Partners In Creation
By Rabbi Daniel Travis
The Almighty said, "Let us make adam (man) in our image and our likeness."
As mentioned in the previous essays, God consulted with the attributes of
Truth, Peace, Kindness, and Charity before creating man. Although the vote
resulted in a stalemate, God "cast Truth to the earth" and created man.1 God
is Ultimate Truth! Is it possible that His approach to dealing with the
potential falsehood of man was simply to discard Truth?
Actually, when God tossed away the Truth he wasn't discarding it at all.
Rather, He sent Truth to the earth and gave it to the Jewish people in the
form of Torah.2 Torah is the embodiment of Truth, and by studying it we can
come to understand God's will, which is only Truth, and can learn how to
fulfill it in all our actions.
Nevertheless, many years after this incident, the troubling question
remains: were Truth and Peace correct in their assessment? We live in a
world in which lying and strife are commonplace. How can God's decision be
reconciled with the concrete reality of everyday life?
God's creation of man can be justified by the Torah's instructions for
dealing with the fraudulent behavior that the Heavenly Court anticipated. A
judge who feels that an injustice is being perpetrated in a beith din may
not use the standard procedures for judging the case. Instead, in order to
clarify what really took place between the two litigants, he must question
and cross-examine the parties involved until he is able to determine what
really happened. Only then may he start to judge the case using the regular
An individual who is prepared to lie in beith din is supporting the
criticism of both the attributes of Truth and Peace, for he is furthering
both falsehood and contention. However, by interrogating those involved
until he finally arrives at the truth, the judge is showing that the claims
of Truth and Peace were not sufficient grounds to veto the creation of man.
Man's untamed nature has a tendency towards falsehood and contention. God
gave His Truth to man in the wisdom of the Torah which instructs man in the
proper path to change his nature to one of truth and peace. If man follows
the Torah, he will be able to overcome the inclinations of his untamed
nature, and thereby insure that Truth will triumph in the end.
Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org.
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