…And it was Good.

In the Creation text, the phrase “and it was good[1]” occurs seven times:

  • 1:4 – G-d saw that the Light was good [Day 1]
  • 1:10 – The separation of waters from the dry ground was good [Day 3]
  • 1:12 – The vegetation was good [Day 3]
  • 1:18 – The heavenly luminaries are good [Day 4]
  • 1:21 – Winged animals and teeming animals are good [Day 5]
  • 1:25 – Land-dwelling animals were good [Day 6]
  • 1:31 – The complete work was very good [Day 6]

There are two declarations of good missing in this list: Hashem declares neither the man nor the Shabbat “good.”

Shabbat is not good until we keep the Day and consider it holy. On it, G-d rested to enjoy the fruits of His labor. We, as His creation, are to reverence and hold this day above all other days [of the week] and meet with Him. Only man has the intelligence to count the days and look forward to the Shabbat and only man has the wisdom to inject the holiness of the Shabbat day into each workweek. When we keep the Sabbath, the day becomes very good.

The man is not declared “good” at his creation because unlike the rest of creation, he is a Work in Progress[2]. Man, as a creation, is never complete while he lives. He must constantly strive to better himself and his world. By experiencing the faithfulness of Hashem, he gains the ability, like our father Abraham, to believe G-d and this, in turn, is reckoned to his account as righteousness. Through study of Torah and the application of the wisdom he gain, he gains the tools necessary to perfect the world around him through the mitzvot[3] and acts of kindness. This allows him the privilege to be co-creators with his Maker. He [like Jacob] will be called an Ish Tam [a complete man[4]]. At the end of his days, Yeshua can say [in the name of Hashem], “Well done, good and faithful servant[5].” There he will be declared “good” because he is finally complete[6]!

[1] Taken from the Parashah for Shabbat Bereshit [Genesis 1:1 – 6:8]

[2] In like manner, G-d’s work on Day Two is not declared “good” until it is finished on Day Three

[3] i.e, the commandments

[4] See Genesis 25:27

[5] Ref: Matt 25:21 & 23

[6] The evil in this world, however, are never completed and cannot be declared good; because they are not complete, they cannot enjoy the Olam Haba [the world to come]

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