(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:47:12 -0500
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Re: Age of the Earth

Andrew Getraer, in Torah Forum Vol 4 Number 44, cites my suggestion that
Genesis 1 is talking about the creation of prophecy not the creation of the
physical world. He however rejects this with the observation >  >  ...This
accounts for Fridays creation--what about the previous 5.5 days...<  <

Allow me to answer this: Gen 1 deals with the stages necessary to become a
prophet. The Talmud refers to Gen 1 as the "Mystical Work of Creation"-- it
is a mystical work that only preferred sages can study. We are not allowed
to give full details or even basic principles of this study in public. But
we can give hints. Allow me to show how the Genesis account does talk about
7 stages of prophecy:

SUNDAY: LIGHT = Lights of prophecy (cf Ez 1:4)
MONDAY: Spiritual vs Physical (Shamayim v Aretz)
TUESDAY: Knowledge of Torah Law = ETZ CHAYIIM (Etz created on Tuesday)
WEDNESDAY: The star prophecies of Abraham (Gen 15:5)
THURSDAY: The messianic prophecies (Levithan was created on Thursday)
FRIDAY: The messianic era (World dominion)
SHABBATH: The World to Come

Finally the next 2 chapters also deal with important matters:
Chap 2: Male-Female relations Chap 3: Dealing with the yeser hara
(symbolized by the nachash)

As indicated above it is prohibited to give details or even basic
principles in public...but it is allowed to show hints. The basic thesis
then is that Gen 1-3 deal with how many can become a prophet.

Furthermore this makes sense. The Bible is about G-d and prophecy...it is
not about physical reality. What value does it have to me that G-d did such
and such on various days?

My intention in suggesting this approach was to increase Torah study and
appreciation of Prophecy which I think this approach does.

Russell Jay Hendel; pHd ASA
Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu