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The Jewish year is said to be - not "lebreath olam," the Creation of the Universe, ie., the Big Bang, but "layetzira," to the end of the period of creation which culminated with the creation of Man. The appellation of anno mundi (A.M.) has to be corrected to anno Adam (A.A.). This brings Genesis within focus as the history of civilisation, which was started by Adam when he discovered the wild wheat in the garden of Eden.

To be precise, the Jewish calendar started at sunset on Friday the first of the month Tishri at the Autumn equinox, when sunset takes place at 6:00 p.m. all around the world. It is at that moment that creation came to an end and the Sabbath started.

God was hoping that human civilisation would be free of violence, in other words, the zero tolerance. But, he did not like what he saw: "And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of His heart was only evil continually." And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said: "I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth." Genesis 6: 5-7

Then the great flood came and did its work. After the flood, the Lord said: "I will not again curse the ground anymore for man's sake for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. While the earth remaineth, seedtime, harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8: 21,22 And God told Noah: "This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I have set my (rain) bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9: 12-14

I have always been puzzled by this turn of events. God knew that man will continue to be evil. The explanation is that God had a bright idea. He no longer wanted to continue managing the world and decided to find a people who would suffer for Him the wickedness of mankind. Those chosen people would be offered not an honour but a duty.

There are two versions of how the Jews became the chosen people. One version was that God simply chose the Jews just like that over all the nations of the world. But why would they be so favoured? The more likely version is that God offered the job to every nation, who one by one rejected the offer after reading the small print. The gullible Jews jumped at the opportunity and God gave us the Torah as a consolation prize, in appreciation for taking the load of GodŐs worries on our shoulders.


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