The Day Before Creation movie

The Day Before Creation starts with one ‘small’ question on the first line of Genesis, and opens door after door — from the origins of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet Letters to the birth of the entire Cosmos. Malkah is just a little kid when her father tries to teach her to read Torah. But they don’t get very far. As Malkah reads aloud, her questions multiply. They take her on a lifelong journey deeper and deeper into Jewish mystical texts, far off places, encounters with ancient gods, and ultimately into the nature of existence itself. Malkah discovers an earlier, hidden creation story right inside the one offered on the surface of Genesis.

To schedule screening, please contact Sarah Elovich


This animated featurette (38 mins) takes us on a journey that explores sacred text, legends and mythology, science, and archaeology before being able to return to the question at hand. It’s Malkah’s coming of age, immersing in the teachings of the sages, rejecting a life confined to the library, and ultimately finding her own path among the shards of antiquity beyond the crumbling old books in her father’s dusty old library. And that leads her, ultimately,  somewhere she could not have anticipated…


Written, directed, and produced by Mira Amiras. Illustrations and calligraphy by Josh Baum. Animation by Sam Baum and Baum Studios with Mike Jennings as animation producer. Music by Yair Dalal and Dror Sinai. Sound Design by Jeremiah Moore.


View the movie’s IMDB page.

High Praise

The Day Before Creation is a gorgeous and mystical journey into the literal words of the Bible and into the magical Hebrew letters that have enchanted readers for millennia, from young children to ancient rabbis. Viewers of all ages are likely to find themselves captivated, and, along with the film’s heroine, enticed to ask the sort of questions that lead to the most profound and most rewarding sort of spiritual meditation.

Liel Leibovitz
Editor at large
Tablet Magazine


Rabbi Aubrey Glazer
Author of Mystical Vertigo, and other works

Both visually captivating and profoundly stirring, The Day before Creation perfectly captures the woman’s journey—the quest of those who discover that the teachings of the fathers, wise and precious as they may be, are not enough. We follow Malkah, the young female mystic, as she leaves her father’s library, seeking far and wide encountering new and unexpected teachings, uncovering the layered truths that the ancient Sages alone cannot teach her, and discovering the secrets within the Hebrew Aleph-Bet letters. You will come away from this gem of a film asking questions you have never thought to ask and perhaps starting to seek in places you had never thought to enter.

Natalie Reid
Author of The Spiritual Alchemist: Working with the Voice of your Soul

I am greatly moved by The Day before Creation. It is stunning visually and musically delightful. It is a beautiful and masterful depiction of a spiritual journey, of a life and a life’s work, of the holiness of questions, and of the magnificent harmony of many mystical traditions all presented with tenderness and love. … Somewhere Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is nodding his head and smiling.

Rabbi Lavey Derby
HaMaqom / Lehrhaus Judaica

An inspiring journey into the realm of Kabbalah. The Day before Creation succeeds in balancing the new and the ancient, showing us how to imbibe traditional wisdom and engage in our own free-spirited discovery.

Daniel Matt
Author of God and the Big Bang, The Essential Kabbalah, and the multi-volume annotated translation, The Zohar: Pritzker Edition

Mira Amiras as a young Jewish scholar went to Tunisia to study land reform, and embraced the lives of rural Muslim women. She went on to become a professor of comparative religious studies. Now, she has filmed a narrative that parallels not only her own search for purpose, but, more importantly, presents a compelling mystical metaphor through which those of us who seek meaning and purpose can see ourselves.

Thomas N. Layton
Author of The Voyage of the Frolic, and Gifts from the Celestial Kingdom

For a very beautiful stroll through the spiritual garden of riches that includes the Kabbalah, pour yourself a glass of something special, become still, and enter the world of Malkah, asker of questions and collector of wisdom. Her coming of age is guided by the unknown and the unknowable (not to mention her acrobatic black cat) and leaves us with a greater sense of the landscape of letters writ upon parchment. Akin to the graphic play of Mitsumasa Anno, the film quotes widely from art, archaeology, tradition, spirituality and the hearts of the artistic triumvirate: storyteller, illustrator and composer. They collaborate to invest every moment with detail, from the moving and changing name of the Divine in the windows of an ancient, holy town, to the tents and music of desert peoples, and the suddenness of the act of creation. This is a film to be savoured, and an inspiration for further reading in Amiras’s forthcoming Malkah’s Notebook: A Journey into the Mystical Aleph-Bet, and its companion, Crumbling Old Books in the Dusty Old Library, both promising to expand our understanding of humankind’s eternal quest for the Source of All through the eyes of our young seeker.

Rabbi Elisheva Salamo
San Francisco and York, UK

WONDERFUL film! I have had the pleasure and privilege to preview Mira Amiras’ new film, The Day before Creation, and was quite frankly ‘blown away’ by this paean to her father (my mentor and colleague in the Jewish Museum profession) for both its artistry and thoughtprovoking ideas. Not to discount the favorable reception it is sure to receive from general audiences, as someone who has used film in university seminars to teach a wide range of subjects, I can also imagine its pedagogical effectiveness for raising critical issues in the study of religion and anthropology. It is certainly a film that I plan to view multiple times.

Morrie Fred
Senior Lecturer retired, University of Chicago