God’s Rest

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: We are commanded to rest on Shabbat. Why did God feel it necessary to rest after creating the universe? Was He tired? Why would God consider His rest worthier of commemoration than His successful creation of a universe? 

Rabbi: Rest overrides creation because rest is the situation in which one can review and ponder the immense wisdom that permeates all of creation and all of natural law. Of course God was not tired because He is not a physical being that experiences weariness. The rabbis say that the Sabbath was last in creation but first in God's mind. This means that the state were one is not physically creative is the preferred state because he's engaging his mind in observing God's wisdom, and this is the goal of creation. So although the day where one is withdrawing from creative work came last, it was in fact the goal of creation. Therefore we correctly say that the objective of creation is that human beings have that which they can study and come to a realization and appreciation for the Creator of that universe. It ends up that the universe is really in the means by which man can grow in his love of God.