"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Monday, August 26, 2013

Light Prepares for Darkness

Light Prepares for Darkness

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

I recently spent a few days in the country, where at night even the streets are much more poorly lit than in the city, and in the fields there is almost no light. Yet during my time here, I have not needed to walk around at night, only during the day.

Last night, for the first time, I had to make my way across several large fields in order to reach my destination, with only some faint streetlights in the distance and a glimmer of moonlight and starlight to help me find my way.

Although I did trip a few times and veered onto a minor detour, I managed. Why? I had gone down that path often enough during the daylight hours that the little light that shone was sufficient to direct me.

Perhaps the lesson is as follows. When one is in an environment of spiritual light, of holiness and purity, such as a beis ha'knesses (synagogue) or a beis ha'medrash (Torah study hall), the way is clear. In contrast, the outside world is a place of intense spiritual darkness (see here), rife with fraud and deception, ignorance of Hashem's Word, materialism, hedonism, and apathy to faith and even ridicule of it (see here). In this "doubled and redoubled darkness" the Jew is prone to lose his or her way, G-d forbid.

But when we are accustomed to devoting time daily to davven and learn in the beis ha'knesses and beis ha'medrash (and their equivalent as appropriate for women and girls)we keep ourselves spiritually attuned and fortify ourselves (see here). Then even when we descend into the hostile environment of the outside world, we will not lose our way, for we remember the experience of being in an environment of G-dliness and purity.

This also explains why it is so important for bochrim to attend Yeshivah, for girls to attend seminary, and for chassidim to go to the Rebbe (or, until Moshiach comes, the places where the holiness of the Rebbe resides--770 and the Ohel) at least once a year.

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  1. At times all you have to grasp onto during "darkness", given the sudden insight, is the very God Who guides our paths, with a prayer, a mitzvah, or just thinking about how magnificent is His world, where even the darkness is His creation. Thanks for sharing your private moment!


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