The Shattering of the Vessels

A jar filled with glowing, purple sparks.

A Free Retelling of the Shevirat haKeilim (from the Kabbalah)

At the beginning of time, before anything else at all existed, Love was all there was, and it filled up everything in the whole universe.

But Love got bored and lonely. There was no one to be in love with. So one day Love decided to make a world.

First it took a deep breath. Can you take a deep breath? How deep? let me see!
Deeper! A little deeper.

Love got all squished up taking the deepest breath ever, and was sooooo squished that it squeezed out darkness.The darkness was all around: thick and shiny and black. It was beautiful but now Love couldn’t see anything! Love waved its arms and legs around, but the darkness was everywhere.

“I have to do something about this,” said Love. It thought for a minute, and tried to think of the most wonderful beautiful warm thoughts ever. Love thought harder and harder and all of a sudden Love called out “I want light!”

And pop!

All of the warm and wonderful and beautiful thoughts exploded outward in ten different directions and shaped themselves into ten big glowing glass balls. Each ball was filled with a spinning lump of pure light and warmth. Some of the spare good thoughts that couldn’t quite fit in the glass became dust and water vapor and seeds and molecules that could form animals.

And Love said, “This is amazing. I better make something for the light to shine on.” So it waved its arms and kicked its legs and all of the dust and water vapor and molecules that had been scattered around when the glass balls formed began to form into another huge ball, this one of dirt and water and plants and animals. Love called this the Earth.

The ten balls of light started toward the Earth, and if they had made it here in one piece, the entire planet would have been exactly the way Love wanted it. But the glass balls were too fragile to contain such strong, powerful wonderful good thoughts. They broke open and shattered, and all the good thoughts shattered and flew out like sparks and were scattered like sand, like seeds, like stars. Those sparks fell everywhere on the Earth in tiny bits instead of big clumps like Love intended.

“Oh NO!” said Love. “I’m too big. I’ll never be able to find all of those tiny sparks. I have to make one more thing.”

So Love waved its arm and kicked its feet one last time, and people appeared on the Earth. They didn’t know it, but they were created with one job: to find these sparks, these tiny pieces of wonderful goodness, and to bring them together again in big clumps.

“When enough clumps are there, I will recreate the big glass containers to hold them, and this time I will set them down a little more carefully,” Love said.

So all of us, from the time we are born, have a job, and that job is to help find love and more good and warm and wonderful things. If we do that we are fixing the world.