Friday, October 24, 2008

Natural Law

A friend showed me a really interesting Netsiv, on parshat B'rei'shit. On the first pasuk, he quotes the well-known idea regarding the use of the word, "Elokim," denoting Din - Law.

Now, the common explanation of this is that God initially intended that the Universe be governed by pure Din, but that Man couldn't live that way, so he subsequently infused it with Rachamim - Mercy, to accomodate us.

The Netsiv says we're reading it wrong.

He says that the Din being discussed here is NOT the Din of Torah, which basically deals with issues of reward and punishment. This, he says, is referring to is "Din Teva" - Natural Law!

He continues on to explain that, when God created the Universe, the first thing He did was create Natural Law, and then used it as the system through which He created the Universe.

In other words, the Big Bang theory is not at all at odds with a Torah viewpoint. Neither is any other scientific theory that explains Creation. All they're doing is attempting to unravel God's Natural Law. The Netsiv says there's no inconsistency.

He also explains the subsequent infusion of Rachamim as not being an afterthought. Rachamim is required for the maintenance of God's Creation. After all, if the Universe continued running by means of strict Natural Law, there would simply be no room for Hashgacha Pratit - the personal involvement of God in our lives; in the world.

Pretty cool stuff.

1 comment:

Conscience Whig said...

Very insightful.