Parshah Bereishit, the first Parshah of the Torah answers the paradigm of Evolution vs Divine Creation. The word Torah is derived from the word “hora’ah – guidance” and according to the Zohar 3:53b means “teaching” 5, as such the Torah should serve as guidance for us through our everyday lives.
Evolution vs Divine Creation Perek gimel (the third section), which states “And G-D said, Let there be light, and there was light”, and which occurs on Day One, differs from perek 14-19 which states “whereas the great luminaries were created, those being the Sun and the Moon”.
Rambam’s interpretation of perek gimel stems from the Hebrew grammar; whereas the Hebrew states “Yehi m’oros” “Let there be Lights” whereas “m’oros - lights” is in the plural form and “Yehi – Let there be” is in the singular form. This can be translated more closely into “Let the existing Light become Lights (in the plural)” 1
Modern theorists and evolutionists, and much of the scientific community propound “The Big Bang Theory” which states that everything was created from this initial “Ball of Energy or Light” 2 roughly15 billion years ago. 10 Billion years later, the Sun and planets appeared followed 50 million years later by the Moon 3.
Our great Kabbalist, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan 4 deciphers the age of our universe from Talmudic (and other sources) as follows: The Talmud teaches us that the world will exist, as we know it, for 6,000 years, and that the 7,000th year will be the Sabbatical Millennium.
The Sefer Ha Temunah 6 states that the Talmud is speaking of just one Shemitah Cycle, and that there are 7 shemitah cycles which make up the “Yovel” or Jubilee, and therefore the Universe will last (as we know it) for a Jubilee or 49,000 years.
The Talmud also states in “The Chagigah” of 974 generations, which belonged to previous shemitah cycles 7, and which existed before Adam HaRishon. The Torah was give to Moses 26 generations after Adam HaRishon, which presents us with 1000 generations from Creation to Moses. In Psalm 136, the phrase “Ki L’Olam Chassido” occurs 26 times, alluding to these 26 generations.
According to some Evolutionist, Mankind commenced roughly 100,000 years ago. Given the predicated assumption that these previous 974 generations all lived the same length of time as did Adam HaRishon, roughly to 1,000 years of age, and given that each generation gave birth to the subsequent generations between 100 and 130 years of age 8; then we see that 974 times 115 (average between 100 and 130) is 112,000 years. In this calculation, the life expectancy of 1,000 years is of less relevancy than the predicated age of procreation, but does add context to our discussion.
Rabbi Itzrach de Min Acco, a great Mekubal and a student of Rambam, in his commentary of both the Midrash and the Talmud states that one of the Days of G-D is equivalent to 1,000 of our years. Extrapolating forward, then One year for G-D is equivalent to 365,000 years of Humankind (1,000 man-years times 365 solar calendar years, there is a slight variance for calculations based upon the Lunar Calendar or the Hebraic Calendar).
The Livnas HaSapir, the authoritative commentary on the Sefer Ha Temunah 9, states that we are now in the sixth shemitah, which would indicate that Creation at the time of Adam HaRishon was already 42,000 years old. 42,000 G-D years equates to (42,000 times 365,000 or) 15 Billion Years of age, equivalent to prevalent scientific thought.
So, as our sages have indicated to us … “and through the years, Science (or those who propound the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) will come to prove that which we, who strive to attain fulfillment through the guidance ofThe Tree of Life, have already known … that the Torah is Truth and that the Torah is all encompassing”.
We are now in the year 5772, of the 6th shemitah, or 48,772 years after creation. This is also 228 years before the Jubilee, the Shabbat of Shabbats. There are many final preparations to make for Shabbat, how so many more for the Greatest of Shabbats.
May your chosen path continue to present you with the guidance to complete your preparations.
1 Aish HaTorah; Bereishit 5770 2 Bar-Ilan University; Daf Parashat Hashavua 3 Bar-Ilan University; Parashat Bereishit 5760; Prof. Moshe Kaveh, President, Bar-Ilan University 4 Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, The Age of the Universe 5 Kehot Chumash, Parshah Bereishit, Lubavitcher Rebbe 6 the Sefer Ha Temunah by Rabbi Nechumia ben Hakane is a Kabbalstic text quoted by the Rambam 7 the Ma’arechet Elokus, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan 8 Adam and Eve had Cain at the age of 130 years 9 Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, The Age of the Universe