Was the Universe Created in Six Days?  The Views of Medieval Kabbalists 

by Rabbi Dr. Raphael Shuchat

universe image

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 2nd 2016 at 6:30 pm

Location: Furst Hall, Room 535. 500 West 185th Street, New York, NY 10033

The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies invites you to a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Raphael Shuchat : Was the Universe Created in Six Days?  The Views of Medieval Kabbalists

The Mishnah in Hagigah (2, 1) refers to the biblical creation story as one of two mysteries of the Torah that can be taught only to a limited audience. Despite this, in contemporary discussions of the conflict between scientific theories of cosmogony and the biblical account of creation there is a tendency to understand the biblical narrative from only a ‘pshat’ perspective without engaging the traditional commentaries that have been written over the centuries. The kabbalists in the Middle Ages claimed to have traditions about these secrets of creation, and their understanding of the biblical narrative provides us with four different perspectives on how to see the sequence of the six days of creation. These understandings are crucial in any discussion of the interface between Judaism’s ideas on creation and modern science.

Rabbi Dr. Raphael Shuchat has been a lecturer at the School for Basic Jewish Studies of Bar-Ilan University for over twenty years and headed the Beit Midrash for Giyur at the Bet El Synagogue in Tel Aviv for the past four years. He has published five books and close to forty academic articles in the areas of science and Judaism as well as the thought of the Vilna Gaon and his disciples. His book Jewish Faith in a Changing World was published by Academic Studies Press in 2012, and his latest book, Kabbalat Lita was published by Bar Ilan in 2015.

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