בּורֵא עולָם בְּקִנְיָן, הַשְׁלֵם זֶה הַבִּנְיָן
Creator of the universe as His acquisition, You complete this building!
Rabbi Eliezer Shenvald - Parsha in our everyday life - Tazriah Metzorah - Sefirat HaOmer - 5781
What would you say if you were told that through a small act, even if it involves a great deal of effort, you can complete a great, vital thing?!
That your 'penny' will complete the 'US Dollar' or the 'Pound Sterling'!?
Do you know people who started studying a Tractate and did not finish? That they only have a few pages left, and for a long time they have not been able to free up to finish?!
Or people who started learning a profession and did not finish? That they only have 'a few papers left to submit', and for a long time they have not been able to free up to finish?!
Receive their Matriculation Certificate and graduate?!
Can you imagine our great grandparents praying for the ongoing exile to end?!
Have you ever seen 'white elephants' - construction projects that started and at a certain point stopped, were not finished, and remained 'as is'?
Have you found yourself praying to G-d that something unfinished will finally and successfully come to an end, that:
בּורֵא עולָם בְּקִנְיָן. ישלים זֶה הַבִּנְיָן
“Creator of the universe as His acquisition, You complete this building!
And the thanksgiving to G-d when everything finally ends successfully?!
The Parasha Tazriah opens with the laws of childbirth:
אִשָּׁה֙ כִּ֣י תַזְרִ֔יעַ וְיָלְדָ֖ה זָכָ֑ר... וְאִם־נְקֵבָ֣ה תֵלֵ֔ד...
"When a woman at childbirth bears a male" (Vayikra 12: 2), "If she bears a female…" (ibid 5).
It deals with the laws of a parturient mother during natural birth and from it the Sages also learned about the laws in case of miscarriage (Mishnah Nida 3:1), or Cesarean (Rambam -The Book of Holiness 10:4-5)
The commentators asked: "כי תזריע וילדה, a woman who brings forth seed by giving birth, etc. Why did the Torah not simply write: אשה כי תלד זכר, "when a woman gives birth to a male child, etc.?" (Or HaChaim ibid) What's more, because of this addition, the entire Parasha is called 'Tazriah'?
This can be explained by the Zohar; from our Parasha, various aspects become clear, spiritual, and physical, about the miraculous process of life formation, from a drop of sperm - to a living, whole person. And about how the mode of conception influences the process of pregnancy and birth. (Page 42b). It is a creative, miraculous, and lengthy process, which the woman and family members pray will end successfully. Thank G-d, in most cases, it ends successfully, in a natural birth, sometimes not so naturally. However, sometimes, something goes wrong, G-d forbid, and there is a miscarriage.
As a result of the first man's sin, the miraculous process of pregnancy and childbirth involves great difficulty and pain:
אֶֽל־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה אָמַ֗ר הַרְבָּ֤ה אַרְבֶּה֙ עִצְּבוֹנֵ֣ךְ וְהֵֽרֹנֵ֔ךְ בְּעֶ֖צֶב תֵּֽלְדִ֣י בָנִ֑ים...
"And to the woman He said, “I will make most severe Your pangs in childbearing; In pain shall you bear children...” (Bereshit 3:16)
ואדני אבי ז"ל פירש עצבונך כובד ההריון והרונך אריכות ימי ההריון. בעצב תלדי בנים, בעת הלידה יש לה עצב וכאב גדול.
"My own father, of blessed memory, explained the word עצבונך as applying to the discomfort experienced during pregnancy, and the word הרונך as applying to the long period the pregnancy lasts… They interpret the word תלדי as referring to the physical pain involved in giving birth, and the word בנים as referring to the mental anguish involved in raising these children." (Radak ibid).
Maimonides explains that the concept of 'birth' in the Bible is a prototype for the processes of formation in other areas:
הענין המובן מזאת המילה ידוע והוא - הלידה "וילדו לו בנים". ואחר הושאלה זאת המילה להמצאת הדברים הטבעיים "בטרם הרים יולדו". והושאלה גם כן לענין הצמחת הארץ מה שתצמיח - דמות בלדה - אמר "והולידה והצמיחה". והושאלה עוד לחידושי הזמן כאילו הם ענינים יולדו "כיע לא תדע מה ילד יום"
"It is well known that the verb yalad means "to bear". The word was next used in a figurative sense with reference to various objects in nature, meaning, "to create," e.g., "before the mountains were created" (yulladu) (Ps. 90:2); also, "to produce," in reference to that which the earth causes to come forth as if by birth, e.g., "It will cause her to bear (holidah) and bring forth" (Isa. 4:10). The verb further denotes, "to bring forth," said of changes in the process of time, as though they were things which were born, e.g., "for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth… etc." (yeled) (Prov. 27:1)". (More Nevochim Part 1: Chapter 7)
Like pregnancy, processes begin with a 'seed' - from a fundamental nucleus from which a new reality is created. Some processes are perfect and end successfully and some fail and do not end at all. When it comes to long, complex, difficult processes that require effort, there is always a chance that they will not come to an end and reach completion. Although they have come a long way, they may break before the end and the finish line.
Therefore, our Sages emphasize the importance of the completion and conclusion of important actions:
כָּל־הַמִּצְוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם תִּשְׁמְר֣וּן לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת ...
"You shall faithfully observe all the instruction that I enjoin upon you today…" (Devarim 8:1)
אִם הִתְחַלְתָּ בְּמִצְוָה, הֱוֵי גּוֹמֵר אֶת כֻּלָּהּ. לָמָּה, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן, כָּל מִי שֶׁמַּתְחִיל בְּמִצְוָה, וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן בָּא אַחֵר וּגְמָרָהּ, נִקְרֵאת עַל שֵׁם גּוֹמְרָהּ.
'One who begins a Mitzva should be encouraged to complete it'! Why? Rabbi Yochanan said, "Anyone who began with a commandment, and afterwards another comes and finishes it, it will be called according to the name of the one who finishes it." (Midrash Tanhuma Ekev 6). The challenge of finishing is so significant that in the end, the whole act and process are named after the one who finished it. And he who does not finish what he started leads to destruction.
אָמַר רַבִּי יַנַּאי, כָּל הַמַּתְחִיל בְּמִצְוָה וְאֵינוֹ גּוֹמְרָהּ, קוֹבֵר אִשְׁתּוֹ וּשְׁנֵי בָּנָיו... לְפִיכָךְ הַמַּתְחִיל בְּמִצְוָה, יְהֵא גּוֹמֵר אֶת כֻּלָּהּ.
"Rabbi Yannai said, "Anyone who begins a commandment but does not finish it will bury his wife and two of his sons... Hence one who begins with a commandment should finish all of it". (ibid)
Therefore, we must do everything we can and pray that we will be able to finish processes and not get stuck before the end.
Nowadays, this has several topical implications.
On the spiritual level: We are in the days of counting the Omer. In the process of spiritual transcendence from the barley grains of the Minchat HaOmer - animal food, on Passover, to be completed with the 'two loaves of bread', wheat - human consumption, Shavuot.
At the national level: We pray that the process of forming the government will finally come to a successful conclusion!
And us: We are nearing the end of the process of building our Beit Midrash in Modi'in. And we pray to the "Creator of the universe as His acquisition, to complete this building"! בּורֵא עולָם בְּקִנְיָן. הַשְׁלֵם זֶה הַבִּנְיָן