Thursday, January 23, 2014

'amida (Berakha 2) God's powers and Evolution theory

The second berakha (=blessing) of the 'amida is called geburot, "God's powers". 

This blessing asserts, in the first place, that God is Omnipotent (Atta gibbor le'olam) , infinitely powerful. Then it tells us that God uses His powers to restore life, to save, to make rain descend, to nurture, to support those who fell, to cure the sick, to deliver captives, etc.
Unlike mythological gods whose powers are shown in their ability to overcome other gods or destroy, HaShem's might is all about Him blessing His creatures,  teaching us, incidentally,  that like HaShem we too should use our powers, resources and abilities to save, cure, help, etc.
The highest expression of God's power, mentioned four times in this berakha,  is tehiat hametim, 'the resurrection of the dead'. Resurrection (do not confuse with reincarnation) is a core belief in Judaism. Resurrection affirms that in messianic times, God will restore life to the dead.

Tehiat hametim, life restoration, is similar to Creation. It obviously defies all physical and biological laws known to us. Even today, 2014, when science has decoded the DNA and developed nanotechnology, no scientist can generate life from atoms. Even if a scientist would intelligently design a lab, duplicating the same original conditions in which, according to his theory, life appeared "randomly" on earth, he will not be able to create even one single living cell.  The generation of life remains God's exclusive domain. By the way, this is the weakest point of Evolution theory. Until today evolutionist fail to explain how life appeared in our planet to begin with.
Something similar happens with Tehiat hametim. Give to a modern microbiologist a simple mosquito, which died one minute ago of natural causes. Could a scientist restore the life of this mosquito, even for a few more minutes?  We are not talking here about creating life out of inorganic matter in a laboratory. The scientist is given a mosquito, with every part of its body still in place. Is it possible for a man to restore even one moment of autonomous life?

We humans have the power to help, to harm, to kill or to heal. 
But tehiat hametim, restoration of life, same as creation of life, is HaShem's exclusive domain.