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For interesting and relevant Torah commentary from Ohr HaChaim on Bereshis see bottom of this article.
Interesting and relevant Torah commentary from Bereshis from Ohr haChaim
20: The entire paragraph dealing with the creation of the human species alludes to the fact that man was the principal objective of the entire universe. The word bereshis then means that when Hashem started to create man, He began with is divine qualities, his Heavenly source Hashomayim as well as with his physical source Haaretz.
Our sages understand Psalms 50:4: yikra al hashomayim mal., as a reference to man’s spirit, whereas they understand the subsequent words val Haaretz in the same verse s a reference to the earth that man’s body s made of. The message of the verse is that by means of man’s deeds it is possible for him to transform the material he is made of to such a high spiritual level that it will be considered as an idealized form, a symbol rather than mere matter.
We have a tradition that bodies of truly righteous people do not turn into dust upon their deaths since the materials their bodies are made of have already been refined to such an extent that they have become spiritualized (based on Rabbi Yitzchak Arama who explained in chapter 32 why the term maisah is not used or the Torah in relation to Jacob.). This us why our sages say that the righteous are called chaim, alive, even when they have departed this earth. This is so because even their physical parts have become spiritualized, maintaining contact with eternal life. The wicked, on the other hand are considered as already dead even while they are still alive within their bodies. Even the spiritual part of their beings is reduced to being merely physical, i.e. mortal, inert. Both of these possibilities are alluded to in the very first words of the Torah when the Torah speaks of G’d having created es hashomayim ves Haaretz. The Torah means that man has the choice of belonging to either part of the universe.
…there I still spiritual darkness in the world. The function of the light I to assist man in his struggle against the forces of the yetzer hara Soton. It I designed to establish lines of demarcation, to enable one to recognize when one is being seduced, to identify what precisely is sinful and wicked. This is why the Torah continues (1,4) that G’d made a division between the light (the soul) and darkness (the forces of evil). This is what Solomon meant when he stated (Kohelet 10,2): The heart of a wise man is on his right…the site illuminated by the light of the soul, whereas, the heart of the fool is on the left, the site of the evil urge. “G’d called the light day whereas He called the darkness night; this is why David prayed that G’d should save him rom the terror of the nights, i.e. the evil urge.
…When we examine the reason for the creation of the entire universe we must conclude that our art of the universe is its very core. Israel are G’d’s people and His inheritance. (deut 32,9)…
The Jewish people are [that is the observance of Torah is] the key to the continued existence not only of earth but of the heavens as well. Students of kabbalah are well acquainted with this interdependence between heaven and earth. Once we appreciate this concept we can understand the Tohu Vavohu as an allusion to the periods when Israel are in exile, and when due to that fact they prevent G’d from occupying His residence on earth.
…the times…are not the cause of all this [deterioration in our own spiritual standards] for G’d has said yehi ohr, let there be light The author of Tikkuney haZohar has pointed out that the numerical value of the word raz, secret, is the same as the numerical value of the word ohr, light. The light referred to in our verse is the light of redemption. G’d decreed that this light shall remain hidden until it will be revealed by the Moshiach . In the interval until then it will remain hidden like a treasure. Concerning the time when this light will be revealed G’d has said “I have revealed it to My heart but My heart has not revealed it to My mouth.”
…It is also well known that the ability of the kelipa to remain alive is totally dependent on its ability to be nurtured by a holy source. The moment such a holy source dries up, the kelipa has nothing to sustain it and to keep it alive. Therefore when G’d separates the light, i.e. holiness, and evil remains totally isolated it will have no source whence to sustain itself and will disintegrate of its own accord…the only thing that will be left at that tie will be the light which is good.
Every single drop of rain that descends from above is met by two drops of subterreanean water which rise towards it. The whole process of water contributing to growth is equated with the mating of living creatures. This teaches that when the waters from above the earth or the waters from below the earth act alone, they are unable to achieve their role of promoting growth. This is what the sages meant when they said that there are two kind of water, the male and the female. When the Torah describes how the waters became more and more turbulent during the deluge, it appears they became stronger a soon as the male waters from above joined the female waters below.
The author of Tikkuney HaZohar section 59: the author states that the serpent violated the commandment not to testify falsely by saying that G;d had forbidden all the fruit of all the trees in the garden. It is characteristic of Satan to plant lies in the minds of people, thus creating false images and beliefs in their hearts. Sometimes Satan convinces man that the sin he is panning is inevitable so that he night as well not feel badly about committing it. This is the slyest way of all to seduce people into committing a sin.