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“And G-d formed the man of dust from the ground. And He blew into his nostrils the soul of life.” (Genesis: 2:7)
The creation of man?
Haven’t we done that already? (1:26)
Why is it repeated?
If you took “Bible” in college, you may have heard “the answer.”
That there are two “Creation Stories.” From two different authors.
But that’s not how the Jewish People have studied the Torah for 3000 years!
Jewish tradition sees the Torah as written by one Author.
With a capital “A”.
And when we had a problem, we asked, “why”?
What lesson does the Author want to teach us?
And if we couldn’t think of anything? We tried harder. And harder.
And that’s why Jewish tradition is so rich.
We’ve uncovered layers and layers of meaning.
… Jewish tradition tells us to look carefully at the two “Creation Stories.”
And one thing we’ll notice?
In the first, man is lumped together with the rest of the physical world.
On the sixth day G-d created the animals. The creeping things. And a human being.
In one day. One paragraph.
In the second story, man is separated. Presented as totally unique.
Creation was done. There was a pause.
And G-d creates man. And “blows into his nostrils the soul of life.”
Why both stories?
Because they’re both true.
We are just like animals. Our physical bodies are identical.
We’re just a little smarter.
(That may be debatable. Someone once said, “If there is intelligent life on other planets, why would they want to get in touch with us? We watch television all day!)
But we also have the potential to be unique.
To live a more meaningful life.
We have the ability to transcend the physical world.
To have a relationship with G-d.
We are given the challenge. The choice is ours.
And the Torah teaches us how to be truly human.