There's a passage in the daily Shacharit tefilla in the 1st of the pre-Shema blessing that says:

המחדש בטובו בכל יום תמיד מעשה בראשית

My translation and inference from this phrase is that God continuously renews his works of creating the world each day, namely a renewal of מעשה בראשית - the initial creation as described in Genesis.

This seems to contradict what I recall from Art Scroll's explanation (I don't recall whom he cited, offhand) that when the Torah uses the term כי טוב it means that is what "perfect" and complete and that it required no further improvement.

Furthermore, the Torah says that on the seventh day, God completed everything and that He "rested" on the seventh day from all the work that He created.

So, if creation was complete and everything was perfect, does the phrase we say in Shacharit contradict this concept of completion. What is meant by "renewing" or "recreating" things and why does this need to be done, especially if the Torah says that everything was "complete" and "perfect"?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – msh210
    Oct 31 '19 at 22:59

Another question one may have, is according to the baal shem tov's explanation on that part of davening, that "tamid", constantly, renews the work of creation, is that everything is being created constantly from nothing, not only every day (at the beginning of the day), as is the simple inference from that tefilah

Another point, for example, is the concept o circumcision, even though Adam was created perfect, like the verse you cited "Hashem saw everything he has made and behold, it was very good" which its explained from the Midrash (probably the source the artscroll book cited) that the world was created "perfect" (literally "on its fillings", "bimeeloo-oh nivra"), so how can we have circumcision, for example?

To answer the last point, its brought in kabbalah books the statement from the Talmud that the earth was created "to fix" ("lisah-kayn"), as in "tikun olam", that even though the world was created perfect in its own way, but through our own efforts, we can reach a higher level of perfection than the original creation intention (for example it says when moshiach comes hashem will create a new heavens and earth, even though this heavens and earth are already perfect, because it will be a new level of perfection "ayleh toldos peretz", as opposed to "ayleh toldos shamayim vaaretz", even though both of them have two vavs, but one is a deeper level of perfection)

anyway regarding the first point of re-creation, see tanya volume 2 chapter(s) 1(-5) regarding creation every instant, but another question that's similar, that is brought in kablah books, is how can we call sunday, for example "hayom yom rishon", "today is the first day" and on monday "today is the second day" etc., if there have been many tens of thousands of days in the world, since the original 6 days? Meaning is every sunday really the first day? If not how can we call it the "first" day?

and the answer (don't recall the exact source but its referenced in Torah Ohr and brought in otehr kaballah books) that every week creation happens again just like the first time, such that every sunday is vivified with the same divine energy as the literal "first" day of creation, such that every sunday is literally the "first day" relative to the new energy that flows through it every week (besides for the world being recreated every second, as referenced in the sources from tanya part 2, in a more general sense it's recreated every week), and more specifically, even every hour, as its explained in many kabbalistic sources (including ramban) that the 24 hours of each day, as well as the first day(s) of creation, represent the 24 different combinations of Hashem's 4 letter name (4! == 24), which happen anew every day as well

See tanya part 2 as well as the sources there for further elaboration

  • I do not really understand what you are saying and how it answers the question. Nov 29 '20 at 4:14

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