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36

No. There is no problem with programming in Judaism. As far as mimicking G-d's creation, we do that all the time: all craftsmen create things. In fact, we are commanded to mimic G-d in certain ways: Leviticus 19:2 from Mechon Mamre. -קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ: כִּי קָדוֹשׁ, אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם. -Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. And ...


33

According to the Rambam in the Guide of the Perplexed "Whenever it is possible to interpret the words of an individual in such a manner that they confirm to a being whose existence has been demonstrated, this is the conduct that is more fitting and most suitable for an equitable man of excellent nature." Even though I'm certain this will be controversial, ...


22

Among the classical Torah commentators, there are those that interpret that whole Garden of Eden story as being literal historical fact, while others interpret it allegorically. The main authority who treats it as allegory is Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim (Volume 2, Chapter 30), and according to his interpretation, the snake represents a person's "appetitive ...


21

First, it may not be valid to assume that creation was bound by the laws of science as we now understand them. Why should we assume that the very first plants grew by photosynthesis in the same way that plants do now? Or if we do, why not assume that the primordial light created on the first day was enough to produce this effect? But setting all that ...


21

The Gemara in Avoda Zarah (41a) says: כדור שתופש את עצמו תחת כל העולם כולו ככדור It [The Idol] holds a ball as if to say it rules over the entire world like a ball Tosfos explains why a ball is used as the imagery of ruling over the world (S.V K'kadur) says: ככדור. שהעולם עגול כדאיתא בירושלמי שאלכסנדרוס מוקדון עלה למעלה עד שראה כל העולם ...


15

Seder Olam Rabbah, by R. Yosei ben Chalafta (2nd century), gives a unified chronology from Creation until his own times (although the last part of it, covering the Second Temple era and its aftermath, is given pretty short shrift). The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 9b) quotes a baraisa (also from, at the latest, the 2nd or early 3rd century) that makes a prediction ...


13

I think I remember learning in elementary school that the Moon and the Sun had, as they have now, the same angular diameter when viewed from the Earth, and they also had coronas of equal size, so their total sizes, including coronas, were equal. When the Moon complained about their equality, literally in terms of a "crown" (which a corona resembles and which ...


13

In the Guide of the Perplexed, Chapter XIV, the Rambam comments on "behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" (Job xxii. 12) that is to say, learn from the height of the heavens how far we are from comprehending God, for there is an enormous distance between ourselves and these corporeal objects, and the latter are greatly distinguished ...


12

Your question has been asked before by traditional commentators (e.g., Radak). artscroll translates the end of 43:10 before Me nothing was created by a god, nor will there be after Me! and comments based on Radak and Mahari Kara This is addressed to idolaters, who believed that there was another divine being. Isaiah repudiates the notion that there ...


11

The notion of a semi-spherical shell around the world, that the sun travels under during the day, and then back around and over at night is not necessarily the early Israelite understanding of cosmology. Most of the evidence for it is from an era when he Babylonians and Persians had much much more accurate observations than the Greeks, and it is the ...


10

Pesachim 54A says the rainbow was created on the sixth day: Ten things were created on the eve of the Sabbath at twilight. These are they: the well, the manna, the rainbow, the writing and the writing instrument[s], the Tables, the sepulchre of Moses, the cave in which Moses and Elijah stood, the opening of the ass's mouth, and the opening of the earth's ...


10

Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi has a lengthy discourse (Likutey Torah Parshas Re'eh 26c), where he discusses this question. He asks how this statement in the Talmud implying that the creation of man was a negative thing correlates with the explicit verse in Parshas Be'reshis that "Hashem saw all that he created, and it was very good." He sums it up the ...


10

There are many explanations to the significance of creating Eve from Adam's rib. By the way, it's not a universal opinion that "tzela" should be translated as "rib" (Hazal have also transalted it as "side," which works with the midrash of them being originally joined together). Going with the "rib" translation, here are a few explanations. Bereshit Rabbah ...


10

There are midrashim that speak of Adam and Chava being a single unit before Chava was separated from Adam. The cryptic nature of the pasuk could lead us to think of Adam and Chava as being one (Bereishit 1:27): וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם. The next statement about separating ...


10

Targum Pseudo Jonathan to Genesis 2:15, ודבר השם אלקים ית אדם מן טור פולחנא אתר דאתבריא מתמן ואשריה בגינוניתא דעדן...‏ And God took Adam from the mountain of worship, the place from which he was created, and put him in the Garden of Eden Pirush Yonatan says this refers to mount Moriah, the Temple Mount Targum Pseudo Jonathan Genesis 22:2, ...


10

As quoted here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the theological significance of tongs is that they are preparatory - they exist for the purpose of making something else - and the idea of G-d creating them is that even things which are preparatory to something holy and significant can itself be worthwhile and significant. As for the second question, creation of ...


9

The explanation referenced in my answer here (I'm still looking for the underlying source - it must be in some maamar or sicha) seems to indicate that the "diminishment" is closer to your second possibility - though focusing not so much on the moon's waxing and waning, but on the fact that it is not self-luminous but receives its light from the sun. (Is ...


9

The 'catch all' meaning of the word 'yom' is 'time period' The precise meaning of yom in tanach has 4 meanings depending on the context. Either Yom as in daylight (12 hours) Yom as a single day (24 hours) Yom as a year or two (As used in shmuel and Yehoshua) Yom can be an indefinite amount of time, such as the word 'b'yom meaning 'when, or the phrase 'Ad ...


9

Try this article at Chabad.org, which quotes (in translation) the classic sources on the subject. Briefly, it's the idea that Hashem first created the ten sefiros as the "world of Tohu," as independent entities, where each one is is exclusively "thus and no other way" - i.e., chesed ("kindness") is pure chesed, gevurah ("severity") is pure gevurah, etc.; ...


9

A simple explanation is that the when G-d created the world 5772 years ago, He did not create it as a "brand-new" world, but rather created the world in a state as if it had been existing for many years previously. This is quite evident from the fact that the sin of the Tree of Knowledge occurred on the same day Adam was created. He was obviously "born" ...


9

This is adressed in the Tiferes Yisroel on Avos, ch. 4 mishna 3, oisios 20 & 21. The mishna says ואל תהי מפליג מכל דבר, don't be seperated from anything. The T.Y. explains this to mean not to question any of Hashems creations and to assume there is a good reason for them, even if we don't know the reason. He singles out the fly the gnat and snakes and ...


9

This is from Mishne Torah, Laws of Foundations of the Torah (1:1-3): .יסוד היסודות ועמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון והוא ממציא כל נמצא וכל הנמצאים משמים וארץ ומה שביניהם לא נמצאו אלא מאמתת המצאו: The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of wisdom is to know that there is a Primary Being who brought into being all existence. All the ...


9

The biblical commentator Rashi references the talmud when he writes: and you shall not touch it: She added to the command; therefore, she came to diminish it. That is what is stated (Prov. 30:6): “Do not add to His words.” - [from Sanh. 29a] The Chizkuni expands on this: The truth is that when one adds a restriction to G-d’s commandment, instead of ...


8

According to Derech HaShem (Ramchal), Hashem created man to bestow Chesed (as you said). Ramchal continues to say that since Hashem represents the greatest perfection and good in the universe, the ultimate chesed Hashem can do is to allow man to attach (דבק) himself to G-d. Ramchal also mentions, that as part of the learning to attach to HaShem, man needs ...


8

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman has an excellent article entitled "What is the Purpose of Existence?" He thoroughly examines the classical answers to the question of G-d's purpose in creating the world (to reveal His abilities, to be able to practice good etc), and explains the difficulties with them, and concludes with the explanation offered by the Chassidic masters: ...


8

The Rambam says that the details of the chapter of the Creation (I suppose, Gen. 1 and 2) should not be taught to the masses lest they misunderstand or twist what it means (Guide to the Perplexed, 2:17). An implication may perhaps be drawn that the literal reading is not all that there is to the story of Creation and that, perhaps, it should not be taken as ...


8

R' Aryeh Kaplan z'l teaches as follows: R' Nehunia ben Hakana brings in Sefer Temuna that there are larger shmita cycles of 7000 years each, of which we are now in the 6th, putting the age of the earth at 42,000 years old. Midrash states that a "Divine day" is like 1000 years. Therefore a "Divine year" is 365,250 years. R' Yitzchak of Acco - who ...


8

The Maharal says that the twilight period before the first Shabbos has a dual quality. It is still Friday, so it is still a day of creation, but it is Shabbos, a day above creation. So the things created at that time are of a miraculous and not of the natural order, but are still creations of G-d. The Midrash Shmuel says that since Adam sinned before the ...


8

In the Medrash Rabbah there are two opinions. Rebbe Yochanan says that the angels were created on the second day, along with the firmament since we find in Tehillim a connection between the firmament and the Ruchos, which are taken to mean angels. Rebbe Chanina says they were created in the fifth day, and is alluded to in the words ועוף יעופף.


8

The Ohr hachaim on the beginning of bereshit quotes the Talmud Chagigah 12a. There it lists 10 things were created in the first day, and one of them is Choshech. ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב עשרה דברים נבראו ביום ראשון ואלו הן שמים וארץ תהו ובהו אור וחשך רוח ומים מדת יום ומדת לילה שמים וארץ דכתיב בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ תהו ובהו דכתיב והארץ היתה תהו ...


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