A thought came to me about the transition of Moshe reviewing his life’s work, the new Nation of Israel, a work in progress (as it remains to this day), followed by the Creation itself. “Sof Ma’aseh b’Machshava Techila”–Creation is aimed at the future beings, mankind, who will fully be able to receive the energy of Divine Love (with the Jewish people perhaps a vanguard, a Light Unto Nations, to show the possibility of perfecting the connection to the Creator).
There’s an oft-cited (but not unchallenged) opinion that one shouldn’t look into the mystical tradition until one has reached a certain maturity (often stated as age 40), mastered the Talmud (which means have highly developed the mental skills to see both linearly and associatively, empirically and intuitively, both the surface and the depths) and, most importantly raised a family.
When I was younger I mistakenly saw that opinion as restrictive and elitist, but as I’ve aged and gained my own experience, I’ve come to see that it is a way of accentuating the value of the parenting experience. Especially following the Ten Days from Rosh HaShana to Yom Kippur where we focus on the twin aspects of the Creator as father and king, Avinu Malkenu, the motivation behind Creation becomes more apparent.
The Zohar treats Creation as a complex process of hyper-concentrated energies, first creating a place for something new to exist and then the emission of specially conditioned and prepared lights to give birth to the universe. The Ramchal, among others, reminds us that behind this is the tremendous force of Love which cannot remain static, but must have a beloved to which to flow.
So when we look back on our own individual experiences we see ourselves just starting out, a reflection of the Creator, bursting to overflowing with love and creating a baby, a new life. And then life takes over with all its challenges and travails. Along with the joys and celebrations there are the trials of raising a child–the stubbornness, the contrariness, the fights and the reconciliations, the stupid mistakes and rebellions which, hopefully, they survive and learn from. And after a number of years we see them about to enter their own independence, knowing that it won’t be smooth sailing then either, but filled with love and satisfaction we send them on their ways with our blessings and final guidance, seeing that if we had to do it all over again, we’d still be filled to overflowing with love and the desire to create.