The Way of G-d
Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 6: "The Sequence of the Day"
There's a good reason why nighttime is so eerie to many (and tantalizing
to others). For it's the time of day when the side of unholiness holds
sway and its cohorts can scurry about with some abandon. That's also why
most people tend to stay safe indoors at night, as if sensing the hazards
(and also why others specifically stay outside, for some impious reasons).
But all that changes with daylight, when the side of unholiness is no
longer allowed to have its way. Needless to say, this entire phenomenon is
rooted in the rules and functions of the transcendent forces we'd cited
early on (see 1:5:3).
But while this is true in broad terms, in point of fact the side of
unholiness is especially active the *first* half of the night. For the
forces of G-dliness first begin to reign -- albeit tentatively -- from
about midnight until daybreak, when the side of unholiness begins to lose
its hold and to slither away.
Now, all this is aside from the changes that the forces of unholiness and
of G-dliness undergo in response to our actions.
For as we'd indicated, everything we do has positive and negative
repercussions, and has things shift about from G-dliness to unholiness.
Nonetheless, the sort of movement we'd depicted of these forces above is
independent of that and comes about in the course of each day and night as
part of the natural order of things. The sort of wide-ranging ebb and flow
from evil to good and back again that we set off by our actions, on the
other hand, can't be fixed to any time of day. And they carry a lot more
It's just that, much the way that our lungs take air in and let it out
automatically while we're free to intentionally reverse the process, G-
dliness and unholiness interplay on an automatic and an intentional level
too. That is, nighttime itself facilitates unholiness most especially,
while daytime facilitates G-dliness and allows us all more of an
opportunity to subdue unholiness. But we can always change the course of
things on our own whenever we elect to.
We'll soon see what all this has to do with our daily religious life.
Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.