Monday, January 24, 2005
Creation and the Age of the Universe
R. Nosson Slifkin, Mysterious Creatures & The Camel, the Hare, & the Hyrax buy them now
A reader was kind enough to scan in and e-mail me the relevant excerpt from Mikhtav Me-Eliyahu (vol. 2 pp. 151-153) by R. Eliyahu Dessler. You can see/download the PDF here.
The following is from R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, Collected Writings, vol. 7 p. 265:
Judaism is not frightened even by the hundreds of thousands and millions of years which the geological theory of the earth's development bandies about so freely. Judaism would have nothing to fear from that theory even if it were based on something more than mere hypothesis, on the still unproven presumption that the forces we see at work in our world today are the same as those that were in existence, with the same degree of potency, when the world was first created. Our Rabbis, the Sages of Judaism, discuss (Midrash Rabbah 9; Tractate Hagigah 16a) the possibility that earlier worlds were brought into existence and subsequently destroyed by the Creator before He made our own earth in its present form and order. However, the Rabbis have never made the acceptance or rejection of this and similar possibilites an article of faith binding on all Jews. They were willing to live with any theory that did not reject the basic truth that "every beginning is from God."
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