Actually, the proper translation of Hayom Harat Olam is “Today is the day the world is pregnant.” What does that mean?
- To listen to the Dvar Torah click here
Another question is why we celebrate the creation of man, especially since in the end of Parshat Bereishit it says that God was somewhat disappointed for creating man, and even after God destroys the world and rebuilds it with Noach, he isn’t satisfied until Avraham is born nearly 2000 years after the creation of man. So why are we celebrating now?
In Parshat Noach, God commands Noach to leave the ark after the floodwaters are gone, after which he builds an altar to offer a sacrifice to God. When God smells this sacrifice, the Torah says it was pleasing to God, and He says that he will never again destroy the world, because the nature of Man is evil from birth. What kind of response is this from God?
To understand this, we must understand why people are evil from birth, and why people do bad things in general. People do bad things because it is in their best interest, and the nature of man is to be self absorbed and only interested in their own issues. This is what it means that the nature of Man is evil from birth, because the nature of a baby is to be only concerned with its own needs and self absorbed.
When Noach emerged from the ark, he had the entire world to himself. Nevertheless, the first thing he did was to offer a sacrifice to God. God was appeased because it showed that man can mature, and even though man is born self absorbed, man can grow to be a giving person.
This is why we celebrate the creation of man on Rosh Hashanah. When Adam and Eve were created, there was so much potential in the world, as if the world was “pregnant”. There was a responsibility to mold that, to create awareness that there was more than just themselves in the world.
That was the mistake of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, that it was a selfish desire to be more godly. It’s the mistake that it’s not about what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for our fellow man and the rest of the world, and it’s that potential and responsibility that we celebrate on Rosh Hashanah.
Rabbi Ira Ebbin is the rabbi of Young Israel at Stamford synagogue, Stamford, CT.Courtesy of the Orthodox Union Take Five for Torah program