וירא אלהים את־כל־אשׁר עשׂה והנה־טוב מאד
God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good.
At each step, as He formed the earth HaShem said, “... it was good!” After creating man, when it was all finished he even said, “...it was very good!”
The sages teach that even before creation HaShem created the Name of Messiah and Repentance. What does this tell us? It tells us that even before He created us, HaShem knew that we would go astray. He knew of all the horrors that we would be responsible for but yet, He chose to create us.
Rabbi Simon tells a midrash about this. He says, “When the Holy One, blessed be He, came to create man, the ministering angels were divided into camps and factions. Some said, “Let Him create man;” others said, “Let Him not create man.” Kindness said: “Let God create man, for he will perform acts of kindness.” Truth said, “Let Him not create man, for he will be full of deceit.” Justice said, “Let Him create man, for he will perform righteousness;” peace said, “Let Him not create him, for he will be full of divisiveness....” According to this midrash, some angels maintained that man would be a worthy creation, since he would possess positive qualities, and would be able to achieve good in the world. Others argued that he was not worthy of being created, since his deficiencies - and, consequently, his potential for evil - would be too great.
"What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do?" asks Rabbi Simon. He took truth, and cast it to the ground....HaShem decides in favor of the angels that support the creation of man; those that view his positive qualities. In other words, the verdict of the great Judge of the earth is that the positive aspects of man will outweigh the negative.
There is a great lesson here to learn from the Almighty Creator. We are made in His image and thus, like Him, we can chose our scope of vision. We can look at the bad in the world and in people, or we can look at the good.
A water-carrier was asked one day, maybe on a rainy day, “How are things going?” "I'm getting older and I feel so weak," the man replied. "My children constantly study and don't help me out. I have to support my in-laws, and find the financial obligations a real burden. My wife is so sickly, and I feel like I'm falling apart." On another day, maybe a sunny day, the same man was asked the same question. With a big smile, he replied "I am so grateful to HaShem for all of His kindness. Even though I am old, I am not only able to support myself, but I am even able to support the Torah study of my children and in-laws who study with such diligence. My wife is wonderful to me; with great sacrifice she makes me so happy." We constantly choose how to view our life situation; even though nothing external has changed, we can still view our life in very positive ways.
This remind me of the woman who was given a piece of tapestry one day. As she looked at it she could only see a confusion of knots and colored threads. “What does this mean?” she wondered. It is only as she turned it around that she could see a beautiful embroidery of the words, “God is Love.” Sometimes, just as HaShem and the water-bearer did, we just need to change the perspective with which we look at our lives to see the work of God in it.
The psalmist exhorts us with,
Bless Adonai, my soul! Everything in me, bless his holy name! Bless Adonai, my soul, and forget none of his benefits! (Psa 103:1-2)
Paul gave us a very good tool in order to keep our eyes and hearts in the right place. he said,
In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. (Php 4:8)
HaShem who lives in eternity where there is no past, present, nor future lives in the eternal now. Just as the mother who rejoices that her child is born instead of mourning that he will die one day, HaShem rejoices at the potential of His creation Today. May we learn to not allow future sorrows to destroy the positive aspects of the present.
R’ Gavriel Lumbroso,
with the inspiration of R’ Zelig Pliskin and others.