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Let There Be Light

Friday, 5 October, 2018 - 4:29 pm

The holidays have past and now we’re off to a fresh new start with renewed strength and vigor!

On this Shabbat we will, once again, begin reading the Torah anew. And each year, as we start a new cycle of Torah reading, we reach deeper and deeper into the infinite wisdom that G‑d has woven into the Torah.

What are the first words G‑d utters in the Torah? What are G‑d’s opening lines in the bible?

“And G‑d said: Let there be light”.

This seems rather strange, because nothing existed yet that could benefit from the light. There were no trees that needed rays of light to grow and no animals or people who use the light to see. So why were G‑d’s first words, “let there be light”?

Before answering this question let me share a kabbalistic thought with you:

The Kabbalah teaches us the following insightful rule of life: “The final act is the first thought”. Simply put, this means that when embarking on any project or business venture, the very first thing we need to think about it what we want our final product to look like. Or, as any business coach will tell you, “you need to first have a mission statement”.

If we do not first lay down the ultimate goal and purpose of the task at hand, the project will likely deteriorate into a random and fruitless proposition. This is the meaning of the Kabbalistic statement “The final act is the first thought”.

This concept was demonstrated most profoundly by G‑d when He created the universe. Before creating the various components of the universe, G‑d first laid down his mission statement for creation: “Let there be light”.

This is the underlying goal and theme that governs all of existence and it is this declaration that acts as the portal and opening of the Torah. G‑d wanted it to be unmistakably clear at the very beginning; with the very first creation – light, that He has created a world in order for light to radiate.

Light represents clarity, warmth, brightness and holiness. Darkness represents confusion, emptiness and negativity. The purpose of existence is to transform darkness into light, turn challenge into opportunity and bring holiness into that which is unholy.

How to we accomplish this awesome task? How to we transform the world into a G‑dly edifice? We do mitzvahs. Yes, each time we light a Shabbat candle, lend a helping hand to someone in need, put on tefillin, or make a blessing over kosher food, we add light and bring the world closer to its final G‑dly state.

So as we set forth to journey through this new year of 5779, let us make the mission statement clear from the outset: We are created to bring light and G‑dliness to the world!

Let’s do a mitzvah today! “Let there be light.”

Shabbat Shalom,

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