Contact Us
The first blessing of the Shema begins with the notion of forming light and creating darkness (day and night). Also described is the uniquely divine nature of creation and the need for the continuous creative force.

The Shema Blessing of “Yotzer Ohr”

The Shema Blessing of “Yotzer Ohr”

Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 28

 Email
Autoplay

The Shema Blessing of "Yotzer Ohr": Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 28

The first blessing of the Shema begins with the notion of forming light and creating darkness (day and night). Also described is the uniquely divine nature of creation and the need for the continuous creative force.
Siddur: Yotzeir Or, Siddur: Hameir Laaretz
Podcast: Subscribe to Shmuel Kaplan - Discussions on Prayer
Listen to Audio | Download this MP3
Prayer Book, Prayer, Blessings of the Shema, Perpetual Creation, Creation ex nihilo, Day, Light & Darkness, Good and Evil
Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan is the Director of Lubavitch of Maryland. He is a board member of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
4 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Rabbi Kaplan Baltimore August 8, 2016

Your question is on the mark and deserves an immediate response.
The Torah tells us that the world was created by Divine speech as is indicated by the first word of each of the statements of creation "vayomer" and He said. The reason for this is that speech is the faculty where the matter exits the person and travels to be revealed to the recipient. G-d created the world (at least as it appears to us) to be outside (independent) of Him and therefore it is describes as the faculty of speech. However, that is not where the process begins. Speech must first be formulated in thought before it is expressed in speech. The difference is that thought remains within (unified) the person. On Shabbat G-d ceased creating though Divine speech and the world continues to be sustained by Divine thought and this is why the day of Shabbat is holy. Because it is in a closer bond with the Divine (thought) that is why we are prohibited for doing and constructive work on this day and it is consecrated. Reply

Anonymous Phoenix August 6, 2016

Ok, so please explain how Shabbat works in this concept of continuously creating. How could he "rest" from creating? Or do I have a misunderstanding of His "resting"? Reply

Mark Solomon New York October 19, 2015

Increasing my comfort level For many years I felt uncomfortable in shul because I was unable to keep up with the pace of the davening; it seemed I could never read fast enough to stay with the chazzan. Since I've been attending your on-line discussions I've learned to enjoy lingering over the words, contemplating their deeper meaning. I'm no longer self-conscious about taking so long to complete my prayers, and with increased familiarity I'm sure fluency will follow in time. Thank you, and I sincerely hope you have plans to post many more of these discussions. Reply

Lenore Roberts June 23, 2015

Thank you so very much. Your discussion is a gift!
I look forward to further study with you. Reply

We spend much time each day reciting the words of the siddur. Join us to enhance your prayers and become more proficient in understanding and mastering the prayer liturgy. This comprehensive series on Tefillah explores the special meaning embedded in the text of our prayers—elucidating, step by step, the words, structure, and progression of the siddur.