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22
votes
8answers
1k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
19
votes
7answers
757 views

Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

5770 and 13,000,000,000 is a big difference! I am looking for a good explanation to the difference opinion of the age of the universe. Please help me out!
17
votes
2answers
1k views

When did we start counting the Year since Creation?

This year is 5772 / תשעב (Taf-Shin-Ayin-Bet) on the Hebrew Calendar. What is the earliest reference to the Year counting from the Creation of the world?
16
votes
9answers
2k views

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline? Not even worrying about why the universe and Earth look so old, there is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from ...
14
votes
7answers
496 views

How did the moon shrink?

The Bavli, Chulin 60:2, says (in my own loose translation): Rabbi Shim'on ben Pazi noted a contradiction: [B'reshis 1:16] says, "God made the two big luminaries" and "the big luminary… and ...
14
votes
3answers
338 views

Let there be light! But from where?

According to Genesis 1:3, "And G-d said, Let there be light; and there was light." What light is the Torah referring to if the sun which produces light by day was created only on the 4th day of ...
12
votes
6answers
478 views

Why is there so much space and matter,etc. in the universe?

If the point of all of creation is for the Jewish people to accept and carry out the torah [I realize this is not axiomatic and may be a point of contention - see Shabbat 88a] what is the need for the ...
12
votes
3answers
249 views

Why name but five creations?

God is described as creating many things in B'reshis chapter 1: animals, people, stars, plants, etc. However, about only five of his creations does it say that he called them by a name: "וַיִּקְרָא ...
12
votes
2answers
188 views

Did Adam and Eve have bellybuttons, fingerprints or ridge over lip?

Since they were created by God and did not form in a womb and had no umbilical chord did they have bellybuttons or fingerprints (that are formed by womb pressure) or upper lip ridge which the malach ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Gan Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
10
votes
1answer
438 views

Is programming against Judaism?

I just recently learned about this site when I saw Judaism was one of the stack overflow topics. I have been Jewish all my life and two years ago I started programming. I was wondering if there ...
10
votes
4answers
232 views

Reconciling Nature with Continuous Creation

I have always understood that when God created the universe, he subjected it to a natural order and process under which the universe can function. The laws of nature are those that govern the ...
9
votes
3answers
116 views

Where is Adam created?

The Torah tells us G-d brought Adam into Gan Eden after his creation from earth (Bereishis 2:15). If this is the case where was Adam created?
9
votes
1answer
250 views

Why did Hashem create the world?

Some opinion say that Hashem created the world to bestow goodness on man (and couldn't just place him in the Garden of Eden because it would be "bread of shame" - that man would get things for free). ...
8
votes
5answers
757 views

Does God continually (re)create the physical world?

1) Does God continually renew the physical world in the sense that if he didn't give direct input at any given moment it would disappear? 2) If the answer to #1 is that God does continually ...
8
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the significance of the place from which Eve was created?

Bereshis (2:21-22) tells us that God created Eve from the rib (or 'side') of Adam. What is the significance, if any, of choosing this particular bone from which to form Eve, as opposed to any other ...
8
votes
4answers
128 views

What is the need for angels?

Why did G-d create angels to assign them specific tasks (Bava Metzia 86b)? Since G-d is omnipotent, what is the need for angels -- why doesn't He perform these tasks directly?
8
votes
0answers
73 views

Was there sentient life with free will in the worlds that G-d destroyed before making our world?

The midrash at B'reshis Rabba 3:7 states that G-d created a number of worlds and destroyed them before the creation of our world. Is the Midrash implying that the earlier worlds included sentient ...
7
votes
6answers
340 views

why create non kosher animals?

why did hashem create non kosher animals, was it to tempt us and see if we would control ourselves?
7
votes
2answers
172 views

What were the arguments for and against man's creation?

The gemara in Eiruvin 13b teaches that for two and a half years there was a dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel - these said that it was better for man not to have been created than to have ...
7
votes
1answer
200 views

Rosh Hashana can't currently land on a Friday, but the first one did

The current fixed calendar works in such a way so that the first day of Rosh Hashana can never fall out on a Friday, but this is the very day on which the first Rosh Hashana fell! What gives?
6
votes
5answers
227 views

Was the world created with din or with rachamim?

I remember Chazal saying somewhere that the world could not survive, had it been created with din/harsh judgement/strictness. However, in Bereshis, at the very beginning, it says: בְּרֵאשִׁית ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

Better for Man to Not have Been Created

The Talmud in Eruvin 13b concludes that it were better for a man not to have been created than to have been created. How can we understand this given that God is absolutely benevolent. Wouldn't it ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Cicadas - once in 17 years

I was reading an article today regarding the Cicadas which appear once every 17 years. Is there any Sefarim that discuss this phenomenon? Also if they were created at the time the world was created, ...
6
votes
2answers
155 views

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of elements?

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of the elements? I mean chemical elements like hydrogen, oxygen, gold, sulfur, etc. Is this discussed at all?
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

Why does plant life precede the Sun in the order of creation given that plants need the Sun to do photosynthesis?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of יוֹם (yowm) in Bereshit?

I've heard conflicting reports of how the creation days , יוֹם (yowm), in Bereshit are interpreted in the Jewish community. How do actual Hebrew scholars define day in Bereshit? six 24 hour periods or ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

What is the reason for the specific items listed in Pirkei Avot 5:6 being created just before Shabbat?

Pirkei Avot chapter 5, mishnah 6 says: Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well; the mouth of ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Does Genesis 2:4 say there was only one day of creation?

Right after it says all the different parts of the world and sky being created on six separate days and rest on the seventh, it says, "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

How did the trees deviate from God's command?

In Bereshis 1:11 God commands עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ however in the next pasuk where it happens we find וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה-פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ, לְמִינֵהוּ. This discrepancy is explained by ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Why “nostrils” and not mouth?

Breishit 2:7: ... He blew into his nostrils the soul of life ... Why did HaShem use nostrils instead of mouth? PS. ISTR that, according to a midrash, the fire which killed Nadav & Avihu did ...
5
votes
1answer
277 views

First year counted from creation [duplicate]

What is the first year for which there exists a record of it being dated according to the currently used system that starts counting from creation?
5
votes
4answers
231 views

Does HaShem need rest?

Why did HaShem create Shabbos? He doesn't need rest!
4
votes
5answers
452 views

Did God create color in Genesis?

Can I assume that every creation in this world was first manifested in the world during the first six days of the Genesis, which therefore includes color? So was color (the spectrum of hues and ...
4
votes
4answers
89 views

“And it was evening, and it was morning, *one* day”?

Gen. 1:5: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד And it was evening, and it was morning, one day Gen. 1:8: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שֵׁנִי and it was evening, and it was ...
4
votes
4answers
874 views

What is the purpose of the mosquito?

Everything created was created for the purpose of serving G-d's ultimate plan for his creation which is to acknowledge G-d. What lesson or use can we make from mosquitos?
4
votes
1answer
101 views

What is Shevirat Hakeilim?

Shvirat hakeilim seems to be a Kabbalistic concept denoting how the light was created within the Genesis account. However, I cannot seem to find information regarding it. Can someone please explain ...
4
votes
4answers
164 views

How did Hashem hide the light from the wicked? What do Chazal mean by this?

Rashi says in Breaishis Chapter 1, Verse 4: אף בזה אנו צריכים לדברי אגדה ראהו שאינו כדאי להשתמש בו רשעים והבדילו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא. "Even this requires words of Aggadah, He saw that it was not fit ...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

Why is braiding hair “building”?

The gemarah in niddah (45) says that when the torah says that God "built" Eve out of the bone of Adam what actually happened is that God braided Eve's hair and presented her to Adam as a wife. This is ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Brachos Daf 2a - What does Creation have to do with Krias Shema?

The Gemorah in Brachos Daf 2a asks two questions right away after learning the Mishnah. The second is: Why is it that the Mishnah taught about the time at night for Krias Shema first - really we ...
4
votes
3answers
68 views

Why did God say יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם, it should happen by itself naturally

In Bereishis 1:9 it says וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה , And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Why did God take 7 days to create the world?

Generally we assume that God is omnipotent, and could have created the world in a single day\act, so He must have had a reason to organize creation into 7 days. Why? In other words: Why didn't God ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
3
votes
2answers
37 views

Genesis 2:7 vs 2:19

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord G-d formed man of the dust of the ground vs. :19 And out of the ground the Lord G-d formed every beast of the field I just want to know the difference between "the dust of ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What is חית ראמים?‎

In the Shabas table song "M'nucha v'simcha", God is credited as having created חַיַּת רְאֵמִים What does this mean? It would seem to translate literally as "animal of ראםs". Now, we do find a ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Wikepedia writes: The Kalām cosmological argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of a first cause for the universe, and the existence of a god. Its ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Who suggests that Creation Ex nihilo was only a small point and light?

If this is a simple minded question, please forgive me, but I'm not Jewish and so most of my information is via naive study and second hand. I've been told by a Jewish friend in my physics class ...
3
votes
0answers
162 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Commentaries concerning the meaning of Breishit 1:1

What do the Rabbis say about the meaning of the beginning of the Tanach – specifically, do they read the first verse as a kind of overview of creation (since Shamayim and Aretz did not exist before ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Can you explain the beginning of Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer chapter 4?

At the beginning of the 4th chapter of Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer, it states [my own translation]: On the second day God created the heavens (rakiyah), the angels and the fire of flesh and blood ...