Rabbi Avi Weinstein

We Begin Again: And the Heavens and the earth were completed…

In Torah Study, Uncategorized on October 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm

…and all their hosts, and Elokim completed on the seventh day all the work that he had done, and he ceased on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.

And God Blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it for on it He ceased all work of creating that God had created and done.

A simple reading of the verse tells us that God was busy on the seventh day. It received a blessing and was also sanctified.

The fact that shabbat is blessed is not lost on the close readers of traditional Judaism. A look at the Friday night prayer “Magen Avot” which is said after the silent devotion declares that shabbat is the well-spring of blessing. God was busy making blessings possible and somehow that transcends worldly creation as we know it. We know it only because we can feel it and that somehow it is tied up with non-material doing.

Shabbat is a day of opening up to blessings, where we recharge our batteries for the week. Less distracted by the world that so distracts the spirit, our work dares us to see the material world and its trappings as illusory distractions from the Eternal. This is a day of Bracha, where we draw from the invigorating pool of the Perfect.

As the Kabbalist Joseph Ben Avraham Gikatilla says:

For the word BRaCHa (Blessing), is drawn from the word BRayCha (pool or reservoir) Sha’are Orah The First Gate

It is from these words, “And God Blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it for on it He ceased all work of creating that God had created and done” the last words of the first creation story that our world truly begins. These are the words that make our world bearable.

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