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Our Sages state that the entire creation is contained in the first verse of the Torah‏

5:1 Ten Stages

5:1 Ten Stages

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5:1 Ten Stages
Our Sages state that the entire creation is contained in the first verse of the Torah‏

"The world was created by means of ten utterances. What does this teach us? Could it not have been created by a single utterance?"

Our Sages state that the entire creation was contained in the first utterance, "In the beginning of G‑d’s creating the heavens and the earth." Following this, the entire creation became revealed and developed stage by stage, day by day, until it achieved its present form.

"Could it not have been created by a single utterance?"

This is what the Mishnah asks: "Could it not have been created by a single utterance?" The creation could have remained in its initial undifferentiated, spiritual state. Why was it necessary to expand and differentiate the initial creation into all its details through the other nine utterances, until this physical world came into being?

The Mishnah answers that the purpose of creation is that there should be reward and punishment – to "exact retribution from the wicked," and to "grant ample reward to the righteous." For this purpose it was necessary that it become a coarse material world and that man be imbued with a yetzer hara and passions for material things. This was achieved by causing the initial utterance to descend into the remaining nine.

[From: Midrash Shmuel, as printed in Pirkei Avos in the Light of Chassidus]

Rabbi Yekutiel Green has published many explanantions of Chassidic texts, especially in English, presenting concepts to those with minimal background.
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