Sefer Ha-Aggadah 1:2:73:
“And on the seventh day God finished” (Gen. 2:2). Isn’t this statement curious? Geniva explained it by the parable of a king who made a bridal chamber, which he painted and decorated. Now, what did the bridal chamber still lack? The bride to enter it. So, too, what did the world still lack? The Sabbath.
A footnote (in the English version, but I’m not sure if it’s in the Hebrew edition) clarifies for us what the confusion is over, saying, “Did not God finish His work of creation in six days? Why then does Scripture say He finished on the seventh day?”
There is indeed something odd about the idea that the world is complete on it’s seventh day.
Chapter one of Genesis details the six days of creation, while chapter two begins with the first Shabat. The first Shabat goes off without a hitch, but after that, everything goes south.
The snake misbehaves, humans eat of forbidden fruit, we’re kicked out of Gan Eden, and, pretty soon, you’ve got the invention of fratricide all in a pretty short span of text.
So things are fine on the first Shabat, but afterward, the world descends back into a chaotic, unfinished state. And so it goes for us every week.
We try to reach stopping points on each of our own personal projects of creation every Friday afternoon so that we can enjoy a day of wholeness and finished-ness. And then, somwhere around that third star’s arrival on Saturday night, everything goes south again and the work of mending, building, constructing, and creating begins again.
And on that note, Shabat Shalom, blogosphites!