For the week ending 12 January 2008 / 5 Shevat 5768

Torah Blueprint

by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman -
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From: Nick in Toronto

Dear Rabbi,

I heard that according to Jewish teachings, the Torah preceded Creation and was actually used as a blueprint through which G-d created everything. Is this true and how can it be that the Torah which seems to say very little about Creation could actually be the blueprint for all that came into being? Thanks.

Dear Nick,

It is true that the Zohar writes, “G-d looked into the Torah and created the World”.

Of course, the Torah, in its written form, only briefly describes the process and sequence of Creation. However, we should not think that because of its deceptively brief and general description that the Torah does not contain within the text the plan for the entire multitude of Creation.

The Torah is not punctuated and contains a continuum of letters that according to tradition can be divided in many ways, resulting in a myriad of meanings. In fact, the Zohar also states that the Torah is accordingly comprised of many names of G-d, or even one long name of G-d. Therefore the seemingly simple text is believed to contain within it many levels of subliminal meaning interwoven with names of G-d. This multi-faceted writing beneath the surface of the Torah text may also contain the blueprint for what became the multiplicity of Creation.

Still, there is another explanation as well.

When we refer to G-d looking into the Torah in order to create, we are referring to the plane of Torah that existed before Creation, and before it was given at Sinai. In this pure, primal form, Torah is understood as meaning and referring to Divine Will or Intelligence before it was crystallized, formulated and expressed in what became the Written Torah given to the Jews and mankind.

This is the meaning of the teaching “G-d, the Torah and Israel are all one”. G-d, His Will/Intelligence and his concept of Israel – a term referring to G-d’s desire that mankind grapple with seeking and finding Him – are all inseparably bound in One. This pre-Creation form of the Torah, then, is what G-d “looked” into as a blueprint of Creation. Meaning, Creation is a manifestation or projection of Divine Intelligence that came into being as a result of, and according to, His Will.

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