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A Man in the Making

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Let Us 'Make' Man instead of Let Us 'Create' Man

Rina Wolfson from Israel wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

My name is Rina and I am five years old. On Parshas Bereishis, my father asked a question at the table: "Why did Hashem say 'Let us make man?' (The Hebrew term is 'na'aseh adam.') Why did Hashem need to use the term 'na'aseh' - 'let us make' (as opposed to 'nivrah' - 'let us create')." I answered that the purpose of the creation is to follow the Torah, and that Hashem was teaching the Jewish Nation to use the term "na'aseh v'nishma" ("we will do and we will hear") when they received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Is this an incorrect answer or is there some basis in the midrash to my idea? (email submitted by Rina's mother)


Dear Rina Wolfson,

Rina, you may only be five years old, but your ideas are thousands of years old! Your 'original' thought appears in the Zohar! The Zohar writes that when creating humans, Hashem used the word na'aseh to parallel the na'aseh v'nishma that the Jewish People declared at Sinai. The connection is exactly as you explained, the world was created on the condition that the Jewish People would stand at Mount Sinai and receive the Torah.

And don't forget, Rina, the Sages also tell us that the world continues to exist only because of the words of Torah spoken by little children. So keep up the good work, and keep the world working!

Sources:

  • Zohar's Intro. to the Torah, pp. 1:1 and 1:2.
  • Rashi, Bereishet 1:31.
  • Tractate Shabbat 119b


 
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