תוֹהוּ וָבוֹהוּ

Wordle: tohu-vavohu

In the beginning, the Lord created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was tohu vavohu. What is tohu vavohu? This matter is much debated among the sages. There are those who say: formless. There are those who say: void. There are those who say: astonishingly empty, as though they had stood alongside the Almighty in the time before time, and had been astonished at the emptiness, had, perhaps, remarked upon it.

And there are those who say: chaotic. This interpretation seems to allow the words, which are all that we have of the beginning, their voice. Tohu vavohu. Higgledy-piggledy. Upside-down. Inside-out. Hither and thither. The Creator wanted to show us the first contraction of all-that-is. All modes of expression were open to Him, every human sense. He chose words — tohu vavohu. Tumble-jumble.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was bingle-mingle.

Naomi Alderman, Disobedience
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