Thursday, December 2, 2010

Light and Darkness


26 Kislev, 5771
December 2nd, 2010

            The thing about having known the experience of light is that we all, inevitably, will have to step back into darkness for a time, and cope with light’s absence.

            Our midrash teaches that human beings were born knowing light.  According to our rabbis, the entire saga of the garden and the expulsion happened in a matter of hours on the sixth day. We never saw a garden without light, and, also according to the midrash, the first Shabbat was entirely filled with light.
            But when Shabbat left on the evening of the eighth day, human beings knew darkness for the first time, and Adam and Eve were afraid. They thought, “maybe God has abandoned us for good?”
            But then the Holy One took two flints, and showed the first people how to strike them together so that light would come out. To this day, we light the Havdallah candle in memory of that moment, when God taught us to create light.
            It’s telling that Hannukah, Hag Urim – the Holiday of Lights – begins in darkness. If and when you find yourself in darkness beyond the physical, let the candles remind you that you are not abandoned. God, with more than a little help from those who love you, will show you how to create light again.

Hag Urim Sameah,
May your Hannukah be filled with light and joy

No comments:

Post a Comment