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Shema: Meriting God’s Light

The blessings of the morning Shema begin, “Who forms light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates all. He Who illuminates the earth and those who dwell upon it with compassion.”


The final phrase is based on, “Dominion and fear are with Him, Who makes peace in His heights. Is there a number to His brigades, and on whom does His light not rise? And how can man be right with God, how can he born of woman be clear? (Job 25:2–4)” These words of Bidad the Shuhite address the way we human beings, limited, and imperfect, can possibly merit the light of He, “Who makes peace in His heights,” and, the One with Whom there is “Dominion and fear.” Yet, “on whom does His light not rise?” We experience God’s light. Despite our imperfections when we look up and see God’s light and when we experience its warmth and nurturance, we can rise above the concerns over our limitations, and use the blessings and the Shema that follow to fully connect to His light.

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