Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Darkness By Day

Some religions believe that there are two gods, one of good and one of bad. Whenever something which they consider positive takes place, they attribute it to the god of good, and when something they deem negative happens they say it was from the god of evil. They think that the constant ups and downs of life are a result of the struggles between these two gods.

Judaism views this matter totally differently. We believe that there is one G-d and that everything that takes place in this world comes directly from Him and is good. This belief is reaffirmed twice daily when we say Shema and proclaim that Hashem is in fact “echad” — One and Only. This concept is alluded to in the first blessing preceding the Shema. The Talmud tells us that in the opening blessing of Shema we must mention the night during the day and the day during the night (Brachos 11b).

On the surface, darkness seems less good than the light and warmth of daylight, both literally and figuratively. “Dark times” are usually associated with loss, loneliness, confusion and hardship. And yet in the pre-Shema blessing we mention darkness during the day when the sun is shining brightly. This affirms our belief that every creation of Hashem and everything that He causes to transcend upon this Earth is ultimately good (Rabbeinu Yona, Brachos 5b).

Taking this idea one step further, we may suggest that the black of the night is in fact something extremely positive. While daylight helps us engage in all the activities we need and is essential for every chemical and biological process on the planet, nighttime signals that it is time to stop and rest and gather strength for the coming day. Symbolically, dark times in our lives are often opportunities to stop and take stock of who we really are and where we really want to go in the future. Mentioning the night by day helps us focus on the positive aspects of the night (Mahari Abuhav according to Perisha 59,1 and Elia Rabba).


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

The Price Of Choice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

A Body and Soul Job
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

ArtScroll

Murphy's Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

It Defies Belief
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
- 5771

> To My Very Last Breath
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Vengeance: Revenge is Sweet
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Take Vengeance for Hashem
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Only the Shadow Knows
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Confronting "I"
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Fix the World
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Armed with the Past
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

The Question/Answer Dynamic
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

The Age Of Experience
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information