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Blessings of the Shema: Light & Dark

Why must we mention the formation of light and the creation of darkness in the first blessing before the Shema, both in the morning and the evening?

“The basis of the existence of evil, as well as its activity and influence, is the fact that God hides His Unity and does not reveal Himself with the power of His true essence. The degree to which evil can exist then depends on the degree to which God hides Himself.

“The basis of the annihilation and removal of evil, as well as the perpetuation of good in all creation, is therefore the revelation of God’s Unity – the essence of the Shema.” (The Way of God, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Section 4:4:1)

We are not describing physical light and dark, but the revelation of God’s Unity and Light and its occlusion. We are preparing for the unification of Shema.

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