Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, October 19, 2019
Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,
I like Saturdays. The only way I can explain it is that I feel more free (I couldn’t figure out how to spell “free-er”) than on other days. It is as if God planned a party to celebrate the completed work of creation, which He said was “very good” after He created man on the sixth day. Up until that point each day was only “good.” (see Genesis 1:31)
Genesis chapter 2 starts with the words we use to welcome the Sabbath on Friday night. Genesis 2:1 So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. 2 God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.
Do you notice the complicated wording at the end of verse 3? The translation is not faulty, the Hebrew is complicated. Let me explain. First of all, complicated Hebrew is unusual at the beginning of Genesis. I believe Genesis is written to teach us to read. Genesis starts out like a first grade reader and the Hebrew gets more complicated as we go along.
Rabbi Trail: Also, worthy of note, is that the Bible never defines or defends the existence of God. It simply states “B’resheet Bara Elohim” meaning “in the beginning God created….” End RT.
Genesis 2:3 ends in Hebrew “Asher Bara Elohim La’asot” meaning “which God created to make.” What? To make what? That’s what I mean. Let’s examine context to see if that helps. Does the following paragraph help define what God was making?
Nope, not really any help. What follows is the retelling of the story of creation. But the question remains, “Why did God create the world.” (We already know He created the Shabbat so His creation would be appreciated.) Here is my personal answer. God created the world for the same reason we have children; because we have enough love to overflow to loving our children.
When we love our children, they love us back. The Lion King calls it the circle of love. God created the world so He would have a place for man who would love Him and whom He could love. He doesn’t need us (but He does delight in us), we need Him. Through sin, we lost our perfect world and were thrust into this “world with weeds.” We get so caught up with “pulling weeds” that we miss loving God. CSN&Y may have inadvertently stumbled on something; we really do “have to get back to the garden.”
God sent us His Son, Yeshua, to fix that problem. The ultimate act of “Shabbat” is Yeshua came to “dwell” (the Hebrew word used above in Genesis 2:3 for “rest”) among us to reestablish that relationship for which God created the world in the first place. Yeshua is Lord of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:8 and more) And that’s why I love and feel so free on Shabbat.