Shlomo Ezagui

In the Light during a Flood

There are no vowels or commas in the Bible. This is so because the Torah (Bible) contains the infinite wisdom of God, and when He chose to communicate His wisdom to the world through words and letters, God intended for a countless number of messages to be conveyed through these unique words and letters of the Torah.

In addition to the words’ very literal meanings in the context in which they are used, our sages tell us that there are 70 faces to the Bible and another 70 to those 70, and so on.

God gave Noah the order to enter the ark to save him from the flood’s raging waters. Noah was also instructed to install a light inside the ark. According to some Rabbis, this was accomplished in the form of a glowing stone that would illuminate the ark “like the light of the afternoon.”

In a different context, the Hebrew word for “ark” (taivah) could also be translated as “word.”

The legendary Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzansk once said, “Words have a lot of power. God used words and commands to bring the world into being. When spoken, words emit a very potent creative reality. The Bible instructs everyone to treat and value their words like precious stones. One must understand the immense power and value of every word spoken. Every word (Taiva, which also refers to an ark) should shine like a powerful light and never be taken lightly. (The word Taiva has the dual meanings of both ark and word). The purpose of a person’s words should always be to guide and shed light.

A person should never walk down a street without saying holy words from the Bible, the psalms, and prayers if they were aware of their words’ profound impact on the environment around them.

In another vein of thought, the Holy Baal Shem Tov taught there are flood waters constantly raging in our minds and hearts, engulfing us in a mighty downpour of worry, concern, and anxiety.

The Hebrew word for “light” (tzohar) used when God commanded Noah to put a light in the (Taiva/ark/word) Ark, can also mean “pleasing” and/or “anguish” when the letters are rearranged in a different order.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that when a person says the words of his prayer with intense concentration—because he is not simply mumbling the words but is immersing himself fully in their meaning, which will then give rise to a fiery enthusiasm in one’s heart for his bond with The One he is praying to—the words become an ark of protection from all the forces of nature that would threaten him.

Such “words” (taiva/ark) raise the person above the flood waters that would otherwise carry him downstream.

Within every difficulty, if approached correctly, are the elements of blessing…  simply by rearranging the existing letters! (circumstances)

A person who uses heartfelt “words/taiva” in prayer, saying them with all his heart because he enjoys praying, reading the Bible, and singing the psalms, and because the words are pleasing to him, rearranges the distress and anguish in his life so that they (reveal their inner positive potential and ) instead become light, joy, and happiness.

chapter 162

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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