It is challenging to write words of Torah during this atrocious period. The carnage that Hamas has perpetrated is inhuman. They have shown themselves to be monsters, far removed from the humanity and the divine image that God bestowed upon mankind.
Nonetheless, perhaps some words of Torah will help shine some light and the promise of a better, safer, nobler future. So here goes…
Completing Creation (Bereshit)
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. -Carl Sagan
After various stages of creation, including the animal kingdom, the Torah tells us:
“And God saw that it was good.”
The creation of Man on the other hand, ends with the phrase:
“And God saw all that had been made, and found it *very* good.”
Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim of Prague, the Kli Yakar (1550-1619) comments on that verse in Genesis 1:31. He wonders as to the plain statement of “very good” by Man and only the plain “good” by the rest of creation. He explains that the goodness of the rest of creation was only in its potential. The potential is only brought to fruition by the presence of Man. Man has the unique ability to put all the elements of creation to productive use. Man has the unique ability to merge, to mix, to create new and even more useful combinations of what God created. Man completes creation and for that reason when Man enters the picture that is when creation becomes *very* good.
Another hint as to the connection of Man to the realization of the good of the world is the very word itself. In Hebrew, the word for Man, Adam (Alef-Dalet-Mem), has the same letters as the word used for very, Meod (Mem-Alef-Dalet). Man’s physical, intellectual and creative powers allow us to take the raw materials that God placed on this Earth for us, and use the combination to enhance our lives, our productivity, our achievements and our purpose. The proper combination of man’s own creative abilities and the building blocks that God has provided is what gives Man and the world itself the chance to develop, grow and thrive.
May we always use our human faculties and our earthly resources responsibly and for good.
Shabbat Shalom and may we have better days and good notices,
To our dead, our wounded, our kidnapped and all of us mourning and dealing with a horrifying reality. To our soldiers. To the volunteers. To all those displaced by the attacks. We are strong. We will persevere. We will triumph. Light will banish the darkness.