It’s a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn’t consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors. -Samuel Levenson
The Torah uses very broad brush strokes to describe the creation of the universe. In just one paragraph we are told about the setting of order within chaos, light within darkness, and life within an existential vacuum. How God went about determining the laws and the infinite details of nature are largely a mystery. Why does gravity work the way it does? Why does water have the magical properties that it does? Why are we at exactly the perfect distance from the sun to maintain comfortable conditions for life? Why are animals born with the instincts that they have? Why does our planet have the form and variety that it possesses?
There is an ancient Kabbalistic belief that the Torah was actually created before the creation of the physical universe (whatever that means). The Sfat Emet on Genesis 1, in his commentary for the year 5634 (1874) expands on this concept and explains that the world was actually created based on the Torah; that the Torah in some fashion was the blueprint for the physical world and therefore, one can find something of the Torah in all of creation. Every aspect of creation will contain secrets and lessons of the Torah, which is God’s instruction manual for us.
The more one understands both Torah and creation, the more one can decode the hidden messages God left in His world and in the instruction manual. King Solomon, 3,000 years ago, already noted lessons from the animal kingdom that we can take as values: the hard work of the ant, the cleanliness of the cat and so forth. In our day and age, as we have begun to unlock some of the basic forces and sciences of our world, chemistry, physics, biology, subatomic particles, genetic engineering and so much more, shouldn’t we be a bit wiser about understanding God’s directions?
May we appreciate the divine creation that is our universe and pay closer attention to its beauty, mystery and lessons.
To Hope. Hope for our world. We can’t let the darkness and the death and the terror bring us down. We need to hope, plan and work for a better day, despite the enemies, obstacles and challenges.