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    Like the creation – Vayakhel

    The_Creation_of_AdamJewish exegesis compares this week’s sidra with the account of the Creation of the world in B’reshit chapter 1, and concludes that they mirror each other.

    In the Creation story God applies Divine wisdom to bringing into being a world that will acknowledge Him. In the Vayakhel narrative we are told of man creating a community centered on the worship of God. Just as God used wisdom, understanding and knowledge (chochmah, t’vunah and da’at) to create His world, so man must use the same qualities to build a human community.

    Rashi defines the three terms like this: “chochmah – what one learns from others; t’vunah – finding the meaning in what one has learnt; da’at – inspiration”.

    Some prefer to read the three terms in reverse order, arguing that first comes knowledge, then understanding, and finally inspiration. Actually one may maintain the original sequence and explain chochmah as what derives from others, t’vunah as what derives from oneself and da’at as what one gains from God.

    Even so, we have a problem. Granted that the three terms have human content, how can anyone think of them applying to God, who is surely above such things? Answer: God is not defining Himself but speaking the language of human beings and telling them that these three attributes are the God-given pattern that they should follow.

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