Parshas Bereishis 2018: The Chicken Or The Egg?
Ahhh! The age old question!
I think it's about time we settled this.
The Torah opens with the creation of the world. G-d created the world in six days and on the seventh He rested.
On the first day of creation Hashem created light and the heaven and earth. On the second day He separated between the heavenly waters and the earthly waters. He fixed the sky. On the third day He formed grass and trees. The fourth day He established the sun, moon and stars, firmaments that would eternally illuminate our reality. On the fifth day G-d created the sea creatures and fowl. The sixth day animals and then human beings were brought into existence. While the seventh day Hashem rested from His work thus, forever declaring that day as Shabbos (a day of rest) for all generations.
Rashi asks, why did Hashem start the Torah with the creation of the world, wouldn't it make more sense for the Torah to have begun with the very first commandment given to the B’nai Yisroel (Jewish people)? After all there’s a dispute whether or not the world was created for the sake of the Jewish people or for the sake of the Torah. Either way, the Torah, the instruction manual for life should begin with the very first commandment!?
The commentators explain there’s a time when the nations of the world doubt the validity of the Jewish people. The only way to make this easier on the Jewish people is to begin their instruction manual with G-d himself creating the world.
Age old philosophy posed a question that still circulates today; Which came first, the chicken or the egg? While many theories have been given for each way it would seem to be from the Torah we have a strong proof that the chicken actually came before the egg.
The Torah does not say “G-d created eggs on the fifth day of creation” it says that Hashem created fish, fowl, animals, and people. “Fowl” does NOT sound like eggs. ; )
Judaism and modern science often conflict. This does not mean that modern science is incorrect. What it does mean is that no matter what theory is posed by today's society or the times of old, a Jew is supposed to stay true to his heritage. The Torah is not only an instruction manual and guidelines for how we are supposed to live our lives, the Torah is a blueprint for life. Everything that was, is, and will ever be can be found in the Torah in one way or another. At first glance this is definitely hard to understand.
The Chofetz Chaim says, one who is struggling in his emunah (conception of G-d) should study Bereishis. Why? Because Bereishis discusses how the world began and all the miracles G-d performed to make everything so perfect. Quite an incredible sequence of events!
As we begin this Torah cycle anew, let's take advantage, study this section well and let’s build our Emunah to a whole new level.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and weekend!
Maverick V. Peters