Thursday, February 3, 2011

Philosophy, Science and the Evolution of Man Part - 3

Rabbi Slifkin writes:

"Ramban…quotes the Gemara about Rava creating a man - a golem - which he sent to Rabbi Zeira. Upon discovering that this "man" could not communicate, Rabbi Zeira bid it to return to dust. Ramban does not elaborate upon exactly how this proves his point, but apparently it is because this golem must have possessed a nefesh habehemah, since it was animate, and yet we see that it did not possess a nefesh hamaskeles, since it could not communicate. Since it possessed one and not the other, this shows that they are distinct entities. (Note that it also shows that a man with an animal soul and no rational soul can exist after Creation.)"

This (the Note) is not correct. First of all, there’s no such thing as a pre-Creation man which possessed only an animal soul. Second, the golem Rava created never possesed the status of a man in the first place. Thus, the story of Rava does not show that "a man with an animal soul and no rational soul can exist after Creation"

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