The world is in formation, not yet made. You come into being on day two–with the waters above and the waters below. You are an angel. A messenger of the holy one. You come into being and are in awe of the light. Of the water. Of the heavenly host of angels around you. Without knowing how, you know their names immediately, there is Chesed, loving kindness. There is Tzedek, justice. There is Shalom, peace. There is Emet, truth. And so many more angels, manifesting in this still forming world.
You begin to sing in perfect harmony, kadosh, kadosh, kadosh! Holy! Holy! Holy! The words instinctually, harmoniously come through your throat, in a call and response with the angels around you.
In these words, you feel the loving permission to be who you are. To be what you are. Holy! Holy! Holy! Is your source, your origin, your Creator. Holy! Holy! Holy! Are you, your angelic being, your voice, your very self.
As you keep singing, you witness night for the first time. It is darkness. There are no lights in it, just pure darkness, something that will never be witnessed again, a night without moons or stars. A pure, dark night. The blackness is breathtakingly beautiful in its totality. You have witnessed the second day of creation. It was good.
Morning comes and as you look to the earth as light shines upon it, sea and land masses start to form, taking new shapes, new smells: the salt water, the fresh water, the rivers, the lakes, the ponds, the oceans and the seas. They run through this new thing called land–mountains, valley, desert, being filled with trees and grass and flowers. Green and pink and blue and orange and yellow begin to fill the earth. Holy holy holy!
You and the other angels keep singing, marveling at the pure beauty woven into the world unfolding before you. You are in awe of the lush diversity, the arid, the wet, the cold, the hot. How much can be held on one tiny planet!
The sun sets as day three ends. This is good.Now as the darkness sets in, suddenly there are shining, silvery luminaries filling the cosmos. They are called moons, and stars, filling the sky with glory and majesty and splendor. You are in awe of the beauty of these lights, and rejoice as they sing their own praise, halleluyah! Praise yah! Praise creation! Praise!
You feel this praise humming, reverberating through the expanding universe, through your angelic body, through the voice of the angels around you. Eyes tear up, moved by the glory of the universe. You sing and sing! Holy! Holy! Holy! You feel gratitude for the darkness, letting you see these silvery lights. You sense they are placed there with wisdom, to watch, to guard, watch over all that is.
Gradually, they become harder to see. You worry about their fading, where are they going? Will you see them again? Quickly, your anxiety transforms to excitement as a massive light emerges from a heavenly gate, it is closer than the other luminaries. It is hot, is bright, swirling gases giving off warmth and brilliance. This, you know, is the sun. Both necessary and dangerous. Some will confuse it for the Holy One itself. You can understand why. It’s power is immense.
You look back to the earth as the day old plants delight at its light, they lean towards it, yearning for more. They drink it up, their roots digging deeper into the earth below them.
You soak it in. The warmth. The light. You notice the peacefulness of shade, the darkness is protective and calm, holy wings offering shelter. This is good, you know, as the great sun sets and the stars and moon appear again. The end of day four. It is good. Holy. Holy Holy.
Day five arrives and there are creatures flying in the sky and swimming in the waters below. You want to join them and play with the sea creatures, play with these flying birds. They seem free and wise despite their newness. The first blessing emerges from the Holy One: be fruitful and multiply. These creatures rejoice. It is good. Holy holy holy.
Day six comes and so do cattle, and creeping things and wild beasts of every kind. This is good.
Then the holy one says–shall we make an earthling in our image? Suddenly, the angels that you have been singing with in perfect harmony split into two factions.
The angel Chesed, loving kindness says, yes! For humans will do acts of chesed!
The angel Emet, truth, says no! For they are filled with deception!
The discord is noisy and the debate is fierce. You are unsure which side to argue. Will humans be worth it? Will they do more good than bad? Or more bad than good?
Suddenly, Emet, the angel of truth is hurled to the ground and love wins. God makes the first human, an androgynus, neither male nor female, both male and female. You are moved by God’s faith in humanity, that they will do more good than bad. You pray that this may be so.
This is very good. Holy holy holy.
You and your heavenly friends rejoice as these acts of creation end, knowing the rest of the work will be for humanity. To continue the work, to do more good than bad, but for now, it is the very first shabbat, and you rest. This is good. Holy, holy, holy.
Rabbi Alex Weissman was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2017, where we studied Torah and served a range of communities including POWER, Avodah, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, and JOIN for Justice. Alex currently serves as the Rabbinic Organizer at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and as the Rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, MA. Alex previously served as the Senior Jewish Educator at Brown RISD Hillel for three years and as a Community Care Chaplain with the Faith Matters Network. He serves on the Ethics Committee of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and on the advisory boards of Evolve: Groundbreak Jewish Conversations and the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project. Alex lives in Providence, RI with his partner, Adam.