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

Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 19:00:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Age of the Earth

Isaac Zlochower in Torah Forum Vol 4 Number 59 states that:
<  <  Russell in T-F 4:55 makes some bold statements that should not go
unchallenged.  He states that the mystical work of creation is an esoteric
subject that only the elect few can be taught, and then only by hints and
headings.  He then go on to give some headings concerning some mystical
illusions concerning the creation days.  He makes it seem that he is
alluding to deep mysteries of the faith rather than his own speculations.
If he has a legitimate traditional source for his headings he should cite
it, if they are his own thoughts then there is no need for mystery.>  >

No problem! Hagigah 11b: "The works of Creation may not be expounded in the
presence of two". The Rambam (Foundations, 4:10 and 4:11) follows suit.

The Rambam (4:13) explicitly IDENTIFIES WORK OF CREATION with the
fulfillment of 5 commandments (Love of G-d, G-d's unity, Fear of G-d, no
other gods, G-d's existence).

Furthermore the Rabmam (Chap 3:9) identifies "Stars" as (Prophetic) Beings
who recognize G-d but are on a level below angels (I guess because the
prophetic experience comes in a vision of fire like a Star Fire). The
Rambam explicitly (3:10) identifies the 4 elements (fire,air,water..) with
the so called inanimate world so that it is clear that "stars" refers not
to physical stars but "prophetic stars" (Also e.g. see Nu 24:17)

Isaac continues: <  <  He states further that the Bible is about G-D and
prophesy, it is not about physical reality.  Does this mean that all the
stories that do not explicitly deal with prophetic occurrences need not be
taken at face value?>  >

Good point.What I Meant was that Biblical stories are either a) legal, b)
moral guides (e.g. stories of the Patriarchs) c) about prophecy. Think
about it!!! Every chapter in the Bible falls into one of these 3
categories!!! I therefore feel justified classifying Gen 1 as prophecy
(There are NO Biblical chapters that give advise e.g. on how to irrigate
fields, or build a city or any other 'real world phenomena'

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu
Adjunct Associate Professor of Associate Mathematics and Computer science