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A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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God created our souls and our bodies for the Garden of Delight. In some spiritual memory, every human being can still recall the taste of the fruit of the garden. Human beings have a longing wired into their hearts for the place of God, a desire we cannot quite articulate. We hunger and thirst for the presence of God. We are longing for Eden.
In the garden of Eden humans experienced God directly. In the paradise of Eden, human beings lived in simplicity and innocence, without sin, guilt, shame or knowledge thereof. God was present; He was immediate; He was revealed. He spoke with them. Walked with them. They knew His presence; they recognized His voice. He was not hidden.
In the Talmud, some of the sages viewed the seven days of creation as a broad outline for human history, as the Scripture says, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by” (Psalm 90:4). Accordingly, they compared each of the six days to a millennia of history. In the poetic words of the sages, the Messianic Era will be a “day that is altogether Sabbath.”
The mystics describe the nefesh (soul) as a man’s thought, speech, and action. Even animals have a nefesh. Its inclination and appetites are carnal, material, and selfish, therefore, its influence over man leads us toward selfishness, lust, greed, and sin. Despite this, the animal soul is not evil, for it also comes from God. The animal soul can be harnessed!
The mystics say that God made Adam in the image of the Heavenly Adam, the firstborn of all creation, the spiritual image of God. The theology of the heavenly Adam attempts to reconcile the conflict between the idea that God is incorporeal, that is without image and form, and the idea that man is created in the image of God.
As we read these words, we should envision the Father speaking directly to the Son. The voice of God speaks directly to His servant, the Messiah. Imagine Yeshua as a young man studying through the scroll of Isaiah and coming upon these passages. Imagine how they must have resonated within Him and burned in His heart like fire as He felt the voice of the Father speaking to Him through the ancient words of the prophet Isaiah.