Dave Abramowitz, a DLTI participant (Davvenin’ Leadership Training Institute, aka Prayer Camp) was thinking about God as an artist. Most artists sign their work, right? So Dave wondered where God signed us, his final creation before resting on the 7th day. (Note that I said “final” creation, not “finest.”)
So Dave looked at his hands, specifically, at his palms. He realized that the lines on the palm of one hand formed the shape of the Hebrew letter Shin, which is essentially a V with another line in the middle: ש
Then, he counted the number of fingers on that hand. Four (thumb doesn’t count). The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet? Dalet. So now he had two letters, Shin Dalet: שד
And then he looked at his thumb, which looked just like the letter Yud. Shin Dalet Yud: שדי
Shaddai. One of the sacred names of God.
Dave concluded that God did indeed sign his creation — every one of us — on our hands. And why the hands? Because it is with our hands that we are most God-like, repairing the world, creating beauty, doing the things that need doing in this world; not merely talking about them, but doing them. We are, in essence, God’s hands.
Harold Kushner wrote: “To believe that God is real means believing that the qualities we associate with God are real, that they truly exist in the world.” I would add that to believe God is real means believing in humans’ ability to act in a God-like manner, to take affairs into their hands and take responsibility for using those hands for good.
Shabbat Shalom. If you plan to unplug this weekend, may you find respite from the onslaught of electronic information, relief from the hustle-bustle of daily life, and joy in the opportunity to use your hands to do God’s work.