THE HEIGHT OF MAN
Question: Now that the verse says that one may ask only about what is within the world (and not about what was before its creation), for what do we need the verse, "from the day that Hash-m created man on the earth?"
Answer: That verse is needed to teach that the first man extended from the earth to the heaven, but when he sinned, Hash-m shortened him.
Another opinion says that the first man extended from one end of the world to the other, as it says, "from the day that Hash-m created man on the earth from one end of the heaven to the other end of the heaven," but when he sinned, Hash-m shortened him.
Both of these measures are the same.
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD
Ten things were created on the first day of Creation: heaven and earth, Tohu and Bohu, light and darkness, wind and water, the attribute of day and the attribute of night.
(R. Yakov): Two types of light were created: the eternal light on the first day, which was hidden away for the Tzadikim, and the worldly light on the fourth day.
(Chachamim): Only one type of light was created; it was created on the first day, and set in place on the fourth.
The world was created with ten things: Chachmah and Tevunah, Da'as and Ko'ach, Ge'arah and Gevurah, Tzedek and Mishpat, Chesed and Rachamim.
Which was created first, the heaven or the earth?
(Beis Shamai): The heaven was created first and then the land.
(Beis Hillel): The land was created first and then the heaven
(Chachamim): They were created at the same time.
What does "Shamayim" mean?
(R. Yosi bar Chanina): "Sham Mayim" ("water is there").
(Beraisa): "Esh u'Mayim" (where there is "fire and water" mixed together).
(R. Yosi): Woe to the creatures who see but do not know what they are seeing, and stand but do not know upon what they stand.
The earth stands on pillars (Iyov 9:6), the pillars on water (Tehilim 136:6), the water on the mountains (Tehilim 104:6), the mountains on the wind (Amos 4:13), the wind stands on storms (Tehilim 148:8), and the storms hang from the mighty arm of Hash-m (Devarim 33:27).
(Chachamim): The earth stands on twelve pillars (Devarim 32:8).
(Yesh Omrim): The earth stands on seven pillars (Mishlei 9:1).
(R. Eliezer ben Shamua): The earth stands on one pillar, and "Tzadik" is its name (Mishlei 10:25).
How many firmaments of the heavens are there?
(R. Yehudah): There are two firmaments (Devarim 10:14).
(Reish Lakish): There are seven firmaments, and each one has its own specific role, as is learned from verses.