As a Biblical Hebrew teacher, I always start from the beginning. I am telling my students that we are going henceforth and on to swim in The Hebrew's river and my goal is to give them the paddles to swim with my help.Today, we are going to read two passages. The first is from Genesis, the second is from Isaiah. One speaks about the past, the other about the future.
When G-d created mankind and the animals, he placed them in one place, one world and gave the people the opportunity to control and be responsible of this planet, as written in Genesis 1:27-30-
" וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם, אֱלֹהִים, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ; וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם, וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבְכָל-חַיָּה, הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת-כָּל-עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ פְרִי-עֵץ, זֹרֵעַ זָרַע: לָכֶם יִהְיֶה, לְאָכְלָה. וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, לְאָכְלָה; וַיְהִי-כֵן."
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto 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. And God 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 every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so."
In the first chapter of the Hebrew Bible, there is no tension between man and the animals. Everyone knows their function. Both have been blessed by G-d (the bless for some of the animals is written in Genesis 1:22). The only difference is that we as human beings must govern the animals.
In Isaiah 11:1-9 there is a prophecy that speaks about the future to come. The prophecy is my wishful thinking. When I am reading the news or watch T.V. and I see that wars are still out there, I am coming back to our book that is written by the hands of a man, but speaks about the power of G-d. With his power, with our belief, there will be no more war as said Anwar Sadat.
Let us see the words and enjoy learning the Biblical Hebrew that is written:
"וְיָצָא חֹטֶר, מִגֵּזַע יִשָׁי; וְנֵצֶר, מִשָּׁרָשָׁיו יִפְרֶה. וְנָחָה עָלָיו, רוּחַ יְהוָה--רוּחַ חָכְמָה וּבִינָה, רוּחַ עֵצָה וּגְבוּרָה, רוּחַ דַּעַת, וְיִרְאַת יְהוָה. וַהֲרִיחוֹ, בְּיִרְאַת יְהוָה; וְלֹא-לְמַרְאֵה עֵינָיו יִשְׁפּוֹט, וְלֹא-לְמִשְׁמַע אָזְנָיו יוֹכִיחַ. וְשָׁפַט בְּצֶדֶק דַּלִּים, וְהוֹכִיחַ בְּמִישׁוֹר לְעַנְוֵי-אָרֶץ; וְהִכָּה-אֶרֶץ בְּשֵׁבֶט פִּיו, וּבְרוּחַ שְׂפָתָיו יָמִית רָשָׁע. וְהָיָה צֶדֶק, אֵזוֹר מָתְנָיו; וְהָאֱמוּנָה, אֵזוֹר חֲלָצָיו. וְגָר זְאֵב עִם-כֶּבֶשׂ, וְנָמֵר עִם-גְּדִי יִרְבָּץ; וְעֵגֶל וּכְפִיר וּמְרִיא יַחְדָּו, וְנַעַר קָטֹן נֹהֵג בָּם. וּפָרָה וָדֹב תִּרְעֶינָה, יַחְדָּו יִרְבְּצוּ יַלְדֵיהֶן; וְאַרְיֵה, כַּבָּקָר יֹאכַל-תֶּבֶן. וְשִׁעֲשַׁע יוֹנֵק, עַל-חֻר פָּתֶן; וְעַל מְאוּרַת צִפְעוֹנִי, גָּמוּל יָדוֹ הָדָה. לֹא-יָרֵעוּ וְלֹא-יַשְׁחִיתוּ, בְּכָל-הַר קָדְשִׁי: כִּי-מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ, דֵּעָה אֶת-יְהוָה, כַּמַּיִם, לַיָּם מְכַסִּים"
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in my entire holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
We need the leader that will have the spirit of G-d, that Justice for all will be in his body. This leader will be able to take the evil from evils with his mouth and with his actions. With his and our belief two important events will happen: we will have one more time peace with everyone, including the animals and everyone will have the knowledge of G-d.
Let us pray that the future will be a present as soon as possible.