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In Beginning

As I began my journey into the world of mystical Judaism I discovered Kabbalistic exegesis, the mystical interpretation of text. I learned that every Hebrew word has many different possible meanings: Every word is connected to a root word with numerous variations; each Hebrew letter has a numerical value that when added up gives every Hebrew word a numerical value, and every Hebrew word is connected with all the Hebrew words that have its same numerical value; and in most of Judaism's sacred texts the original Hebrew words are written without vowels, leaving the past, present or future tense open for interpretation.

Every Hebrew letter, every sound, every combination of letter and sound holds a key to the cosmic code of creation, and in Kabbalah, it is the seeking out and embodiment of this code that enables one to become a vehicle for receiving the Divine presence.

The Kabbalist can be seen as a kind of cosmic secret agent; like the CIA agent who looks at a newspaper story and finds his next assignment hidden within the text of the story, the Kabbalist hunts for the secrets of the Divine by looking beneath the surface of the sacred texts of Judaism and deep within every aspect of creation. Hidden beneath every word, letter and sound, every rock and tree, every thought, emotion, and action, is a hidden DNA; a cosmic DNA holding the keys to the wisdom and the presence of the Divine. Just as every single piece of biological DNA holds a map of the whole organism it is a part of, every piece of cosmic DNA holds the whole of the universe and all of heaven within it. Like the spiraling strands of biological DNA, the cosmic DNA is a spiraling ladder, a ladder between earth and Heaven; it is Jacob's Ladder; it is the Tree of Life itself, hidden within us and all around us.

So as I began my hunt for the cosmic DNA within the words of the Torah, I discovered that the first three Hebrew words of Genesis (Bereshet), "Bereshet Bara Elohiem," can literally be read as: "In beginning create God." Then I learned that all the Hebrew words for God are not really names of God, but are actually references to aspects of the nature of the Divine. In Judaism, the Divine Name can not be spoken because it is beyond naming. So Elohiem actually refers to that aspect of the Divine that creates. As I delved deeper into these three words, exploring their letters, sounds, and hidden codes, these three simple words became a vast well of wisdom.

There is a story about an old Rabbi who was revered for his wisdom of Torah. A young man sought out his wisdom and asked him what the essence of the Torah was? The Rabbi laughed and told the young man that he had no idea because he was still studying the first three words...

Bereshet Bara Elohiem
In the beginning God created
In beginning create God
In beginning create the Source of Creation
In beginning to create call upon the Source of all Creation

Bereshet Bara Elohiem
In beginning this KabbalahBlog I call upon the Source of all Creation to bless this journey...

And I invite you to begin each KabbalahBlog reading with the following simple meditation. You may also use this meditation before beginning any endeavor to assist you in opening to receive the Divine flow of creation.

A Receiving Mantra...

1. In beginning, Inhale slowly and deeply, feeling your breath moving into your body; Exhale slowly, sounding out the Hebrew word BERESHET (pronounced Bah_ray_sheet).

2. Inhale slowly and deeply, listening to the sound of your breath moving into your body; Exhale slowly, sounding out the Hebrew word BARA (pronounced Bah_rah).

3. Inhale slowly and deeply, imagining the breath of the Divine entering through the top of your head and moving through your entire body; Exhale slowly, sounding out the Hebrew word ELOHIEM (pronounced El_oh_heem).

4. Inhale slowly and deeply, imagining that your body is an empty vessel being filled with Divine breath; Exhale slowly through your mouth allowing your outgoing breath to create a whispering sound. Listen to the sound of the breath until it vanishes into silence.

Allow your breathing to return to normal and be with the silence within you for a few moments.

Let us begin...

Posted by: markallankaplan



In Beginning
In The Beginning
Before The Beginning
Eternal Light
The Divine Orchard
The Awakening Self
The Divine Name
Season of Liberation
The Ten Lessons
Kabbalah Q&A




"Bereyshit bara Elohim et..." The first word is usually translated "in the beginning." More correctly, it says, "in A beginning," or "in one (possible) beginning."

The last word, "et," which in Hebrew signals a direct object to follow, has no English translation. It is spelled "aleph-taf," using the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph-taf, first-last, beginning-ending. Someone once translated this phrase, "In one possible beginning, G-d created aleph-tav, first and last, the elements from which all else would eventually be created."


Posted by: Marko


Thank you Marko for the gift of these deepening levels of understanding around "Bereyshit bara Elohim et..." The translation you present adds a dimension to the text that I had not previously beheld. I am continually amazed by the multi-layered depths of the sacred texts.

B'Shalom, In Peace and gratitude

Posted by: markallankaplan


Dear Mark,

I was raised in a very Pentecostal type of Born Again Christian religious environment. Through my own personal journeys I fell away from that religion and all modern organized religions in general while I continued to pursue my own individual spirituality/philosophy.

The notion about everything being contained inside the smallest single part of the text you refer to is very similar to a belief I have. The holographic nature of things says that, just as Walt Whitman did with a piece of grass, the wonders of the universe can be revealed by 'openly' observing the most intricate details of anything.

I guess my question for you, is what type of reading should I look for to best explore this aspect of the bible/Kabalah? I realize that to come to a full understanding, one must go the original language. But I?m just curious what the best translation is, for this curious mind who is interested in the deeper meaning of things.

Posted by: john


Dear John,

Thank you for the wonderful parallel between the idea of cosmic DNA and the holographic nature of things, and for deepening this idea with your beautiful statement of the wonders of the universe being revealed through observing the intricate details of anything.

For further exploration of this aspect of the Bible and Kabbalah, two books come to mind:

"Kabbalah and Exodus" by Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi (Warren Kenton) - an exploration of the hidden meanings of the book of Exodus from the Judaic Kabbalah perspective.

"Cipher of Genesis" by Carlo Suares - an exploration of the hidden meanings of the book of Genesis from the Hermetic Kabbalah perspective.

I am touched by and grateful for your sharing of your personal journey.


Posted by: markallankaplan



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