The blessings that we recite every morning parallel the act of awakening: the instant we open our eyes, when the veil that clouds our eyelids disappears to the moment of putting on our shoes. Each moment therefore has a very real concrete meaning, but also possesses a more symbolic meaning.
The morning blessings strike me every morning because of its poetic image, although the meaning remains obscure and elusive: “Blessed are you The fashioner, our G-d, life of the worlds who stretches forth the earth upon the waters.”
We say it when we put our feet on the ground, when we quit the oceans of dreams in favor of a concrete reality, where the awareness of a tangible world takes over the unconscious emotional realities that have dominated our sleep.
The account of creation tells us about the separation of water and land. A joyful, popular slogan proposes us to see every day as the first day of our new lives. It encourages us to redefine daily the meaning of our lives, to enjoy every moment. This is what R. Eliezer had in mind when he asked us to do teshuvah at least the day before our death. This is to say every day, since we do not know the exact date of our death. (TB Shabat 153 a) The same idea is highlighted in the text of the first blessing we say before the recitation of the morning Shema when we say, “Who renews each day with constant good creation’s work.” If G-d takes the trouble to recreate the world every day, we must imitate G-d and also recreate our world every day in order to separate dreams, fantasies and prejudices from realities, judgments and logical deductions.
Similarly, after 20 years of absence, Jacob needed to learn more about the reality of his brother and uproot misconceptions that he had developed. After the flood, Noah sent the raven and the Dove in order to know the state of the planet and to find a little piece of land which would lay the foundation of a new world.
After 20 years of anger, Jacob sent messengers to question his brother Esau, and to lay the foundations for a new relationship. “Vayishlach Ya’acov – and Jacob sent” similarly to each one of us who wants to recreate the world, to separate reality from fantasy, and to extend the ground over the water to walk with firm step towards new horizons.
Shavua tov to y’all!