Blessing in our World

When we contemplate our lives we may observe that one endeavor after another has failed on us.

Some of us fault ourselves. We are convinced that success would have been possible if we only tried a little harder or had a slightly better plan. We’ll even go as far as saying that perhaps the time was simply not right. Others fault the world. The world is not designed for success. Entropy is its nature! When they do see success they dismiss it as an anomaly.

We can not help but wonder: is our world a stage for failure?

Although this question does not fall within the Torah’s agenda, it did occupy the minds of our Rabbis who found a hinge for their view in the Torah itself.

The Talmud of Eretz Yisrael (Hag. 2:1) preserves an enigmatic teaching: “I am creating My world with a beth (berakha) . . . with a form of blessing and perhaps then the world will persist”.

The destructive forces in our world are overwhelming. But God created His world with blessing, with a disposition for success. Blessing is in the world’s very fabric and it is this blessing which counter-weighs these forces.

This innate blessing was very tangible to the Rabbis. The Mishnah (Kethuboth 1:1) proscribes that virgins and widows be wed on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. The question begs itself: Why are these days special?

Bar Kappara (ibid) teaches us that it is because God endowed blessing on the days that follow when the marriage would be consummated. Marriage on these days would be successful and enduring.

The Lesson that the Talmud of Eretz Yisrael teaches us is here that the world was created as a seedbed for success. If we see failure in the world around us it is not because this is the world’s  nature, but because we have not succeeded in cultivating its innate blessing.

May God grant us the wisdom to cultivate this blessing and bring it to our lives and the world !