The Jewish calendar is dated from the supposed
year of the Creation. This is indicated by the letter 'AM' after
each year - meaning 'Anno Mundi', Year of the World. For Judaism
sees its origins in the Act of Creation and its own inceptions
as being part of the Divine plan. In the Torah (the first five
books of the Hebrew Bible) and later in the Talmud (a collection
of commentaries on the Torah), the pattern and purpose of Creation
is revealed and the important role assigned to humans is spelt
In the beginning, God created the heavens and
the earth. Some say that God also created the Torah at this time,
and a mighty voice crying, "Return, you children of men".
God said, "Let there be light". And there was light.
And God saw that it was good, God divided the light from the darkness,
naming them ' day' and 'night'. Evening and morning came - the
first day. God said, "Let the waters be divided". And
God made the arch of the sky to hold back the waters from the
earth. He placed some above the arch and some below. Some tell
of the waters arguing about this division, and thus disagreement
entered the universe. Of this day God did not say, "It is
good". Evening and morning came- the second day. God said,
"Let the waters under heaven come together, and dry land
appear". Thus the earth arose, and [plants and trees grew,
and God saw that is was good. Evening came and morning came -
the third day. God said, "Let the great light and the small
light appear in heaven to govern day and night. God saw that it
was good. Evening came and morning came - the fourth day. God
said. "Let the waters fill with creatures and the sky with
birds". God saw that it was good, and blessed them. Evening
came and morning came - the fifth day.
God said "Let the earth bring forth every kind of living
creature". God saw that it was good. Then, last of all when
the earth was ready God said. "Let us take dust and create
man, Adam, to be master over all creatures". So Adam was
created in God's own image.
God saw that Adam needed a friend - woman. Some say that the earth
was worried and asked. "How shall I feed all her children?"
God replied, "Fear not, together we shall find food".
So Lilith was made from the dust, also in God's image. But Lilith
would not live with Adam and went her own way. So God made a woman
before Adam's eyes, but Adam turned from her. Finally, putting
Adam in a deep sleep, God took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve,
and placed the couple in Paradise.
On the seventh day, God finished his work and rested. And Paradise
was blissful, until Adam and Eve ate fruit from the tree of knowledge
of good and evil, which God had forbidden them to do. God punished
them, and cast our parents out of Paradise to struggle in this
The Break in the relation ship between God
and first humans is however not seen as a final one. Through the
Covenants with Abraham and Moses, the Jewish people have a close
relationship with God; they are to act as a model of the way God
wishes people to live and to use the world. The world is a larder
full of good things but it is ours on trust and we must care for
it as well as use it.
Creation Stories Home