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From the beginning it was not so


We begin our discussion here with a set of verses from Mattithyahu.

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 19:4-8 
And he answered and said to them: Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore ELOHIYM has joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They said to him: Why did Mosheh then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He said to them: Mosheh because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

What is this here?  From the beginning, it was not so.  Here, the Torah of Mosheh stands corrected. There are actually three premises here:

  1. Mosheh acted because of the hardness of your hearts;
  2. Mosheh suffered you to . . .;
  3. From the beginning it was not so.

These premises carry a powerful message – that the Torah as created by YAHUAH was modified by Mosheh: modified because of the hardness of the hearts of the children of Yashar’el who had come out of Mitsrayim; modified such that Mosheh would suffer to the people to act outside of the original Torah, and this can be determined when you look beyond the mitsvoth of Mosheh to see what was the case from the beginning.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 2:23-24 
And the man said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave את eth-his father and את eth-his mother, and shall cleave to his woman: and they shall be one flesh.

Let’s consider the history now of the Torah as it has been understood.

In the modern world, must of those who adhere to the Torah today adhere to the Torah as understood by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, commonly known as known as Maimonides, but referred to by the acronym Rambam /ˌrɑːmˈbɑːm/ (רמב״ם‎, for Rabbeinu Mōšeh bēn Maimon). Maimonides wrote a fourteen-volume set called the Mishneh Torah (duplicate Torah) which was a codification of Talmudic law, the reduction of the Oral Torah to writing.  

The Rambam set out a certain set of beliefs of Judaism:

  1. The existence of God.
  2. God's unity and indivisibility into elements.
  3. God's spirituality and incorporeality.
  4. God's eternity.
  5. God alone should be the object of worship.
  6. Revelation through God's prophets.
  7. The preeminence of Moses among the prophets. [bold/italics added]
  8. The Torah that we have today is the one dictated to Moses by God. [bold/italics added]
  9. The Torah given by Moses will not be replaced and that nothing may be added or removed from it.
  10. God's awareness of all human actions and thoughts.
  11. Reward of good and punishment of evil.
  12. The coming of the Jewish Messiah.
  13. The resurrection of the dead.

Given the assumption that the Torah begins with the instructions of Mosheh, then we find that 613 commandments have been counted.  The first list was set forth by Rabbi Simlai in the 3rd century; however, the list was modified (and made more tenable) by Maimonides. Nonetheless, the list retains 613 mitsvoth, and begins with the instructions of Mosheh.

But is this the first Torah? Is this the first instruction?

There are concepts set forth (or principles, if you will) in Bere’shiyth (Genesis) which do not appear as Torah commands.  There is no “thou shalt” or “thou shalt not” – there is just the edict and the subsequent concept.  Take a look at this one for instance:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:14-16 
And ELOHIYM said: Be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed feasts, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And ELOHIYM made את eth-two great lights; את eth-the greater light to rule the day, and את eth-the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Here you have a Torah instruction.  Yes, it appears that the language simply describes creation; however, the passage then tells us that we are to use the sun (the greater light)  and the moon (the lesser light) and the stars for signs, appointed feasts, and for days and years.

If this is a Torah command, then the fixing of the beginning of the day at midnight is a direct violation of this command.  The fixing of a year on an arbitrary date that does not coincide with the moon cycle and the sun cycle is also a breach.  Such a breach will then destroy the actual timing of the feasts, because the first month is arbitrarily assigned. 

And yes, the stars are to be used for signs in the heavens. 

Chizayon (Revelation) 12:1-4 
AND there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she was with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth:

NOTE:  The Greek word for wonder which appears here is σημεῖον (sēmeîon), (Strong’s G4591), which is generally interpreted as an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally: i.e., a miracle, a sign, a token, a wonder.

Here is another mitsvah that appeared before Mosheh:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:27-28 
And ELOHIYM created את eth-man in his own image, in the image of was he created; ELOHIYM created them male and female. 28 And ELOHIYM blessed them, and ELOHIYM said to them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish את eth-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 moves upon the earth.

Again, we have four mitsvoth here: 1) be fruitful and multiply; 2) replenish (or fill) the earth; 3) subdue the earth; and 4) have dominion over everything that moves on the earth.

These Torah commands were not counted by the Rambam. 

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 2:23-24 
And the man said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave את eth-his father and את eth-his mother, and shall cleave to his woman: and they shall be one flesh.

Another set of mitsvoth are given here. Would that the modern married couple follow this simple advice.  Bear in mind that Adam and Chuah (Eve) had no earthly mother and father, yet this command was given: leave your mother and father and cleave to your spouse

We could (and should) go on and on from here to set forth the express mitsvoth given in these opening chapters of Bere’shiyth. Because this tells us the story that in the beginning it was not so.

When we look at the history of the house of Yashar’el, we see this period of the captivity in Mitsrayim (Egypt) having a dramatic effect on the practices of the house of Yashar’el.  We would later see such a thing happen again when Yahudah was taken into captivity in Babel.  (In that captivity, the names of the months were changed, among other things).

The point of this discussion is to ask the question: How much of Mosheh’s Torah was given by Mosheh because of the hardness of the hearts of Yashar’el? How much did Mosheh suffer them to do, that in the beginning was not so? 

We will leave the completion of this discussion to another day.

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