Thursday, February 05, 2015

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“What About Shabbos?”

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

"What About Shabbos?"

 

     Late Shabbos afternoon, a father sat his 7 year old boy next to me at the Kotel and said, "Okay, ask him your question."

     The boy had a tiny voice, "If Hashem renews the world every day, then what about Shabbos when He stops creating?"

     I love it. Here is a question that most adults never dreamed of asking and a 7 year old boy really wanted to know, "Then, what about Shabbos?"

     Do you understand his question? In one place we are told that Hashem ceased creating at the end of the sixth day, and rested from creating on Shabbos, and in another place we are told that Hashem renews the world everyday! How do we reconcile these two apparently contradictory statements? Does Hashem renew His creation on Shabbos, or does He "rest"?

     Before answering his question I told the boy how wonderful it is that he asks questions like this. "Always ask questions. It is the best way to learn. On everything that you do not understand, ask."

     Then I explained, actually, Hashem renews the world every second. He holds everything in its form all the time, because if He didn't, everything would disappear. It would just stop being. Hashem is forming everything right now out of nothing!

     Then, what about Shabbos when Hashem rests from creating? What this really means is that from that first Shabbos on Hashem rested from creating any new things, and from then on everything new that comes in the world comes from something else that was already here."

     I explained that this means that during the first week everything was first created solely from Hashem's "words". But now, things come from other things. For instance, a baby is made from the mother and father, and the table is made from the tree, and on and on, but during the first week everything was brought into being without there having been any preexisting matter for it to come from. It was from this type of creating that Hashem rested, (ceased).

     The boy seemed to understand. His father asked me to give the boy a blessing. I said, "When you grow up, may Hashem make you even better than your Mommy and Daddy." The boy beamed at his father, and smiled at the idea.

     I asked him his name. He said, "Ezra Yehudah". I told him that before a baby is born Hashem whispers to the baby's mother and father what name the new baby should have, and that name shows what that child is coming into the world to do. I told him to learn all about the great deeds of the first men to be called Ezra and Yehudah and those were the things that he should try to do in his life.

     They walked away very happy. I was surprised that I had never heard that question before, and amazed that it came from such a small boy. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Out of the mouths babes! They are pure neshamolach.

Anonymous said...

Very nice story. Why would G-d need to rest though, or does it mean that He just 'ceased' - in this context?

Tzivia in AliyahLand said...

Congratulations! This post has been selected as one of the finest of the Jewish world this week in Haveil Havalim, the Yikes-it's-Yitro edition, over at Adventures in AliyahLand.

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