I received a call last week from a set of new parents trying to schedule their son's brit milah (circumcision). The boy had been born late in the afternoon, slightly before nightfall, exactly a week before the festival of Rosh Hashanah.

Ideally a brit is performed on the eighth day from birth, even on Shabbat or Yomtov (a Jewish festival such as Rosh Hashanah or Passover). However, if for any reason the brit is delayed, we do not carry out the procedure on Shabbat or Yomtov but reschedule it for the first available weekday.

Were the baby to have been born while it was still daytime, the brit would have been the following week, on the day before the festival. Conversely, were the new arrival to have made his first appearance at night, then we could have safely called the brit for the following week, and done the job on the festival.

We live, however, in an imprecise world. The exact moment when one day ends and another begins is almost impossible to define with any degree of accuracy. Halachists have responded to this concern by creating a twilight zone: a time-period known as bein hashmashot. Neither full day, nor complete night, it is impossible to definitively define the birthdate of a child born during this time.

We couldn't risk holding the brit on the day before festival, which might, after all, have been only the seventh day from birth. Conversely, to hold the brit on the festival ran the risk of desecrating the festival by performing an action that, by rights, should have been completed the day before. In the end, halachah (Torah law) dictated that we do neither and the whole ceremony was pushed off until the day after the festival.

Shabbat observers make weekly allowance for this ambiguity in ascertaining the onset of Shabbat by bringing in Shabbat slightly earlier than strictly necessary. The candle lighting times you find in your local Jewish calendar introduce Shabbat earlier than may otherwise be necessary in order to protect the sanctity of Shabbat and to protect against its inadvertent desecration.

Interestingly, however, G‑d did not submit to this precaution. We read this week that "G‑d finished creating on the seventh day" (Genesis 2:2), which could potentially mislead one to believe that G‑d was still creating the universe into the seventh day, pausing to rest only once Shabbat had begun. However, all traditional commentators interpret the verse to mean that G‑d continued creating until the precise moment when the sixth day finished and Shabbat began.

G‑d creates reality. Time is a function of His will. G‑d has no need to add to the holiness of Shabbat "just in case" because He invented that holiness and He knows the precise moment when He ushers it onto the world.

The remarkable lesson from the six days of creation is not only that G‑d chose to create a universe, but that He continued to create up until the last possible instant.

The temptation is always there to do a lot and then stop. To satisfy oneself with one's past achievements and to coast to the finish line. The life-lesson we learn from G‑d's act of creation is that every moment is precious, every second a new opportunity to work, to strive, to produce, to achieve. We must not and we dare not miss our opportunity to partner with G‑d in the act of creation.