The Motif of Light in Jewish Tradition

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). In other words, fundamentally, light does not belong to this world. Rather, it is an emanation of a different essence, from the other side of reality. Light serves as the symbol of good and the beautiful, of all that is positive. The difference between light and darkness assumes such a general and metaphysical significance, and the advantage of light over darkness is so obvious and self-evident that it serves as a sharp metaphor: “...wisdom excels folly as far as light exce

This is Member-Only Content

To access, click here to activate a Digital Subscription with a 2-Week Free Trial (no credit card required).