Monday 1 Shevat 5783 (23.01.23)
Day and Night, Darkness and Light
לֹֽא־רָא֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־אָחִ֗יו וְלֹא־קָ֛מוּ אִ֥ישׁ מִתַּחְתָּ֖יו שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים וּֽלְכׇל־בְּנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הָ֥יָה א֖וֹר בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָֽם׃
"No Egyptian man could see his brother, but the darkness did not obstruct the Israelites' vision. During these first three days, the Israelites who did not want to leave Egypt—four-fifths of the population—died. This happened specifically when the Egyptians could not see it so they should not be able to think that these Jews were dying of the same cause that the Egyptians died of during the plagues. For the next three days, the darkness became so palpable that no Egyptian who was sitting when it started could rise from his place, and no Egyptian who was standing when it started could sit down. The Israelites, however, canvassed the Egyptians' dwellings freely during these three days, taking note of the Egyptians' possessions and where they kept them. Furthermore, during these six days, there was light for all the Israelites in their dwellings; the darkness did not cover the district of Goshen."
The Egyptians, like many ancient peoples, assumed that the opposing forces of day and night, light and darkness, were the manifestation of two opposing deities. G-d therefore caused darkness and light to occur simultaneously, so they could see that nature is ruled by one, supreme power.
Not Only Ancient Peoples
Even today, there are still belief systems and people who believe in a god of evil. They cannot believe what Isaiah says:
יוֹצֵ֥ר אוֹר֙ וּבוֹרֵ֣א חֹ֔שֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂ֥ה שָׁל֖וֹם וּב֣וֹרֵא רָ֑ע אֲנִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה עֹשֶׂ֥ה כׇל־אֵֽלֶּה׃
"I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe—I the L-RD do all these things."
Everything comes from the hands of HaShem. For people who trust in Him, everything is light, and He will make them see and understand His light more and more, when it seems dark. One will begin to explore and understand what it seems dark for, namely to seek the Light.
For people who have no relationship with HaShem, the world seems dark and murky, because they do not recognise and acknowledge His actions. For darkness is no different from not being able to perceive - the absence of light. The points of light they receive in their lives are enveloped by darkness, so they quickly fade away, go unnoticed, or are forgotten.
Sources: Kehot Chumash Bo
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the NoahideAcademy.org website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.
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