I’m trying to make sense of the creation story in beraishis but there are so many things left unclear or unsaid. What are some sources that lay it out clearly when each thing was created and what was going on?

I’m asking this question from the viewpoint that the story is meant to be taken literally at least to a large extent.

  • 1
    Could you perhaps elaborate as to what you are finding unclear?
    – Dov
    Oct 19, 2022 at 11:21
  • @Dov 1) what is the ״שמים referring to? Clearly not the sun moon and stars. So just the empty space? 2) I’m assuming the רוח א-לקים thing in passuk 2 isn’t meant to be taken literally. Rashi says it’s the כסא הכבוד. Why was it floating above the water. Not the most stable place for a chair. Others say it’s the word of Hashem. Same question 3) what does it mean the dark and light were needed to be separated, what was going on before hand and why was that happening? The list goes on but probably more efficient to just find a book who’s dealt with it
    – mroll
    Oct 19, 2022 at 12:20
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    Reading the story literally ('at least to a large extent') deprives the story of its meaning. I'm curious why you're looking for this specifically?
    – bondonk
    Jul 9 at 8:56
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    This question (actually group of questions), as posed, is far too broad to address here. The best short answer (although it won't be very helpful to you) is that your difficulty is rooted in lack of understanding of the Hebrew language and its grammar in the broadest sense. Your assumption that the story is to be taken "literally" is also incorrect. In Hebrew, the teaching is כפשוטו, which is more accurately translated as "according to its plain meaning". This means in agreement with its straightforward, grammatical meaning (normal word usage, grammar rules, etc), without allegory or allusion. 13 hours ago

1 Answer 1

  1. The dark and light where not separated in terms of space but rather time (meaning they were previously flashing one after the other in some unknown sequence). This that the darkness and light where not occupying the same space simultaneously is evidenced by the fact that a little light pushes away a lot of darkness.

  2. There are many levels to the atmosphere between earth and outer-space. Perhaps outer space is the “avir” Rashi refers to as being occupied by the throne of glory. The sun and moon are stated to exist in the pasuk within the “rakia hashamayim”. It is apparent that outer space as well as the layers of our atmosphere are both considered heaven. Depending how you look at it the water and fire mentioned by Rashi to exist in the “rakia” in the atmosphere are related to phenomena such as rain and lightning, or in outer space to the various cold and hot planets and the like.

I’m not positive what the act of hovering of the throne of glory accomplished on a pragmatic level.

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