This parsha speaks about different tumos of people; such as a yoledes and a metzora. Last week’s parsha spoke about the different tumos of animals, birds, fish, insects, and grasshoppers. Why does the Torah start teaching about the tumos of animals before the tumos of people?
Rashi brings Rebi Simlai said: Just like when Hashem created the world Adam was created after all the animals and birds, so too when teaching the halachos, the halachos of people are explained after animals and birds.
The Sifsei Chachomim says that this itself needs clarification; why does the Torah not start with the creation of Adam?
The Gemara answers: Adam was created after the entire creation so that if a person will feel haughty, people will say to him “the gnat was created before you.” Simply this means that the small gnat precedes Adam and therefore is superior to him in that respect. The Maharsha however explains that the gnat was created before Adam, so that when Adam came into the world there was already something which could give a punishment, as we see by Titus. Hashem sent the gnat into Titus which pecked away his brains and pained him for seven years.
The Gemara brings another explanation: Adam was created on the sixth day in order to immediately have the mitzvah of Shabbos to fulfill.
The Gemara brings a third explanation: Adam is the sole purpose of creation and everything was created to assist and help him fulfill his mission. Therefore, Adam was created last, when the meal is prepared to eat and everything is ready to use. This is hinted in the davening on Rosh Hashana with the words זה היום תחילת מעשיך זכרון ליום ראשון. “This is the beginning of creation, a remembrance of the first day.” The Maharsha brings from the Pirkei D’Rebi Elazar that in truth the first day of creation was the twenty fifth of Elul and the sixth day of creation when Adam was created was the first day of Tishrei, Rosh HaShana. The sixth day of creation is called תחילת מעשיך the beginning of Your making since Adam is the purpose of the entire creation of the world. It is as though nothing was created before him.
May Hashem help us recognize we are the sole purpose of creation and everything exists to help us bring out Hashem’s honor and elevate the world.