Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And God saw that it was good.

We went to a bris this morning. My ex-boss and his wife just had their fifth child. (in case any of you recall, their pregnancy was the catalyst for me quitting my job) We went because a) I love their family and haven't seen them in a long time, and b) because it's the right thing to do, to celebrate these amazing milestones. And it's better than lying around in self-pity.

At breakfast, the father spoke. Since the baby was born (and circumcised) on a Tuesday, he talked about how in the story of creation, Tuesday was the day when it says that "God** saw that it was good" twice. On Monday, however, it doesn't say anywhere that God saw that it was good. Why? Because, he explained to us, on Monday the physical geography wasn't finished yet. There was water, there was sky, but there was no land, no place for life. On Monday God didn't say "it was good" because it wasn't yet. Tuesday's accomplishments brought forth a double portion of goodness.

To me, this was a more nuanced alternative to the usual religious platitude that "it's all for the best". Sometimes when life sucks, you're in the middle of a work in progress. You can't say it's good because it's obviously not. And even looking back, when you see the fruits of your struggles, you still don't have to pretend that the bad parts were good. It's not like the bible says "and looking back, God saw that Monday was actually good because it led to Tuesday." That would be ridiculous. Monday wasn't particularly good. God saw that. Tuesday was doubly good, partly as a result of Monday's hard work. But that doesn't make Monday good.

I was so relieved to hear this teaching this morning. I feel better. God is no idiot. He doesn't pretend that things are good when they're not. And so I don't have to either.

It's nice to know that my double portion of good will come. Is my Tuesday coming soon?

** You'll notice that many of the Jewish bloggers choose to write "G-d" instead of "God". On paper, this is done to avoid writing God's name on a piece of paper that may then be discarded or mistreated. Many years ago, I read a rabbinic opinion that since email and internet are electronic formats, the letters do not *actually* exist, and therefore it isn't a concern... so I abide by that decision. Just so you know. **


ms. c said...

Nope, God is no idiot! Well put.
I'm so so sorry about yesterday's negative. It is always difficult to deal with, I don't know that it gets easier.
Here's hoping all of our Tuesdays come soon.

Aurelia said...

Your Tuesday will come, really. I'm sorry about the negative. I'm beginning to hate those goofy sticks.

My Reality said...

Yes, your Tuesday will come. But not before the Mondays. I like this post. It really makes you think.

Karen said...

What a lovely perspective about works in progress. I like it.

I waiver back and forth between God and G-d. It annoys me even to handwrite "G-d" because it's NOT the name of Hashem. It's an English translation of a word used to describe the entity that has a name that we shouldn't write out without thinking seriously about how it will be treated if we do. Typing G-d irritates me even more for the reason you cite. Still, sometimes I do it out of habit because people seem to raise eyebrows if I write "God". Bleh.

Nicki BL said...

Thank you for clarifying the God thing. I always wondered, but was afraid to ask.

Here's to hoping your Tuesday will come soon.