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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Questions and Answers

Question from Linda Dangoor-Khalastchi:
How can we reconcile the Jewish year 5762, said to be "to the Creation", with the claim of scientists that the universe came into being 15 billion years ago?

Answer by Naim Dangoor:
The rabbinic belief is that our civilisation is destined to last 6,000 years when it will come to a cataclysmic end, and a new sequence will start all over again! The explanation is that there have been many such phases before. There is, however, no biblical foundation to this theory.

The Book of Genesis deals with two distinct events – one is God’s creation of the universe out of nothing for which the Hebrew word "bara" is used, and the second event is the creation of mankind from dust of the earth for which the Hebrew word "yatzar" is used. It records what could be remembered of the story of Adam’s generations, inventor of agriculture, and thus becoming Father of our civilisation. The Jewish year is arrived at by adding together all that was remembered of the generations of Adam. However, the invention of agriculture took place, not 5672 years ago, but a little earlier, 9000 years ago.

It is notable that the Jewish year is denoted by Jews "layetsera" by which is meant "to (the creation of) Adam" in contrast to the the latin term "Anno Mundi" meaning "to (the creation of) the world".

That figure 4004 BCE was worked out by Bishop Ussher who was obviously reading a Greek translation of the Bible. He gave creation as 6 pm on Friday autumn equinox, being the end of the week of creation rather than its beginning at the time of the Big Bang. The Hebrew Bible gives the day as morning to morning and not as evening to evening.

Further question by Linda:
Thanks for the information, but isn’t it presumtuous of Jews to date our calendar to Adam as if he belongs to us exclusively, whereas he is supposed to be the Father of all Mankind?

Further answer:
Adam is mentioned only in the Jewish Bible and in no other contemporary or earlier source. Our Bible clearly shows Adam as the Father of all mankind which confirms our beliefs in the brotherhood of all mankind without distinction of race, colour, creed or language, an idea that many reactionary people are unwilling to accept even today. This clearly shows the greatness of our traditions.

See Article "In the Footsteps of Adam" elsewhere in this issue.

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