How wonderful to begin the annual cycle of reading the Torah once again! The stories of Genesis are very familiar to us—or so we think.
How many people do you know who follow, with great interest, any new discoveries in the world of science related to the origins of the universe and that makeup of the most minute particles of the atom?
How many people do you know who dismiss the Genesis stories, particularly of the creation of the Earth and of humankind, as stories and fables?
I am personally fascinated by the growing evidence of consistency between science and Torah.
The approach we are supposed to have to the investigation of science and Torah is the same. We are to be questioning and curious. We are to approach everything with a sense of awe and wonder at so much that is greater than ourselves.
We need not be concerned with whether the story of the serpent ACTUALLY happened. Our greatest sages tell us that it most assuredly did not. The point is the message—the many messages. The frustration comes when the whole of Torah is undermined if someone requires the TRUTH of the historic accuracy of the stories to be an all or nothing proposition. The TRUTH in the stories is not that they actually occurred, but in the principled message it sends and the benefit of the study and discussion of the message.
The truth is that discovery in science and growth as individuals comes through the same means, through good faith questioning and investigation. Those are clear Torah principles!
Just like the spaces scientists continue to discover where we thought there was solid matter, we are to read between the numerous lines and spaces in the Torah. Fortunately, scientists did not give up their curiosity after their bar and bat mitzvahs
As we begin this new cycle of reading and study of Torah, perhaps we can have that sense of wonder and awe at our heritage and study its amazing wisdom.
This Shabbat we learn with Ruth Bergman at 9:45 a.m. in the Shiffman Chapel. We make certain to finish our study in time for the Rabbi’s Drasha.
Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.
P.S. Who do you know who would enjoy coming to our Torah Study or receiving this e-drash? Please let them or me know.