Sharing Torah Insights

“For All the Children of Israel There Was Light”

Posted on ז׳ בשבט ה׳תש״ע (January 22, 2010) | in Bo | by

Bo 5770

During the plague of darkness, the Torah tells us that the Egyptians “did not see each other, and no one rose from his place for three days, but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings” (Shemos 10:23). What is the significance of the children of Israel having light? Is it simply to define the parameters of the plague? The Targum Yerushalmi translates that the light referred to was for the “righteous, to be occupied with mitzvos in their dwellings.” We find a vital message about light – one that can be applied to all the provisions of physical well-being. The purpose of the light is to aid in the performance of mitzvos and the service of Hashem, as is the purpose of the entire physical world. However, should a person fail to properly utilize his transitory stay in this world, then for that person the light he was given was worthless; he might as well have been in darkness. I believe that this can be the meaning of the verse, “[t]he way of the wicked is like pitch darkness” (Mishlei 4:19) – their way of failing to utilize the light, resembles the way of one in darkness. May we strengthen ourselves and merit to be amongst those of whom it is said, “[t]he way of the righteous is like the light of dawn; it shines ever brighter until the day is perfect” (ibid. 18). Good Shabbos!

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