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Psalm 27: The Light of the Future

“God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear.” (Psalm 27:1) When God said, “Let there be light” He created the light by which we search for Chametz on Erev Pesach – the night before Passover. When the verse says, “And there was light,” it refers to the light of Rosh Hashana. The Hebrew for “and there was light” is “Vayehi”, which is always associated with some pain. (Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 36)

The Vilna Gaon (Aderet Eliyahu) explains that “Yehi” is for the future, the “Vav” – the letter that adds the ‘and” – transforms the word into past tense.  He describes this switch from the unlimited future into the limited past as painful.

When we focus on the approaching light of Rosh Hashana as being shed on the past; as a searchlight or even microscope examining and judging our past, we take the risk of transforming a “Yehi” into a “Vayehi” – from future to past – from infinite to limited – from joy to pain.

David rejoices over the future in this Psalm: He saw the world as “Yehi” a future of infinite possibility. That is exactly how we should appreciate the light of Rosh Hashana.

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