Matter & Spirit – The Blog

16 בOctober 2014

The Right Time & Place – Bereishit

 

You’ll hear it in the street, in the store, and in day-to-day conversation wherever you go in Israel. B’seder.

“How are you?” B’seder.

“Can I buy a drink?” B’seder.

“How’s the weather outside?” B’seder.

It’s the colloquial term for ‘fine,’ ‘good,’ ‘okay.’

But literally, it translates into ‘in order.’  Seder refers to an order, a clear arrangement. B’seder means that everything’s in order, it’s all good and well.

And what about people for whom seder, organization, is not their strong point? That’s also b’seder!

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We all agree that for things to be fine and in order, they require a semblance of structure, a schedule and list of priorities, a method to the madness.

Delving into the story of Creation, we discern a carefully-planned order and structure to everything that occurred. It could even be said that Seder—Order was first in the list of creations, as it represents the foundational premise for everything that Hashem fashioned, even light and darkness. Previously, all that had existed was emptiness and nothingness, and as a prerequisite to existence, Hashem created Order.

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Extreme Makeover

“And behold, [the world] could have been created in a single utterance” (Pirkei Avot  Ch. 6).

Our Sages teach that Hashem could have easily commanded, “Let the world come to be!” and the entire universe as we know it would have sprang into existence. All elements of life and existence—light, darkness, ocean and dry land, heavens and earth, flowers and vegetations, animals, birds and beasts, along with the ultimate creation—human beings—could have been instantly created with one inclusive command.

But had this occurred, mankind would have forfeited a paramount lesson.

The lesson of Order.

We would have never absorbed the fundamental message that it is impossible to create from a system of chaos, disorder and disarray. Indeed, everything in the universe was created following a perfectly-fashioned plan and is intertwined though a unique system of relationships. Had the world appeared in an instant, though a single command of “Let the world come to be!” we would be lacking the innate understanding and aspiration to build our own personal worlds, which encompass our homes, society and inner soul, in a special order.

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Thus, Hashem created Order, fashioning the world according to a carefully-laid plan and system. The first stage was light and darkness. Next came the heavens and earth—separating between the most basic elements and defining their boundaries. The backdrop of the blue sky and dry land was painted with luscious expanses of green grass and accentuated with aesthetic elements as trees and flowers. The world was then illuminated in stages with the dazzling radiance of the sun to brighten the day and the muted light of the moon and stars to faintly illuminate the night, which together allow for the beauty of creation to be revealed in all its glory. Living beings were then added to the world to enjoy the pleasures of Creation—fish and birds, animals and beasts. Finally, the pinnacle—Man—was placed on earth to operate the incredible world and revel in the wonders and bounty of creation. To create. To preserve. To procreate. To pray. And to thank.

It’s not just an extreme makeover, but a masterful, detailed learning and teaching process.  The Torah culminates its description of each day of systematic Creation with the verse, “And it was evening, and it was morning. One day… Two days… Three days… Each day concluded with the creation of a whole unit that is complete in itself.

It’s mind-boggling.

Order and system are integral parts of my work, as well. I love order and structure; I thrive on precise detail that allows me to create a picture of perfection that satisfies my clients.

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And on the seventh day…

Often, I reflect that Shabbat keeps me from forgetting the important things in life. It causes me to pause long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor and take pleasure in my home and family.

Beyond that, the essence of Shabbat is appreciating that a break is an integral facet of the order, a built-in stage in the process of creation and doing.

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If you happen to be in the ‘before’ stage—before building your house, before renovating your apartment—and you’re looking forward to entering the design process with proper planning, thought and attention to detail, doing everything in the right order, then now’s the time to start. From Bereishit. From the beginning.

Connect to the force of Creation and Creativity, of choice and doing…and at the end of it all, I guarantee that you’ll enjoy the rest, relaxation and pleasure that you deserve!

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Just…call me to Connect!

 

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