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On the 6th day, God created both animals and humans, according to the main creation narrative (Gen 1). I would speculate that it would be more reasonable to dedicate each day to a specific niche: a day for plants, a day for animals, and a day for humans.

Why the creation of man was grouped with animals and did not stand alone?

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  • Man is an animal with a neshama. Makes sense to me
    – Joel K
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:13
  • @JoelK Like with a tail? Imagine you wouldn't know what the Torah says, and you were asked to group the creation, would you put the man with animals?
    – Al Berko
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:17
  • @AlBerko Biologists did just that
    – Double AA
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:21
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    @DoubleAA They have a completely different set of criteria.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:35
  • there are thousands of species of animals. so perhaps when all was ready then not much time was needed
    – user813801
    Oct 13 '21 at 18:13
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I think I heard in the name of Rav Soloveitchik that some people are more animal than human. Meaning, the Torah is teaching us that if we don't use our holy neshama, we're no different than an animal.

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  • I am sure the opening of the Torah had a deeper meaning than "just a reminder". This can be a nice Drasha, but not an explanation.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:35
  • 4
    You're welcome to dislike it but I fail to see how this is "just a reminder". It's a very fundamental concept.
    – robev
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:49
  • What I mean, is that I couldn't imagine God saying to himself "you know, I should create the man with the animals, so it will teach them to appreciate their Neshama". I am looking for an essential answer not purely educational. You're welcome to move it to the comment section.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 13 '21 at 17:53
1

כִּי֩ מִקְרֶ֨ה בְֽנֵי־הָאָדָ֜ם וּמִקְרֶ֣ה הַבְּהֵמָ֗ה וּמִקְרֶ֤ה אֶחָד֙ לָהֶ֔ם כְּמ֥וֹת זֶה֙ כֵּ֣ן מ֣וֹת זֶ֔ה וְר֥וּחַ אֶחָ֖ד לַכֹּ֑ל וּמוֹתַ֨ר הָאָדָ֤ם מִן־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ אָ֔יִן כִּ֥י הַכֹּ֖ל הָֽבֶל׃

For the fate of man and the fate of beast, they have one fate: as the one dies so dies the other, and both have the same lifebreath; man has no superiority over beast, since all is empty. (Ecclesiastes 3:19)

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  • This is a worthy comment but a lousy answer. After all, men were given the Torah and promised an afterlife, and animals weren't.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 13 '21 at 21:12
  • Did those events though occur on the sixth day?
    – Loewian
    Oct 14 '21 at 1:14
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I have found an interesting observation in Josephus Flavius' Antiquities of the Jews account of the creation:

"And on the fifth day he produced the living creatures, both those that swim, and those that fly; the former in the sea, the latter in the air: he also sorted them as to society and mixture, for procreation, and that their kinds might increase and multiply.
On the sixth day, he created the four-footed beasts, and made them male and female: on the same day he also formed man."

As we can see here, there's a clear distinction between "sexless" lower animals, that merely multiply "by society and mixture" and higher animals that, having distinctive sexes, procreate by having sex.

So, because the 6th day is associated with the male/female sin, I speculate that the mammals(?) were grouped with humans because they possess that distinction.

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  • Generally, the larger multicellular species -- including fish, insects and reptiles -- have a male/female variants. Fish reproduce sexually. Birds also procreate via sex.
    – Zev Spitz
    Oct 18 '21 at 18:55
  • @ZevSpitz That's what we know. But they didn't, so they sorted the animals into "sexless" and "sex-yes".
    – Al Berko
    Oct 19 '21 at 14:23
  • G-d knew; in that case, this would be nothing more than Josephus Flavius' mistaken assumption. OTOH I find it hard to believe that nobody ever observed birds procreating. And if we look at the description of Noah's entry into the Ark (3:2) we find "but also sent in with the rest all sorts of living creatures, the male and his female, for the preservation of their kinds", which may imply (admittedly not conclusive) that the male/female dichotomy applies to all kinds of living creatures.
    – Zev Spitz
    Oct 19 '21 at 16:19
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    But I would be interested to look at the original Greek (if it's still extant), because I suspect that "sorted them as to society and mixture" corresponds to the Hebrew למינהו, i.e. into individual species. Also, I would modify your theory, and suggest (no sources) that those species that were created on the fifth day don't have live births: e.g. eggs, asexual reproduction; while those created on the sixth day have live births. Not sure what it would mean, though.
    – Zev Spitz
    Oct 19 '21 at 16:33

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