The above now leads us to another crucial concept in Jewish mysticism: the cosmic significance of man's actions.

At the completion of ma'aseh bereishit - the work of creation - it is said that "G‑d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, for on it He rested from all His work that He had created - la'asot." (Genesis 2:3) It does not say there "that He had created - ve'assa (and had made)," but the imperfect tense of la'asot - to make.

La'asot means letaken - to mend, to complete. For none of the things created in the six days of creation is complete. Whatever came into being needs further work to complete it.

The world, with all its components, is incomplete. Man lacks perfection. This is not so because of some failure on the part of the Creator, nor because of some accidental defect. It is an intended part of the very plan and intent of creation. The state of incompleteness provides aim and purpose:"Which G‑d has created - la'asot" - for man to contribute, to complete himself and his share in the universe. And for that goal man was given the Torah and mitzvot, to sustain and complete himself and the universe.

Man compounds within himself aspects of all worlds and all entities. Through his physical and spiritual composition (body and soul) he is bound up with all levels of creation. His actions and behaviour, therefore, affect all worlds, all levels, all entities, from the lowest to the most sublime.

Thus the Torah repeatedly uses the phrase - ve'asitem otam - (you shall do or make them) in the context of our Divine obligations. The word - otam (them) is usually written defective, without the vowel-sign of the letter vav, and therefore can be read also as atem (you; yourselves).

Our sages see this as most significant. The implication is ve'asitem atem -you shall-make yourselves, you shall create yourselves.

Moreover, by observing Torah and mitzvot we actualize their potential, we confer upon them their ultimate reality. Thus ve'asitem otam - it is as if you made them, the Torah and mitzvot themselves!

Reaching higher yet, man's proper actions manifest the Divine reality in the world, thus leading to the daringly anthropomorphic proposition, "He who observes the mitzvot of the Torah and walks in His ways, it is, if it is possible to say so, as if he made Him Above. The Holy One, blessed be He, says, it is as if he has made Me."

In a similar vein - (Eicha Rabba 1:33; Pessikta deR. Kahana, sect. 26; Zohar II:32b (citing Psalms 68:35 as prooftext. For an extensive discussion of this principle, and the concept, see Shenei Luchot Haberit, Sha'ar Hagadol (p. 22). - there is the Midrashic concept of "When Israel performs the will of the Omnipresent, they add strength to the Heavenly power, as it is written, `To G‑d we render strength' (Psalms 60:14).

When Israel does not perform the will of the Omnipresent, then, if it is possible to say so, they weaken the great power of Above, as it is written, `You did weaken the Rock that begat you' (Deuteronomy 32:18)." What does that mean?