Joshua B. Levi said: He is privileged to acquire [the knowledge of] the Torah which was given with five voices. For it is said: And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders  and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a horn … and when the voice of the horn waxed louder … Moses spoke and God answered him by a voice. Talmud Berechoth 6b

 

 

What is

The land of Egypt, the house of slavery, the place of slavery, the house of bondage?

 

The Hebrew word for Egypt is MitzRaim.  It means confinements/straits.  Thus all states of physical and spiritual exile are referred to in the Torah as Egypt as MitzRaim.

 

HaShem has Brought us out of our confinement, out of slavery.  He has Delivered us from those confinements, from those things that have physical and spiritual constraints in our lives,  from those things that have physical control, from the constraining physical activity that binds us to this world.

 

אַתָּה הָרְאֵתָ לָדַעַת כִּי יְהֹוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים אֵין עוֹד מִלְּבַדּוֹ

 

To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other beside him. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4.35

 

Observance of the Commands of Ha Torah makes this deliverance from Mitzraim a reality.

There should always be active progress in our Observance of each of the Mitzvot (Commands).  That does not imply that there will not be times when progress seems to stop.  Looking at the model of Creation shows that there are periods of rest and periods of growth and that sometimes growth is accelerated as during Shabbat and the Moedim.  Often our Steps to Observance of the Commands seem to be a slow and tedious process where we do not see our own growth.  We should reflect on where we are to measure our growth and our failures. Praising HaShem for the Growth He Accomplished and doing Teshuvah when we see intentional failures.

 

This first Command is also one of the 6 Constants Mitzvot found in Ha Torah.

These 6 Constant Mitzvot on a physical plane apply to everyone, at all times and in all places. 

They are the Duties of the Heart

 

They are:

 

  • To Believe in the Existence and Providence of G-d.
  • Not to Believe that any other gods exist.
  • To Believe that G-d is One – an Absolute, Non-Composite, and All-Encompassing Unity  ( Echad  – ONE ).
  • To Love G-d.
  • To Fear G-d, i.e., to be in Awe of Him. There are 2 types of fear that the mystics commonly speak of.  One is a result of HaShem’s Gevurah and the other is a result of HaShem’s Chesed. One level is regular fear as a result of the Gevurah that HaShem Expresses to us in that He can both punish us and withhold revelation from us. The other level is better defined as awe than fear. It is awe at HaShem’s Greatness in that He Provides for all our needs and is the manhig olam ( Conductor of the Universe ).
  • To shield one’s mind from negative thoughts.

 

These six constant mitzvoth correlate to the six cities of refuge designated by Ha Torah to serve as a refuge for those guilty of manslaughter. 

 

The unintentional act of manslaughter was brought about by a faulty state of consciousness.  The guilty individual was instructed to flee to one of the six cities.  He was to remain within the city of refuge until his sin was atoned for, by the death of the High Priest.  We are to correct our consciousness by entering into all of the six constant Commandments of Ha Torah, thereby abiding within the spiritual space they create and remaining continuously conscious of G-d’s Presence. (Living in Divine Space, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh page 20)

 

Adam was given Commands by HaShem while still in Gan Eden.  These are most often referred to as the 7 Noachide Commands.  They come embedded in our original operating system as stated by Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk in his teaching on Spirituality.

 

The term Spiritualist comes from Bereisheit 2.7 where Ha Torah states, And He, Hashem G-d, Formed Everything from the Aleph to the Tav of Ha Adam {both Adam and Chavah} from the dust of the ground and He Blew Into the nostrils a Speaking ( Living ) Spirit and it was, Ha Adam became a living soul.’

 

The 11th word of Bereisheit (Genesis) 2.7 is Neesh Maht {Spirit}.  According to Onkelos {a 2nd century contemporary of Rabbi Gamliel II of Jabneth} and Rav Saadiah Gaon {882 – 942}, ‘It became in man a Speaking Spirit.’

 

This is where the term Spiritualist comes from.  It is the Neesh Maht {Spirit} Given by the Creator that Provides humankind with knowledge, speech, intellect which sets him apart from all other creatures.

 

In Genesis 7:7 We find Noah going into the teivah ( arc ) to be saved from HaShem’s Judgment on a world that had turned away from these Commands.

 

Bereishit (Genesis) 7: 7

וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ אֶל הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי מֵי הַמַּבּוּל

And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the teivah (ark), because of the waters of the flood

הַתֵּבָה Teivah

The literal meaning of the Hebrew word teivah is “container” or “box.” The teivah of the above-quoted verse is the floating ark which Noah constructed, at G-d’s Command, to shelter him and his family for the twelve months that the waters of the flood ravaged the face of earth.

Teivah also means “word.” Words are containers: they package ideas, feelings, sentiments and convictions. They house personalities, movements and communities, delineating their aims, defining their raison d’être.

Just as G-d commanded Noah to “Enter into the teivah” one should enter into and cleave to the letters and words of Torah and prayer.

 

20:2 I am HaShem, your G-d, Who has Taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

 

These thoughts are just a few as to how we can seek HaShem, how we can comprehend HaShem, how we can be ever thankful for all that HaShem Does for us each and every day of our lives.

 

There are three manifestations of Godliness, which are considered essentially One. These are God, the Torah, and Israel (meaning, the Jewish people) Zohar III 73a

 

We must believe that HaShem G-d not only Exists and Orders the universe and that He Is ONE Echad ( there is no division in Him) and that there is no other god but Him.

So we can see that with just looking at one verse in the Bible about HaShem G-d that a wealth of information can be gleaned.  This is just scratching the surface on our first look at the Commands, Decrees and Testamonies that G-d has Given us in the Torah.

 

May we try each day to learn about G-d, to follow His Ways and His Truth

 

Blessings and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi