Thursday, November 10, 2022

Is Big Bang a Jewish issue? Comments on Bereshit


Torah portion comments  Bereshit 1st cycle

 For video:


1)     Is Big Bang a Jewish issue?

Notice that we have two accounts of creation: Ch 1 and Ch 2

a)      Ch 1, orderly, builds up one upon the other, systematic, culminates with human, and Shabbat-state of perfection.

b)     Ch 2,


A} sloppy editing, patched together hoping no one will notice?



בראשית ברא אֵין הַמִּקְרָא הַזֶּה אוֹמֵר אֶלָּא דָּרְשֵׁנִי, כְּמוֹ שֶׁדְּרָשׁוּהוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ בִּשְׁבִיל הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁנִקְרֵאת רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ (משלי ח'), וּבִשְׁבִיל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִקְרְאוּ רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתוֹ (ירמיה ב'); וְאִם בָּאתָ לְפָרְשׁוֹ כִּפְשׁוּטוֹ, כָּךְ פָּרְשֵׁהוּ בְּרֵאשִׁית בְּרִיאַת שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ, וְהָאָרֶץ הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ וְחֹשֶׁךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי אוֹר וְלֹא בָא הַמִּקְרָא לְהוֹרוֹת סֵדֶר הַבְּרִיאָה לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵלּוּ קָדְמוּ, שֶׁאִם בָּא לְהוֹרוֹת כָּךְ, הָיָה לוֹ לִכְתֹּב בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה בָּרָא אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְגוֹ' שֶׁאֵין לְךָ רֵאשִׁית בַּמִּקְרָא שֶׁאֵינוֹ דָבוּק לַתֵּבָה שֶׁלְּאַחֲרָיו. .

. עַל כָּרְחֲךָ לֹא לִמֵּד הַמִּקְרָא סֵדֶר הַמֻּקְדָמִים וְהַמְאֻחָרִים כְּלוּם:

אין מוקדם ומאחר במקרא

בראשית ברא IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED — This verse calls aloud for explanation in the manner that our Rabbis explained it: God created the world for the sake of the Torah which is called (Proverbs 8:22) “The beginning (ראשית) of His (God’s) way”, and for the sake of Israel who are called (Jeremiah 2:3) “The beginning (ראשית) of His (God’s) increase’’. If, however, you wish to explain it in its plain sense, explain it thus: At the beginning of the Creation of heaven and earth when the earth was without form and void and there was darkness, God said, “Let there be light”. The text does not intend to point out the order of the acts of Creation — to state that these (heaven and earth) were created first; for if it intended to point this out, it should have written 'בראשונה ברא את השמים וגו “At first God created etc.”


a further proof that the heavens and earth were not the first thing created is that the heavens were created from fire (אש) and water (מים), from which it follows that fire and water were in existence before the heavens. Therefore you must admit that the text teaches nothing about the earlier or later sequence of the acts of Creation.


Maimonides argued that if science proved a point that did not contradict any fundamentals of faith, then the finding should be accepted and scripture should be interpreted accordingly.[14] For example, in discussing Plato's view that the universe has existed literally forever, he argued that there was no convincing rational proof one way or the other, so that he (Maimonides) was free to accept, and therefore did accept, the literal biblical view that the universe came into being at a definite time; but that had Plato's theory been convincing enough with sufficient scientific proof he would have been able to reinterpret Genesis accordingly.


One of the most popular theories about the development of the Universe-The Big Bang Theory.

We can make a claim to having thought of it first, in the Kabbalah of Rabbi Isaac Luria, Ari Hakadosh: tzimtzum, contraction into a single point, expansion form that contraction , channels of energy out of that)kelim-vessels- to “ shvirat hakelim”- cataclysmic shattering of these channels of energy, giving rise to the world as we know it.


However- we can ask, from a Jewish perspective-Does it Matter? Not for a lack of Jewish physicists-




Forbidden Sex- to three; Maaseh Merkabah- to two, Maaseh bereshit- to only one.

כׇּל הַמִּסְתַּכֵּל בְּאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים, רָתוּי לוֹ כְּאִילּוּ לֹא בָּא לָעוֹלָם: מָה לְמַעְלָה, מָה לְמַטָּה, מָה לְפָנִים, וּמָה לְאָחוֹר. וְכׇל שֶׁלֹּא חָס עַל כְּבוֹד קוֹנוֹ, רָתוּי לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בָּא לָעוֹלָם. Whoever looks at four matters, it would have been better for him had he never entered the world: what is above what is below, what was before, and what  after. And anyone who has no concern for the honor of his Maker, deserves to have never come to the world.



Mishna and Gemara: Don’t even think of going there.


Why end speculation?




II. Why are there two ways Adam is created?

1)     Elegant, magisterial, the epitome of creation.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ וְיִרְדּוּ֩ בִדְגַ֨ת הַיָּ֜ם וּבְע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבְכׇל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבְכׇל־הָרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.”

וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים׀אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמ֔וֹ בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃ And God created humankind in the divine image,
creating it in the image of God—
creating them male and female,%D7%95%D6%BC%D7%A0%D6%B0%D7%A7%D6%B5%D7%91%D6%B8%D6%96%D7%94%20%D7%91%D6%BC%D6%B8%D7%A8%D6%B8%D6%A5%D7%90%20%D7%90%D6%B9%D7%AA%D6%B8%D6%BD%D7%9D%D7%83



2)     A more “ hands on” affair:

וַיִּ֩יצֶר֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה׃God יהוה formed the Human blowing into his nostrils the breath of life: the Human became a living being.,7,nostrils%20the%20breath%20of%20life%3A%20the%20Human%20became%20a%20living%20being.,-8

This is a more complicated entity-intelligent( names animals), is given instructions, is lonely! Gets in trouble- the beautiful perfection of chapter one is disturbed by Adam of chapter 2.


From Rav Yosef Soloveitchik-Lonely Man of Faith(excerpts from a very long essay)

I want to point out four major discrepancies between these

two accounts.


1) In the story of the creation of Adam the first, it is told that

the latter was created in the image of God, betselem elokim, while ·

nothing is said about how his body was formed. In the account

of the creation of Adam the second, it is stated that he

was fashioned from the dust of the ground and God breathed

into his nostrils the breath of life.

2) Adam the first received the mandate from the Almighty

to fill the earth and subdue it, milo et Haaretz v kivshuha. Adam

the second was charged with the duty to cultivate the garden and

to keep it, le-ovda u leshamra


3) In the story of Adam the first, both male and female were

created concurrently, while Adam the second emerged alone, with

Eve appearing subsequently as his helpmate and complement.

4) Finally, and this is a discrepancy of which Biblical criticism

has made so much, while in the first account only the name of

E-lohim, appears, in the second, E-lohim is used in conjunction

with the Tetragrammaton.


There is no doubt that the term "image of. God" in the first

account refers to man's inner charismatic endowment as a creative

being. Man's likeness to God expresses itself in man's striving and ability to become a creator


Therefore, Adam the first is interested in just a single

aspect of reality and asks one question only - "How does the

cosmos function?" He is not fascinated by the question, "Why

, does the cosmos function at all?" nor is he interested in the question,

"What is its essence?" He is only curious to know how it

works…. Adam the first is overwhelmed by one quest, namely,.to harness

and dominate the elemental natural forces and to put them at his

, disposal. This practical interest arouses his will to learn the secrets

of nature. He is completely utilitarian as far as motivation, teleology, design and methodology are concerned.


Man reaching for the distant stars is acting in harmony with his nature which was created,

willed, and directed by his Maker. It is a manifestation of obedience to rather than rebellion against God.


Adam the second

responds to the call of the cosmos by engaging in a different

kind of cognitive gesture. He does not ask a single functional

question. Instead his inquiry is of a metaphysical nature and a

threefold one. He wants to know: "Why is it?" "What is it?" "Who

is it?" ( 1) He wonders: "Why did the world in its totality come into

existence? Why is man confronted by this stupendous and indifferent

order of things and events?'' ( 2) He asks: "What is the purpose

of all this? What is the message that is embedded in organic and

inorganic matter, and what does the great challenge reaching me

from beyond the fringes of the universe as well as froin the depths

of my tormented soul mean?" (3) Adam the second keeps on wondering: "Who is He who trails me steadily, uninvited and unwanted, like an everlasting shadow, and vanishes into the recesses

of transcendence the very instant I turn around to confront this numinous, awesome and mysterious 'He'?

The Biblical dialectic stems from the fact that Adam the first,

majestic man of dominion and success, and Adam the second,

the lonely man of faith, obedience and defeat, are not two different

people locked in an external confrontation as an "I" opposite

a "thou," but one person who is involved in self-confrontation.

"I," Adam the first, confront the "I," Adam the second. In

every one of us abide two personae - the creative majestic Adam the first, and the submissive, humble Adam the second.



Rejection of either aspect of humanity would be tantamount to an act of disapproval of

the divine scheme of creation which was approved by God as

being very good.



Finally: woman is created twice with man:Ch 1


בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃

And God created humankind in the divine image,
creating it in the image of God—
creating them male and female.


Ch 2

Adam is inherently lonely- but only God sees that- Adam is not aware of his loneliness( a key oitn of the Soloveitchik essay)

Adam sees no connection in any of the animals- names them,

וּלְאָדָ֕ם לֹֽא־מָצָ֥א עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃

but no fitting counterpart for a human being was found.


וַיִּקַּ֗ח אַחַת֙ מִצַּלְעֹתָ֔יו וַיִּסְגֹּ֥ר בָּשָׂ֖ר תַּחְתֶּֽנָּה׃ So God יהוה cast a deep sleep upon the Human; and, while he slept, [God] took one of his sides* and closed up the flesh at that site.

וַיִּ֩בֶן֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֧ים אֶֽת־הַצֵּלָ֛ע ׀

אֲשֶׁר־לָקַ֥ח מִן־הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיְבִאֶ֖הָ אֶל־הָֽאָדָֽם׃ And God יהוה fashioned the side that had been taken from the Human into a woman, bringing her to the Human.

וַיֹּ֘אמֶר֮ הָֽאָדָם֒ זֹ֣את הַפַּ֗עַם עֶ֚צֶם מֵֽעֲצָמַ֔י וּבָשָׂ֖ר מִבְּשָׂרִ֑י לְזֹאת֙ יִקָּרֵ֣א

אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י מֵאִ֖ישׁ לֻֽקְחָה־זֹּֽאת׃

Then the Human said,
“This one at last
Is bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called Woman For from a Human was she taken.”

עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזׇב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃ Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife,*wife. so that they become one flesh.

וַיִּֽהְי֤וּ שְׁנֵיהֶם֙ עֲרוּמִּ֔ים הָֽאָדָ֖ם וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וְלֹ֖א יִתְבֹּשָֽׁשׁוּ׃ The two of them were naked,* the Human* and his wife, yet they felt no shame.

Naked- arumim- uncovered-no barrier- no emotional obstacle between them.


Of course, it goes downhill from here. The first Adam, as both male and female,  is a managerial personality, who puts aside all emotion, all passion, in the process of building his/her world. The second Adam and Eve have deep love between them, and with it, emotional tensions of expectations, communication, trust. The first Adam and Eve are a theoretical construct- the second pair are real people.

The first may be an ideal—but the Torah is intended for real people.













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