Scientists have made a startling discovery. Who we are and what we are is all embedded in our chromosomes which contain the genetic code. Everything depends on the sequence of only four different letters, the four different bases. Whether it’s a small worm or a man, whether it’s animal or vegetable, Hashem made us all from the very same building blocks and all of life is very much the same.
Perhaps this is what Shlomo, the wisest of all men, meant when he said (see Koheles 319) “u’mosar ho’adom min ha’bheima oyin, ki hakol hevel.” In structure, man is not much different from an animal or even a worm. Eventually they all disintegrate into earth and are actually made from the very same elements, as it says “ha’kol holeich el mokom echad. Hakol hayah min he’afar, v’hakol shov el he’afar.” The only difference between the two is that man possesses a soul that eventually must face its Creator. Man is accountable for all it does on the earth below, as it says “mi yodei’a ruach bnei adam ho’oleh hi l’malah, v’ruach habheimah ha’yoredes hi l’matah l’oretz.
Man’s only advantage over an animal is his power of speech called “ruach memallela.” While other species are able to communicate with each other in various and even sophisticated ways, they lack inteligence and the power of speech(See Rashi Berashis 27). When used properly, this great gift can elevate man to the highest of heights but when it is chas v’shalom misused, it can lower him to the lowest depths. In fact, the Torah tells us that the snake too had originally been granted this great gift. When it misused its great power, its hands and feet were removed and it was relegated to crawling on its belly. It takes only a few small changes in the DNA sequence to make these changes, certainly no big deal. The only difference between man and beast is the small letter Yud. Animals were created with the word “va’yitzer” that has only one Yud, while man was created with the word “va’yitzer” that contains two Yuds. Rashi (Berashis 27) explains that animals were created with only one life, on this world, while man has the potential of living in a future world. All of mankind were given six commandments with a seventh added in the days of Noach. If they keep them properly, then they will be insured of a share in the world to come, but if they don’t, they’ll have to pay the consequences.
A Jew has been given six hundred and thirteen commandments which he must adhere to. Along with them, he was also granted a holy neshama, which, we are told, is a “chelek Eloki,” (a part of G-d) which he must make sure to keep pure and holy.
So let’s take a fresh look at the magnificent and wondrous world we live in and try to realize why we have been put here. “Va’ani lo nivreisi elah l’shamesh es koni.” While all of creation was made to serve man, man was created to serve his Creator!
As man increases his knowledge and understanding of life’s complex and marvelous structures and begins to see the great wonders that lie within each cell and in all of creation, he must increase his awe and love of G-d who made and makes it all happen.
We all hope and pray that the time will soon come when all of humanity will recognize that it is Hashem Who created it all, as it says “v’yeidah kol po’ul ki Atta p’alto, v’yavin kol y’tzur ki Atta y’tzarto.” Science will come to the realization that not only did Hashem create the entire universe, and has full and constant control of it, but He also reenergizes it at every moment as it says “ha’mechadesh b’chol yom tamid maasei bereishis.” Everyone will finally recognize that all of creation is nothing but a manifestation of its Creator and it is to Him alone that all of mankind will bow and serve. “And on that day He will be One and His Name will be One.”