Creation: Something We Can Work With

The following text by Reb Zalman is for this week’s Torah portion, Shabbos Bereishis.  (Click here for Hebrew/English version):

Asher bara elokim laasot / Which God, in creating, had made,” (Genesis 2:3).

Hashem Yisbarach / God, may S/He be blessed, deals with the level of Beriah / creation (creatio ex nihilo / creation out of nothing), and we deal with the level of Assiyah, making something out of what was already created.

And since the world of Assiyah is for our use,

[Assiyah is the name for the world of action.  The others are the worlds of feeling-Yetzirah, mind-Beriyah and spirit-AtzilutGabbai Seth]

and since it was designated as such, God, Yisborach / may S/He be blessed, is both surprised and  delighted from the new things that we bring about.

Furthermore, the invitation to make something new is a taste of God’s freely bestowed Chesed / loving-kindness, a part of (Psalm 90:17) “And establish the efforts of our hands.”

[I.e., God is supportive of our efforts to make the most, through our actions, of the world God has created.]

S/He gave us the possibility that there would be something for us to do.  (That which G-d has created, as far as I am concerned, gives me something to do, something with which I can work.)

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
from Yishmiru Daat (2009 revision),
Parashat Bereishit,” p. 30

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