Man, the creature, is commanded to become a partner with the Creator in the renewal of the cosmos; complete and ultimate creation — this is the deepest desire of the Jewish people. The Scriptural text “And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Bereshit 2:1
) — the Targum, the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, translates va-yekhulu, “were finished,” as ve-ishtakhlelu, “were perfected” — is both a profound expression of the soul of the people and the most fervent desire of the man of God. This lofty, ontological idea illumines the path of the eternal people. When a Jew on the Sabbath eve recites [this passage as part of] the Kiddush, the sanctification over the wine, he testifies not only to the existence of a Creator but also to man’s obligation to become a partner with the Almighty in the continuation and perfection of His creation. Just as the Almighty constantly refined and improved the realm of existence during the six days of creation, so must man complete that creation and transform the domain of chaos and void into a perfect and beautiful reality.
[Lawrence Kaplan translation]