Painting of a beautiful landscape with many animals.
The Garden of Eden (1655-61), by Izaak van Oosten. (Wikimedia Commons)

Creation, Revelation, Redemption

Judaism's past, present and future.

Jewish tradition is built around three axes: Creation, Revelation and Redemption. Traditionally these have been seen as the making of the world, the giving of the Torah and coming of the Messiah. Each also tells us something about our attitude and conduct along the way.

Creation reminds us that we are stewards of the garden. The rabbis explain that God said after creation, if we destroy this place there will be none to restore it after us. The fate of life on this earth is largely in our hands. 

Revelation teaches the Jewish people the responsibility of relationship and the moral order. Through law and story we are tied to one another and to God. The words and endless implications of Torah are our gift to generations and legacy to the world.

Redemption is the continuing call to heal a broken world. We are charged with uplifting the sparks, helping those who despair or are in need, innovating in ways to move humanity forward, summoning the courage needed to make peace. Creation, Revelation and Redemption — the story of a past, a program for the present and a vision of the future.

The blessings that surround the Shema in Jewish daily prayer each reflect one of these central themes. Learn more.

Rabbi David Wolpe’s musings are shared in My Jewish Learning’s Shabbat newsletter, Recharge, a weekly collection of readings to refresh your soul. Sign up to receive the newsletter.

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