We don't know much about how G-d created the world. We know something about when He created the world.
September 21, 1998 is Rosh Hashana (the New Year) for the year 5759. It is the 5759th anniversary of Adam's creation, which happened on the sixth day of creation, per the Book of Genesis.
Available Jewish sources do not discuss whether the six days of creation were measured within a time frame that is different than our own.
We will present what Judaism says about why G-d created the world, what was required, and the implications for Mankind according to this intention. We know much of this from the Kabala.
The purpose of creation was to provide Mankind with the greatest degree of greatness and pleasure that is possible.
Since people enjoy the fruits of their own labor, it was foreseen that this pleasure must be earned and deserved, thereby significantly enhancing the objective greatness and pleasure.
People earn this greatness and pleasure by being tested and passing tests. They obtain greatness and pleasure according to how they performed.
G-d provided specific instructions for Mankind. They are recorded in the Torah. Mankind must acknowledge and keep these instructions to pass the tests.
To enable testing, people must be able to freely choose how they act.
There are other implications to Mankind's behavior.
- G-d designed Mankind and the creation so that a bi-product of a person's efforts is his own self perfection.
- The natural world strictly behaves according to rules that were established by the Creator. So, by choosing to obey G-d, Mankind has a share in completing a harmony to the will of the Creator that is inherent within the rest of creation. If successful, to some degree a person will be thereby considered a partner with G-d in the process of creation.
Thus, by keeping the instructions that are recorded in the Torah, people have the opportunity to pass tests and earn reward, to perfect themselves, to perfect and complete the entire creation, and to achieve a special relationship with G-d.
The reward which Mankind will receive will last forever. It will happen in a future existence. It can only occur through a close relationship with G-d. The relationship and the resulting reward will grow for all eternity.
The time for being tested and the time for being rewarded do not overlap. Once we leave this world we are no longer be able to earn additional merit.
Mankind needs an environment within which people can earn greatness. Mankind also needs an environment where people can experience the greatness and pleasure.
Our world was designed and created to satisfy both of these needs. That is, it was designed for both phases, the time for testing and the time for reward. At some time after our deaths we will come back to life in this world and we will have an eternal life according to how we behaved.
This model is not obvious in our current existence. It requires the exercise of free-will to even see it, much less accept it. Even when we accept this model, we are easily distracted from it.
The following story may help you relate to some aspects of this model to life and how we can become distracted from it.
While browsing through a shelf of ancient books, a person read about a place on the globe that was covered with diamonds.
He rushed home and made great plans to travel there. He borrowed a huge sum of money to charter a plane for the journey to this unexplored area of the world. Taking leave from his family, he promised to return with great wealth for them all.
His parachute brought him to this remarkable land. He filled his pockets with the sparkling diamonds that covered the ground.
He got hungry. He noticed a settlement from a distance and found a restaurant. After his meal, he offered a small diamond as payment for his meal. The stern proprietor looked squarely at him and demanded some chicken-fat.
He quickly learned what made a person wealthy in this unusual part of the world. With pockets full of diamonds but not an ounce of chicken-fat to his name, he sadly pounded the streets in search of a livelihood. He was stranded.
After a while he realized that the people over there had no sandals. He borrowed some chicken-fat and fashioned several pair. He sold them quickly and his success spawned a small industry for him that eventually turned into an empire. He became the wealthiest man in the region and became both able and ready to return home.
He leased a fleet of ships and loaded them down with his chicken-fat. He sent word ahead to his family and they were waiting at the dock. They caught sight of his ships. They also began to smell a pungent odor.
During the grand tour of the cargo, his wife asked him about the diamonds. He looked at her in astonishment and talked about his great stores of chicken-fat. Then the reality hit. He reached into his pockets and found a few small stones.
The moral of this story is as follows.
We are put here in this world on a temporary basis to be tested whether and how we perform the will of G-d.
G-ds will, His commandments, are clearly documented in the Torah. Everyday life provides numerous opportunities to fulfill them, much like the diamonds that covered the ground in our story.
By passing lifes many tests, we amass a great fortune. It is a type of fortune that is not for this world.
We are prone to becoming distracted to amass different fortunes. We hope to keep on the course for that which provides us with eternal greatness.
This model of creation and of the world restricts personal freedom to some degree. It also imposes subordination to G-d and to behavioral standards. However, this model is based on sources and a way of life that have withstood the test of time for the past thirty-seven centuries. This way of life has provided great strength and meaning of life for many people.
Alternate models have been proposed in recent years and they are less costly. There is a great demand for such models because they preclude responsibility from Mankind. They also preclude subordination to G-d and free Man from behavioral standards. Unfortunately they also preclude Man from eternal greatness and destiny.
One such model is the Theory of Evolution. It has been used to explain how biological life came into existence. It avoids the need for having a Creator for life to have occurred.
A lot of things evolve in this world. However, those who state that evolutionary processes caused life to exist are stating a philosophy and a personal belief. The association of evolutionary processes to the existence of life is not a proven fact. Because this association is so unlikely, it is more like a leap of faith.
Illustration: Adam, Eve, Creations.
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