Grace – Biblical


Deborah Williger


How great are your works! Adam, don`t master but “sheep” the earth.

Bible Passage – Genesis 1.1 – 2.3 and Psalm 92

Introductory remarks:

= ecarg rof werbeHחסד ו חן) Chen we Chessed) => God´s loving kindness. All created reality is the result of a separation event. Out of a totality many parts came into being. The dual world in constant evolutionary variety without complete significances came into existence. In the biblical creation narrative shabbat is not closed off like the days before it with the formula, “and it was evening, and it was morning.” Creation is a “work in progress” and thereby congruent with the paradigm of evolution. Cabbalists call the origin of the world Zimzum, God`s loving kindness and grace, astrophysicists call it Big Bang. In Jewish tradition the natural world and all species are part of the same divine Creation. Hierarchical or evaluative criteria do not apply to any fellow creature. The right to life in all various species is linked to the account of creation: “Be fruitful and increase…” (Gen 1.22 u. 1.28). In the Jewish annual rhythm of celebrating the creation of our real world at Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the day of fasting and atonement, all confess and pray in common for grace and life. God`s grace, God`s loving kindness, God`s creation of the world with earthly life are praised by all living beings and in Tehilim (Psalms): “To proclaim Your steadfast love at daybreak, Your faithfulness each night. With a ten-stringed harp, with voice and lyre together. You have gladdened me by Your deeds, O LORD; I shout for joy at Your handiwork. How great are Your works, O LORD, how very subtle Your designs!” (Psalm 92: 3-6). When we remember the grace of living together in one unique creation, we will understand essentials from our identity as fellow creatures. People would no more exclude ecological themes as they have done previously. It will be much more productive if both traditional and critically- minded people would realize that their goals are in agreement: To maintain creation and the living variety on earth.