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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Torah Teachings

Creation

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Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

30 Sivan 5767
Question
יצא yâtsâ’ yaw-tsaw’ שׁרץ shârats shaw-rats’ I have a question concerning these two verbs in the creation story and was wandering if you could give insight. Please describe their meanings. Do you believe that God individually created all species or do you think that God, by saying "let the waters...let the land....brings forth", that God merely allowed the animals of the land, air, and water evolve into what they are today? Thanks for you time.
Answer
It is certainly reasonable to understand the creation story as allowing for natural processes to be part of the developement of life. The verb sh-r-tz can be translated as "reproduce abundantly". y-tz-a means go out, in the causative bring forth. There is no reason I no of not to see these verbs as indicative of what we know as natural events participating in the Divine plan. The Ramban (Nachmanides) at the beginning of his commentary of the Torah warns that the creation story is not to be taken literally as an exact description of the chronology and method of creation, but rather it is meant to teach us that G-d , in His wisdom and power, created all being. I do not believe it is possible to derive from the text of Breishit the scientific principles of creation, but rather view our knowledge of those processes and principles as a glimpse of the Divine wisdom of creation.
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