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    Creature & creation – Rosh HaShanah

    Rosh HaShanah is the birthday of Creation. The Bible regards man as Creation’s summit.

    Everything was gradually made and set into its place, ready for man to assume the place allocated to him, just lower than the angels (Psalm 8).

    The sages put into man’s mouth the words, bish’vili nivra ha-olam, “For my sake was the world created” (Mishnah Sanh. 4:5).

    The whole process of creation led up to the making of man, who, according to Sa’adia Ga’on, is a superior being with intellectual, moral and spiritual traits and talents which no other species possesses.

    Sa’adia says, “Should anyone imagine that there exists some other being outside of man that is endowed with such superior qualities, then let him show us these qualities or even some of them in some other creature. Such a being, however, he will never discover”.

    Maimonides adds that this does not mean that other parts of creation lack a role. They serve man, but this is not necessarily their only or major purpose: “They have been made for their own sake, not for the sake of something else”.

    Yet man must never boast. “What are we?” asks the liturgy; “What is our life, our goodness, our virtue, our strength, our might? Even if man is righteous, what does he give You? Man has no eminence over the beast, for all is vanity.”

    Still he has a privilege: only he has a spiritual sense. “You chose mortal man and deemed him worthy to stand before You.”

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