I have often heard that many rishonim were comfortable with the idea that at least the first week of creation could be read allegorically, not literally. What are the specific sources that support this idea?

  • 2
    judaism.stackexchange.com/q/29999/501 - Does Rambam take the 6 days of creation literally? and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/31408/501 - Rambam and Interpreting Bereishit as Allegorical Oct 8, 2015 at 14:01
  • 2
    I wrote judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/64338/… yesterday on Rashi and the Rambam. And if you accept R' Dessler's read of the Ramban, he too considers time during creation to be something other than what we think time is. Actually, it becomes hard to find a rishon who took the week literally! Also aishdas.org/asp/the-rambam-on-time-during-creation on the Rambam, including rishonim (Abarbanel, Ralbag others) who commented on the Moreh. Oct 9, 2015 at 9:44
  • In yesterday's second aliyah, the creation is re-explained, with three significant differences from the first aliyah that states what happened each of six days. The re-telling is much more detailed, relates Hashem making and growing things (as opposed to just saying things like "Yehi Or") and uses to term "Ad-nai Elokim" rather than "Elokim". The former includes "Lord" implying something to be lord over. Seems 2nd aliyah relates H' working in lower plane, while first refers to a higher plane (a la Safer Yetzirah). So they can talk on two levels of understanding, while not contradicting. Oct 30, 2016 at 6:28
  • The Ramban took the 6 days literally, but nothing else. In his commentary on Genesis 1:1 he says that the only thing literal from early Genesis fits in the summary in the 10 Commandments (i.e. שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה ה' אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ), but everything else is Sod. And in his commentary on Genesis 1:3 he writes "ודע, כי הימים הנזכרים במעשה בראשית היו בבריאת השמים והארץ ימים ממש, מחוברים משעות ורגעים, והיו שישה כששת ימי המעשה, כפשוטו של מקרא." Jun 20, 2017 at 20:20


You must log in to answer this question.