Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Congregant's Comment on Creation

Congregant Luwik Kowalski offers the following comment on the Biblical story of Creation, based on commentary provided by Reform Rabbi Aaron B. Bisno:

The Biblical story of creation of the universe in six days conflicts with what scientists tell us about evolution. Reform Jews do not reject scientific knowledge; they reject the "intelligent design" pseudo-theory. Only proponents of "intelligent design" insist that intellectual honesty requires us to teach (in schools) that the stories in Genesis are legitimate historical theories. 
Nothing could be further from scientific or historical truth; the truths these biblical tales speak are of a mythic sort. This is not to suggest the Torah is less than meaningful. In fact, the accounts of the world's Creation, as recorded in Genesis's two tales, are among the most meaningful stories ever written! The stories of a God who fashioned humanity in the divine image and according to a master plan are neither reliable nor plausible explanations of the world's origins.

But the Biblical idea that God created the world for a purpose, and that he loves us, is a comfortable belief. In fact, I deliberately choose to behave as if it is true. Yet, insofar as such a belief speaks to the spiritual and moral dimensions of our lives, the Torah's verses fall into the realm of religion and not into that of science. Thus, when we study the origins of the universe, we turn to biology, chemistry, and the like. And when we ask the questions that speak to our sense of self, we return to our sacred Torah, which has guided, nourished, and sustained our people's spirit.

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