20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
The motif of light in Jewish tradition E-mail

Light is the Genesis – the creation of the world. The primary utterance of creation is “Let there be light”, its separation from darkness. The Midrash asks – From what was light created? The answer is whispered: “G-d cloaked Himself in a white shawl, and the light of its splendor shone from one end of the world to the other” (Genesis Rabba 3:4).

Light serves as the symbol of the good and the beautiful, of all that is positive. The difference between light and darkness assumes such a general and metaphysical signifi cance, and advantage of light over darkness is so obvious and selfevident, that it serves as a sharp metaphor: “…wisdom excels folly as far as light excels darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13). Light as a positive symbol is so prevalent in Biblical Hebrew, that redemption, truth, justice, peace, and even life itself “shine”, and their revelation is expressed in terms of the revelation of light.

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