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    The raw materials of creation – B’reshit

    Ancient debate surrounded the issue of Creation ex nihilo, “out of nothing”.

    The first chapter of B’reshit constantly uses the phrase, “And God said”, which led the philosophers to aver that God created by means of a series of utterances. They quoted the verse, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made” (Ps. 33:6). God said, “Let light exist”, and thereupon light did exist.

    From another angle, the beginning of Pir’kei Avot (1:18) says that God used three principles to establish the world – justice, truth and peace (Zech. 8:16).

    The Midrash (B’reshit Rabbah 3:9) says that He made several earlier worlds but the preliminary ones did not please Him. Possibly this means that the earlier worlds did not take to His recipe of justice, truth and peace.

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