The Piano, The Horse and The Pool – Part 2
He is a gifted musician. She is a master horsewoman. They live in a very hot part of Florida.
The musician cannot play his piano nor can the rider ride her horse. The swimmer may not swim. The sages considered these activities dangerous. The musician would never try to fix his $25,000 piano himself. The horsewoman will never break a branch and the “human fish” will never build a raft. The sages will not bend. Each of these artists will have to find other expressions than their greatest passions to connect to God on the day of connection.
I quote from the future classic, Shabbat: Gateway to Transcendence, by Professor Yeshayahu Vernoff:
“Creation is the greatest of all actions. We were granted Bechira – Free Choice – in order to become creators and, thereby, emulate God, the Ultimate Creator. We are preoccupied with exercising our own creativity – our own maipulation of the forces and substances of the world toward actualizing our own purposes.
So deeply preoccupied are we with our own creating that humans easily lose sight of the living background Reality of God, the Creator. How can we resolve the apparent paradox that the Divine Will toward human creating results as a byproduct in the dangerous obscuring of Divine creating? How could God will that humans, made in God’s image to be His children, not be able to know Him? Is it possible, on the other hand, that human creating need not obscure the Divine activity occurring at every moment?
The resolution of this vexing paradox could only be a partial abstinence from human creating sufficient for humans to become sensitized once more to the Reality of Divine Creation. If periodically humans fully lay aside their own creative activity, Divine Creating could gradually move from the unconscious background to the foreground of awareness – could come into actual focus. Human beings could come to know the world as Creation, testifying to the reality of its Creator. This awareness would profoundly illumine human creating when it resumes.
What we are talking about, then, is not the abolition but a regular fast from human creating, a periodic cessation, which is exactly the meaning of the Hebrew word Shabbat.”
We are on a “Creative Action Fast” on Shabbat. This is the day when we do not emulate the Creator with our Melachah – our Thoughtful Creative Work – but by glimpsing the transcendence of the Creator, Who stood back, so to speak, from His active involvement with His Creation and sanctified His work and set it apart.
We, too, step back from our creative powers and connect to the transcendent; we set ourselves apart from the world of our creativity, and submerge ourselves in the world of the Creator.