Lighting The Way

‘Light is stored up for the righteous,” writes the Psalmist. In the Torah, light is created on the first day. Yet the sun is not fashioned until the fourth day. The Rabbis teach that the light of the first day is a mystical light; one day it will be liberated by our goodness.

The idea of a potential for light sewn into the fabric of creation, ready to burst forth, reminds us that goodness is not only a creation, but a liberation of powers that exist. The deed awaits. In order to liberate that light we need to be not only creators, but conduits.

Plato wrote, “We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light.” It is easy to be afraid of the power of our own achievements. Literature and mythology are filled with characters, like Gollum in “Lord of the Rings,” whose narrowness or fear prevent them from stepping into the light. Still, the light has been waiting since the well-named dawn of time. We need only acknowledge and channel it to illuminate God’s world.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at

About the Author
Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.