Breishit – Light

The Light:  It is a little strange that light was the first thing to be created.  It has no intrinsic qualities – it’s only purpose is to illuminate everything else.  Why, then was it the first thing to be created?  It should have been created after everything else, in order to illuminate it, not before!

Moreover, after creating light, God hid it – why create it if the purpose is to hide it?  And one more question – the Zohar equates light (ohr) with secrets (raz), telling us that they have the same numerical value (gematria).  A secret, though, is hidden, whereas light is revealed and illuminated – so what is the connection between them?

When it occurs to us to work toward a goal, the goal occurs to us as a brilliant flash of inspiration, something shining and attractive to work toward.  However, as we bury ourselves in the day to day details, the shining goal eludes us – we are too busy to recall the goal at every instant since we are so involved in the details of making it happen.

Something similar happened during the creation of the universe.  God’s goal was and remains to create a universe full of revealed light and Godliness.  Therefore, He first created light.  But, He also created man and put him in this low physical world in order to work on the details of God’s plan and make it happen.  So, naturally, His light is hidden from us as we work on His goal.  In truth, His light is hidden in the Torah, since as the sages said, “God look into the Torah and created the universe.”  Since we are so busy with the details, we are not aware of His light that is hidden in creation.  Only at the end of days, when the Meshaich comes, will we once more become aware of the final goal.  The initial light of creation will shine in the the illuminated universe, and revealed Godliness will be spread out before us.  At that time, we will grasp the purpose of the tremendous light that He created at the outset of creation.

From Likutei Sichot of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, vol. 10, Page 7.  For a longer and more detailed version, go to

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