Biblical Faith – with Sam Peak
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There are any number of like references. From the point of view of the earthly observer to whom the Torah is addressed the sun “rises,” “sets,” and “warms up”. So, too, though objectively the atmosphere, with its belts of water vapor and gases, circles the earth, from the point of view of one standing on earth the gases form a sack for the sun. Chazal describe the water vapor as a pool of water which dilutes the strength of the sun’s rays, that is, it screens out deadly radition. With this knowledge, we must assume that if, during ma’asa Brayshis, the earth was closer to the sun, the atmosphere must necessarily have been denser than it is now to screen out the greater emissions of ultraviolet. If so, we can readly imagine that the atmosphere was dense enough to refract the rays of light reflected from the earth around the globe. (I am informed that a five -fold increase in atmospheric sensity would accomplish this.) It would have acted, in effect, like a global mirror, in the center of whose interior the earth was suspended. A person at any spot on earth could any other places on the globe, as the Chachomim insist.
From “Mysteries of the Creation” by Rabbi Dovid Brown. We are studying from the following pages: pg. 84–89.
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