Parshas Tazria 5775

In the beginning of this week’s parsha the Medrash comments, “This is the meaning of the Possuk (Tehilim 139/5) Later on and beforehand Y.u formed me… Raish Lokish said, “ochor” (later on) refers to the last day of Creation, “vekedem” (beforehand) refers to the first day of Creation. (Raish Lokish explains) if the person is worthy then they say to him you were created before the whole creation. If he is not worthy, then they say to him that even flies and little worms were created before you.” 

In other words, Hashem didn’t create Adam on one singular day. Rather Adam’s creation was split into two; his spiritual side was created on the first day and the physical side of him was created on the sixth day. 

Raish Lokish teaches us that if he is worthy then he is considered to be created on the first day of creation. On the other hand,  if he isn’t worthy then he is considered to be created only on the last day of creation. 

Zera Shimshon asks how can we understand this? If the main part of Adam is his spiritual side then he should be considered to be created on the first day regardless of his merits. If his main part is his physical side, then he should be considered to be created on the last day, regardless of his flaws. How can our merits change history and determine on which day we were created? 

He answers in light of the Ra“v’s explanation of the Mishna in Pirkei Avos (3/9), “Whoever’s fear of sin precedes his wisdom, his wisdom will remain”. The Rav explains that this does not mean simply that whoever’s fear of sin precedes in time to his learning Torah then he will not forget his learning. Rather it means that whoever’s the fear of sin is the motivation for his learning (meaning that he learns to know from what sins to stay away) then what he learns will help him to, in actuality, stay away from sin.  This explanation, the Ra“v explains, is based on the concept “the end product is the manifestation of the orginal thought”.

 Zera Shimshon explains that the purpose of the creation of Man with both a spiritual element and a physical element was that the spiritual side will rule over and direct the physical side to serve Hashem. (As HaRav Shteinman writes, “Hashem did not create us to be bodiless creatures like angels (malachim) but to be like Eliyahu HaNavi.”)

According to this we can now understand the Medrash. If we are worthy, meaning our spiritual element rules over our bodies then we are actuallizing the orginal idea or our creation. Therefore it is considered as we were already created at the time of the orginal thought, i.e. on the first day of the Creation. However if we are not worthy (the spiritual element does not rule over the bodily element) then our existence is disconnected from  the original thought and it cannot be considered as we were created at the time of the original thought. Therefore it is if we were actually created on the last day of Creation.

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