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"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


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GENESIS | 1:1 create — Within the history of Judaism, the relationship be...

Within the history of Judaism, the relationship between creation and revelation has sometimes been viewed as sequential and progressive.  From this perspective, creation is only a prelude to revelation in the history of G-d’s relationship to the world.  G-d’s will is only partially revealed to humanity at large, but is fully revealed to Israel at Sinai.  It follows that the normative order established through covenant and Torah takes precedence over that established through creation.  Any universal moral law, then, is but a precursor to Torah and is necessarily subordinated to it.  This view finds expression in midrashic statements that, in G-d’s mind, “the thought of creating Israel preceded all else” and “the world and the fullness hereof were created only for the sake of Torah.”  Genesis Rabbah 1:4  G-d’s purpose in creation can be fulfilled only through revelation.  In effect Rashi expresses this view in his famous commentary on [this verse]. The Torah begins with G-d’s creation of the world, he suggests, so that when Israel comes to possess the Land of Canaan and expel the native inhabitants, they can appeal to the fact that G-d has created the world and can give it to whomever G-d chooses.  For Rashi the whole purpose of creation is to justify Israel’s place in the world.  Such a view, of course, has significant implications for the doctrine of Israel’s chosenness.  Israel possesses a truth unknown to the rest of the world and to this extent the differences between Jews and non-Jews are more significant than the similarities.  [According to some midrashic texts, it is the oral law that distinguishes Israel from the nations.  G-d has given Scripture to all, but the remainder of G-d’s revelation in the form of oral tradition is communicated to Israel alone. See Tanhuma B, Ki Tissa #17; Tanhuma, Ki Tissa, #60; Exodus Rabbah 47:1. [Discussion continues at Genesis 3:22 PASTIMP 135-6] PASTIMP 134-5


Source Key (i.e. FENDEL: Fendel, The Ethical Personality)PASTIMP
Word (i.e. bless)create
Pages(See end of excerpt)


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