Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Torah Portion - January 3, 2018

Weekly Torah Studies

Today's Torah Reading: Genesis 3

The Hebrew Alphabet: Aleph

The first five books of the Bible comprise the Torah, which are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Torah is also known as the Books of Moses, because he is the one who wrote them down, as the "mouthpiece" of YahwehIn studying the Torah, a basic understanding of Hebrew is a blessing. This is because Torah (and all other Old Testament writings) were originally written in Hebrew. 

There is much more meaning in a Hebrew word than an English one. So, as we study the Torah principles, looking up the Torah words that appear in our English Bibles will give us a far deeper understanding of the Statutes and Commandments. But why is the message so much deeper in Hebrew? 

In English, our individual alphabet letters do not have meaning until they are joined together to form a word. Words have meaning, even multiple meanings (listed in the dictionary). But our English letters do not have meaning.

Hebrew is very different from English. While English is written from left to right, Hebrew is written from right to left. And although English letters do not have individual meanings, Hebrew letters do. In fact, the meaning of a Hebrew word is gained by adding together the messages and meanings of each Hebrew letter which forms the word. 
In addition, like Roman numerals, which are both numbers and letters; Hebrew letters also double as numbers.

Naturally, the Torah was originally written in Hebrew, using the meaning-filled Hebrew alphabet letters to compose the words. Thus, a far deeper understanding of the Torah Statutes and Commandments is gained through a basic understanding of the Hebrew letters and their meanings.

For this reason, I will begin a short series on the Hebrew alphabet, doing one letter per day until we complete our study of all the letters.

One thing that is helpful to remember, as we begin this study of the Hebrew alphabet, is that the letters have changed.

Modern Hebrew letters do not appear the same as the ancient Hebrew letters (Paleo-Hebrew) appeared. Paleo-Hebraic was very pictorial, as is shown in the following chart:

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the Aleph. It was written like an ox head in Paleo-Hebraic (see the above chart), but it looks a bit like an English capital "N" in modern Hebrew, as shown below:

 Aleph = 1 and is the A, E, I, O, U of Hebrew

·   The Aleph is one letter, made up of three other Hebrew letters, signifying ONE and singly representing YAH.

·   Because it is one letter comprised of three letters, it shows the three aspects of YAH.

The three parts of the Aleph are an upper and lower Yod and a middle Vav. Both the Yod and Vav are separate letters in the Hebrew alphabet. But they are joined together to form the Aleph.

The meaning of the Aleph, which is the letter that represents Yahweh, is portrayed through joining the meanings of the Yods and Vav. So what do these letters signify? 

The Vav is the number 6, being the number of MAN. It shows that YAH manifested in the flesh and became a MAN for our Salvation. Of all YAH’s Work on earth, this is the most powerful, thus it is fitting that it be part of the Aleph – being the letter signifying power and strength. The Vav means HOOK or NAIL and is a CONNECTOR, showing how Yahweh connects lost mankind to Himself through the Redemption of Calvary and the nails which pierced Yahshua’s Hands.

The Yod is the number 10 and is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It portrays a HAND and signifies WORK, done with the hand. Hands have 10 fingers. So it signifies the Work of Yahweh in Creation and in writing the 10 Commandments. The upper Yod in the Aleph is reaching down, showing Yahweh reaching down to mankind.

“For Thou, Yahweh, hast made me glad through Thy Work: I will triumph in the Works of Thy Hands,” Psalm 92:4.

The lower Yod shows the WORK of Yahweh in sending His SPIRIT to mankind.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh… in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” Joel 2:27-29

The symbol suggests an eternal link between the Creator with everything that emanates from Him. As One Who is composed by both the upper realm of Heaven and the lower realm of the earth, connected by the humility of the body, Aleph is a picture of the God-Man unity, or the Divine Man – Yahshua, Yah manifested in the flesh.

Aleph’s numeric value is 1. But its inherent hidden numerical value is 111 (This is because the letter Aleph is spelled: Aleph + Lamed + Peh: 1 + 30 + 80 = 111).

The shape of Aleph is composed of two Yods and a dividing line which stands for the letter Vav). This gives another numerical value: 10 + 10 + 6 =26. The number 26 is the value of the tetragrammatron YHWH, or Yahweh, the Covenant Name of YAH.

Not only do the parts of the Aleph deepen its message, the whole of the Aleph reveals a powerful picture of Yah. The Aleph, as a whole, is the ox. This was very plain in its original form, for the Aleph was drawn as a pictorial ox-head.

The Aleph, as the ox, shows the Strength and Power of Yahweh. It is the letter that singly represents Yah - thus, every Hebrew word beginning with an Aleph, is predominantly a message and revelation about Yahweh.

Hebrew Word
Av or Ab
Father – Yah is our ultimate Father. All fathers are to show Yahweh, following His Pattern.
Daddy – the most intimate reference to one’s Father
I AM – Yah is the Self-Existent, Eternal One
God – Mighty One - singular
One – United, first – see Deut. 6:4
Red – man was created in Yah’s Image
Adam - = blood (bloodshed happens when man leaves God)
Man - = substance (when God is removed from man, what remains is merely substance)
Fire – Yah is a consuming FIRE – Deut. 4:24
Light – Yah is the Source of all LIGHT – 1 John 1:5
Love – Yah is LOVE – 1 John 4:8

The letter Aleph isn't only about Yahweh. It is also about our relationship to Yahweh. Psalm 119 is a chapter expounding upon the Hebrew alphabet. Hebrew children learned the Hebrew alphabet through learning Psalm 119. The message of each Hebrew letter is showcased in 8 verses. This is why Psalm 119 is as long as it is. The first 8 verses of Psalm 119 are showcasing the letter Aleph. Notice that each stanza or verse begins with the letter Aleph (as you can see in the following Hebrew-English comparison):

This Week's Torah Studies: (Statutes 1-20)
The Torah studies are provided in two formats for your convenience. The first option (below) is the blank worksheets for this week, which will allow you to print out the worksheets and hand-write the studies yourself. If you have less time, you may wish to read/print my completed Statute studies. The completed worksheets are in Microsoft Word format and are the second option (below):

An Overview of this Week's Torah Studies:
While we will be reading through the Torah in order (see this week's Torah Reading), we will not be studying the Commandments and Statutes in order. Since the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is the heart of the Torah, it is appropriate to start with it. The Shema is the Torah portion which is written in the Mezzuzah and put upon the doorposts of the house. So, our Torah studies will be following another order. Also, in order to study all Ten Commandments and all 613 Statutes in a year, it is necessary to complete several studies each day, as shown below. Happy studying!

Statute 1 Summary:
(1) Submit to Yahweh as the One and only God in the Universe. Make Him First in your life, thinking and heart.
Deuteronomy 6:4  “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yah.”  

Statute 2 Summary:
(2) Love Yahweh with every fiber of your being.
Deuteronomy 6:5  “And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Statute 3 Summary:
(3) In Keeping His Commands, we Worship and reverence Yahweh, as our Heavenly Father.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2,13, 25  “Now these are the Commandments, the Statutes, and the Judgments, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear Yahweh thy God, to keep all His Statutes and His Commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged… Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name… And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Yahweh our God, as He hath commanded us.”

Statute 4 Summary:
(4) Serve Yahweh as Your Heavenly Father.
Exodus 23:25  “And ye shall serve Yahweh your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

Statute 5 Summary:
(5) Hold fast to Yahweh and take all your vows and oaths in His Name.
Deuteronomy 10:20  “Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His Name.”

Statute 6 Summary:
(6) Only take oaths in Yahweh’s Name, when you reverence Him as your Father.
Deuteronomy 6:13 “Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name.”

Statute 7 Summary:
(7) Keep Yahweh’s Law and walk in all His Ways. When we do Yahweh swears to make us holy.
Deuteronomy 28:9 “Yahweh shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the Commandments of Yahweh thy God, and walk in His ways.”

Statute 8 Summary:
(8) Hallow Yahweh and do not profane His Holy Name.
Leviticus 22:32 “Neither shall ye profane My Holy Name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I Am Yahweh which hallow you.”

Statutes 9-10 Summary:
(9) Meditate on Yahweh’s Law, (10) teaching it to your household, in your “down time,” when you travel, before bed at night and first thing in the morning.
Deuteronomy 6:7  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” 

Statute 11 Summary:
(11) Do not trust in any power but Yahweh.. Worship Him alone.
Leviticus 19:4  “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I Am Yahweh your God.”

Statute 12 Summary:
(12) Do not make gods out of anything.
Exodus 20:23  “Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.”

Statutes 13-16 Summary:
(13) Do not worship representations of God, for He has not shown us His form. (14) Do not make, (15) bow down to, (16) nor worship images of any created thing.
Deuteronomy 4:15-19  “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that Yahweh spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,  the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which Yahweh thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”  

Statutes 17-18 Summary:
(17) Do not give your children to any false god, nor offer them as sacrifices to them. (18) Do not profane Yahweh’s Name.
Leviticus 18:21  “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God: I Am Yahweh.”

Statutes 19-20 Summary:
(19) Do not turn to mediums or familiar spirits. (20) Do not seek after them.

Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I Am Yahweh your God.”

Daily Bible Reading - January 3, 2018

Today's Reading:

Luke 6:27-49

Genesis 6:1-7:24

Psalm 3



Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

If you're anything like me, you find Biblical Archaeology fascinating. To read the story of Noah's Ark and the Flood in the Bible, as we did today, is quite an account - but somehow it comes alive on a whole other level when you see it for yourself. So today, I thought I would share with you a video clip of Noah's Ark, found in Turkey in the Ararat mountain range. Check it out:  (Note the actual presentation starts at 2:25)

Be sure to add a COMMENT on this blog, sharing with us anything you found meaningful in your reading of today's Scripture passages. We will all love to hear from you (please keep the Comment relevant to today's reading - Thx!)