(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) 1996-2000 Project Genesis

Re: Age of the Earth

Russell Hendel (rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu)
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 15:01:06 -0400

Laza Rosenblat wrote:
<< How does Judaism..deal with the Age of the Earth>>

Eliezer Abrahamson correctly responded:
<<The whole thing is simply a nonissue. Adam himself was an adult at
creation many things were created well along in their development.
Obviously we don't believe Hashem created the world as if it never existed>>

I would like to supplement Eliezer's correct observation with the answer to
one small question: If the world isn't 6000 years old, then WHAT did happen
6000 years ago? Indeed the Torah acts as if SOMETHING happened 6000 years
ago at the time of creation. What?

I recently had the following idea: We know Adam was a prophet. It
explicitly states in Gen 3 he spoke to G-d. Tradition ascribes the 92nd
Psalm to him.

So maybe that is it...maybe the world was created 4 billion years ago, and
maybe man was created a long time ago, but the first prophetic experience
was 6000 years ago. Abraham of course was not the first person to talk to
G-d but the first person to actively spread the word of G-ds existence.

Let me put this idea in question form: When did the first prophetic
experience happen? With whom did it happen? If the first prophetic
experience happened with Adam 6000 years ago would it then be correct to
interpret the Genesis history as a record of prophecy?

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d.;ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu