My Encounter with the Firmament – TheTorah.com

A fascinating Jewish perspective, reviewing the history of Jewish interpretation of the firmament.  From the article:

The Torah describes God’s fashioning the firmament (רקיע) on the second day of creation. This piece of the universe, however, doesn’t actually exist—a problem obfuscated in my yeshiva education…Every pre-Copernican commentator in Judaism who wrote about the rakia knew exactly what it was.[8] The Talmud, for instance, records varying opinions about the thickness of what is clearly a solid firmament; from the seven layer firmaments of Resh Lakish (b. Chagigah 12b), to the two firmaments of R Judah (ibid.), from the finger-width firmament of Rav Joshua ben R Nehemia (Gen. Rab. 4:5), to the “50 year journey” firmament of Rav Judah (j. Berachot 2c).

Source: My Encounter with the Firmament – TheTorah.com

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