"Bringing our very best to G-D"
Reysh (Rosh) רֹאשׁ
- Meaning: “Head, Source”
- Gematria: 200
The Paradox (play on words) in this letter:
- The rabbis teach us that within the Hebrew word Rosh is also the word “rasha” רשא
- The paradox is in the placement and ordering of the 3 letters before the Tav in the alphabet: If you take the koof, Reysh and Shin and flip the letters around, you get the word Sheker
Sheker means falsehood: So the connection is that the wicked person is also one who lies; the Rabbi’s wanted to warn us about falsehood and lying
Tractate Shabbat 104a: Why are the letters of the word sheker adjacent to one another in the alphabet, while the letters of emet are distant from one another? That is because while falsehood is easily found, truth is found only with great difficulty. And why do the letters that comprise the word sheker all stand on one foot, and the letters that comprise the word emet stand on bases that are wide like bricks? Because the truth stands eternal and falsehood does not stand eternal.
Rosh [Hashana] ~ we are called to be the head and not the tail which is what the fish head at the seder meal symbolises
Genesis 1 ~ In the beginning … Bereshit בראשית ~ could be read as “in the head of creation”
What does it mean to put G-D as head of everything?
- Yeshua tells us we are not to serve any other master other than G-D Himself
- So what does the deeper meaning of Reysh point us to?
- We see a glimpse in Exodus 34:26: "The (1)choicest first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the L-RD thy G-D. Thou shall not seethe a kid in its (2)mother's milk.”
- THE CHOICEST
- These two verses seem almost disconnected, but it is very important that we recognise the connection: רֵאשִׁ֗ית בִּכּוּרֵי֙ The choicest = “bring the head or the best of your first-fruits”
- When G-D uses the terminology of “Reishit” in the context of our first-fruits, He is talking about not short-changing Him in the qualitative produce that is brought to Him in the bikkurim festival.
- There is a principal in scripture that says, whatever we do with our first-fruit, it will determine the entire harvest. So in essence, don’t just bring a harvest … but bring the HEAD of your harvest - your absolute best! Bring the best work of your hands ~ He doesn’t need our mediocre first-fruits.
- This is also about attitude of heart and the demeanor and conduct of how we walk within our lifestyle.
If we do things “half-hearted” we become like the wicked .. but as we bring our absolute best to Him, it is as a pleasant aroma to Him.
We all have different bests … but the key is not to compare our best with others! Each of us need to bring the absolute best of ourselves to HaShem without comparison or judgement with others. And we need to be sure we are doing this in our own lives before we expect it from others.
“Do not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk” ~ Milk in hebrew is chalav (chet, lamed, beit) חָלָב [ *interesting that word can also mean “abundance of land” or “white as milk” ]
- The verse in Exodus - the nikud beneath the Lamed is a segol which makes it read as Chalev and not Chalav … Lev is the innermost part of us, the middle
- Let us look at Isaiah 1 ~ The L-RD is bringing a rebuke, speaking about the offerings being made unto Him. The word Lev is found in both vs 11 (... fat of the fed beasts) and 18 (... white as snow)
- So we can actually see that the verse in Exodus is saying, “do not boil a kid in its mother’s fat!”
Scripture tells us that the fat belongs to the L-RD!
- In effect, Exodus 34:26 G-D is telling us that if we keep the best for ourselves, we are not giving our firstfruits to G-D …
- This is part of the convenential relationship between the G-D of Israel and His people: He gives us the very best He has, but He is also calling us to give our very best.
- He knows that our best can never measure up to His, but nevertheless, He calls us to a lifestyle of giving our absolute best to Him … whether it be through our studies, our relationships, our jobs, and so on.
We give the very best that we have and then expect G-D to breathe life upon it.
The Reishit is always referring to the Jewish people
- In Romans 11:16 we see the principal of Exodus 34:26 ~
- If we become holy (as a rabbi, a pastor, etc) … your entire k’hilla will become holy
- If we are set apart in our lifestyle in our workplace, the entire workplace will become holy
- If we become holy in our lifestyle within our marriage, then our entire household will become holy … a small action is going to determine the outcome of everything around us … that is what Rabbi Shaul is telling us …
- Our goal and responsibility as talmidim of Mashiach is to become reishit.
- When we study to want to learn to understand, it is not just so we can boast and say I passed and received a certificate … or I know more than so and so. But it is about the heart in which we are studying and why we want to pass and excel …
So that we can truly become reishit in ALL we do in our lifestyle
- In essence, it is more important that we become reishit in those things beyond just studies and understanding:
- It is about being the reishit, applying it in our relationships, our workplace, our homes, the reishit in ALL that we do … it is so much more than about a grade or a test … and it begs the question:
To be the Reishit is:
- To be the first to stand in line when there is a need to be met … that is the principal of helping people, to do a mitzvot …
- Don’t be the last to step out, but be the first to step up (ROSH)
- Run the race - in perseverance that we might win …
This is the principle of the reishit. And as we run the race, let us make sure that G-d receives all that is due His name. It is not just about giving in money, time, gifts etc … but it is in our attitude and the heart in which we do things.