Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Symbol of the Six days of Creation

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
This chapter deals with the meaning of the triangles that constitute the Star of David. Photo is courtesy of "bibbjian" who published it on Flickr
I edited the photo in order to emphasize the Star of David which hides in the original, where six Roman emperors representing the days of the week surround Saturn who represents Saturday

Nature abounds with triads, as in sun, planets and moon; or in atoms, as protons, neutrons and electrons, or their three properties (mass, charge and spin) or states (solid, liquid and gas). The four elements - earth, air, fire and water - also ought to be mentioned here, insofar as fire is not in fact an element like the three others, but a process of energy exchange.
Within this context, it is worth noting that the Earth itself is endowed with the power to evolve, as we learn from its history, and as expressed in the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible. There, the first two days of Genesis only the Creator is acting while everything created so far remained in its original primitive state, notwithstanding the built in possibilities of development. This state changed -certainly not accidental- at the third day when the Creator commissioned the earth to bring forth vegetation and fruit trees. Regarding the kingdom of plants, we read: "And God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation...and the fruit tree..."; and with regard to the maritime kingdom: "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life"; and referring to the animal kingdom: "Let the earth bring forth the living creatures after its kind...". This marks the beginning of a however limited independence of created things. In man who was created on the sixth day (2 x 3!), this independence climaxed in the free will he can exercise to some degree.
When seeing the first three days of creation as symbolized by one triangle, and the second three days (days 4,5,6) by another triangle, their unity can be demonstrated by their harmonious joining in a hexagram. We recognize right away that its center, the hexagon as a consequential outcome of that creation symbolizes well the 7th day, the Shabbat. Indeed, Shabbat was not created: it is embedded in creation, marking its completion. We humans as being created on the 6th day are given into the laws of created nature. We are not “given into” the Shabbat, the 7th day; rather Shabbat is given to us: it is part of our human freedom to observe it, and “make it” (Exod. 31:16) into a part of our Divine freedom
This commission to evolve and develop is summed up in the words: "...[God] rested from all his work which "G o d c r e a t e d [i n o r d e r] t o d o ".
For the sake of clarity, let us reflect briefly on this well-known yet hardly understood phrase. It expresses so-to-speak two sides of one and the same coin. After the six days, or periodes, of creative work, God -speaking in human terms- rested from that work, looked at it, and found it "very good": the chaotic forces were given direction for a harmonious interplay; sun and moon were set for days, years, and seasons; the earth was commissioned to bring forth plants and living creatures; and man was created in his Maker's image. All this was created i n o r d e r t o d o , i.e. it was now upon man to subdue the earth and have dominion over it i n t h e i m a g e of the Creator, and live up to His likeness in accordance with the original plan, or blueprint, as outlined in Gen. 1:26 which says:
"Let us make Adam [=man] in our image as our likeness".
In this man-making process which goes on under the dictum "which he created to d o, God rested after all his work so that Man will complete it by his deeds. Right away after the above statement that God rested from all his work which he created so far, we read that He "breathed the breath of life" - the neshamah - into Adam's nostril s, providing thus the spiritual equipment for his task to "cultivate the Garden". Then He "planted a garden eastward in Eden"; formed Eve from his rib; rebuked Cain; saved Noah from the Flood; called forth Abram/Abraham; punished Egypt and took Israel out from there; gave the Decalogue; and on Moses’ request to “create” something new, did the earth open its mouth and swallowed Korah and his followers); etc.
All this occurred upon the earth which is, according to the Tanakh, as one of God's creations a dynamic power field subject to the eternal laws of the Creator.

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