Story-ideas-1011172

Making our world Hashem’s home

  • MashiLipskar
Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei, is the day on which we beseech Hashem to grant us our needs for the year to come.
by MASHI LIPSKAR | Sep 06, 2018

It is also a time for asking Hashem to renew his rule over us, and consciously accepting G-d as our king, and the supreme ruler of the world.

As unlikely as it seems, these two seemingly disparate themes – asking for our needs and crowning the infinite creator as king – are closely intertwined. This is clearly expressed in the fact that Rosh Hashanah is both the day of the creation of man and woman, and the day the very first man recognised G-d as the creator and king of the universe.

Hashem created a world that is amazing, complex, and magnificent, the detail of which is absolutely precise. Not only what was created, but the very order in which it came into being is exact. And, everything is designed to fit in with the infinite great plan he had in mind.

The Midrash in Tanchuma shares a thought-provoking reason why the infinite creator would want to create a world that is, in every respect, so finite and limited.

It explains that Hashem brought the world into existence because he had a desire to live among us in the created world. The king of the universe wants to dwell together with us limited, finite mortals in a world that seems so vulnerable, unstable, shallow, and unpredictable.

His intention was that the world would be completed by the efforts of mortals. Of course, Hashem created and continues to create the world, but to transform it into his home, he required a finite human partner, living and making good choices and decisions.

It was at Mount Sinai that the marriage between Hashem and the Jewish nation was consecrated. It was at Sinai that Hashem communicated his vision for all of creation, and was clear about what would make him feel welcome and comfortable in this physical existence.

The Torah and mitzvot he set before us contained an amazing combination of his infinite wisdom vested in detailed human activity. In other words, he gave us a clear plan for success in carrying out his wishes. It was at the giving of the Torah that we pledged to dedicate ourselves to helping him reach his goal.

He undertook to be the caring husband and we, the nation, undertook to be the loyal devoted wife. Yes, we mortals may be frail and fallible, finite and lacking but when we attach ourselves to our infinite life partner, we become empowered.

In addition, G-d has graciously endowed each one of us with an infinite, immortal G-dly soul. We grow our relationship with him, and bring him joy every time we choose to dedicate our efforts to something bigger than ourselves. We do so particularly when we consciously go against our human nature to carry out our G-dly mission, when it feels less than comfortable.

This is precisely how, while living very much in the world, using physical objects, being involved in human endeavours and interaction, we make a home for Hashem one action at a time.

But what is a home? A home is a warm, welcoming, comfortable place. Being at home is feeling comfortable, a place where you can be yourself, where you don’t have to hide any aspect of your personality. It is precisely for that reason that Hashem created the world. He desired a home in this limited physical world that he would feel truly comfortable with.

A man builds a house; a woman makes it into a home. Once Hashem had created heaven and earth, land and sea, the planets, and animal life, he went on to create man, and finally nurturing woman, man’s devoted partner. She would work to transform her personal environment and ultimately the collective, cosmic house, into a comfortable, welcoming home for the creator himself.

Hashem created mankind last, and made us different to all the other creations in that they are all perfectly complete the way they were made. Each has his nature, which he is unable to change.

Man, on the other hand, totally unlike the rest, is a creature who has the gift, challenge and responsibility for making the correct choices. Hashem made us this way because only through our own efforts are we truly able to bring him his inner desire.

In this world of personal interaction, we are preparing a home for Hashem whenever we choose to refine ourselves in our relationships; whenever we reach beyond the norm to achieve more than what appears to be already defined; and whenever we focus on achieving possibilities that defy limitation.

All of this is a painstakingly slow labour of love that started with creation 5 779 years ago. It was defined at Sinai 2 448 years later, and we are assured that it is now nearly complete.

Woman, the devoted nurturer, dedicated to seeing to the detail, was last to be created because in her very essence, she carries the purpose of creation. Through her innate ability to build a family, to build a home, and thereby to build the world, she personifies the purpose of creation.

Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of the first man and woman. It is the anniversary of man first crowning Hashem king over the universe and everything in it.

On this day, we implore Hashem to see to our needs so that we can joyfully focus on his. We ask for material and spiritual blessings for ourselves and our dear ones so that – unfettered by personal worry and concern – we can put ourselves fully and joyfully into the privileged task of making this world a dwelling place for G-d.

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