banner2.gif
  Torah from Dixie leftbar.gif [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []    [top_xxx.jpg]

AND G-D CREATED SLEEP

by Rabbi David Zauderer    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

Everyone knows what it says in the Torah that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, Shabbat. Well, not exactly. You see, in Genesis (not the video game, kids!) Chapter 2 verse 2, it states, "On the seventh day G-d completed His work which He had done."

complete_story.gif    

[]

Everyone knows what it says in the Torah that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, Shabbat. Well, not exactly. You see, in Genesis (not the video game, kids!) Chapter 2 verse 2, it states, "On the seventh day G-d completed His work which He had done." The words indicate that there was some work that G-d hadnít completed during the six days of creation, but that He finished on the seventh day. Rashi, the preeminent Torah commentator, quotes a Midrash that the only thing that wasnít created until the seventh day was "menuchah-rest." That was created by G-d on Shabbat, and thus was completed the entire work of creation.

He created rest??!! Why did He have to create rest? Just stop what youíre doing and, bingo, you got yourself some rest! Is there a course called Relaxation 101 in college? Do you have to train for a degree in "restology"?

I think that the answer to this question can be readily understood if we study our own generation, a generation when we have much "easier" lives than our parents and grandparents had, when we have more time to rest and relax, and more forms of recreation than our predecessors ever had. Yet, we are hardly at rest with our souls and ourselves.

To quote George Carlin in a brief essay entitled, The Paradox of Our Time: "The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. Weíve learned how to make a living, but not a life; weíve added years to life, not life to years."

So, you see, itís not so easy to rest and enjoy some quality time with each other. Real rest and peace of mind has to be manufactured and created and only G-d has a recipe that works.

That recipe is Shabbat. When we light the Shabbat candles and sit down together with our families, putting out of our minds all the business of the week, and focusing on our most precious gifts- our spouse, children, and our own spirituality; then we will have experienced true R&R. Shabbat is G-dís creation on the seventh day, and it is His everlasting gift for us to truly enjoy.

[]

Rabbi David Zauderer is a card-carrying member of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel. For more information, visit www.atlantakollel.org.

You are invited to read more Parshat Bereishit articles.

Would you recommend this article to a friend? Let us know by sending an e-mail to editor@tfdixie.com

butombar.gif [] [] [] []

© 2000, Torah From Dixie. All rights reserved.