Soul Works: Psalm 27: The Gift of Light
“God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear.” (Psalm 27:1) Scripture says elsewhere: “And the Lord said: ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. And the Lord saw the light that it was good, and the Lord divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4) As to the meaning of the latter words, there is a difference of opinion. Rabbi Judah bar Rabbi Shimon maintained that the Lord divided the light for His own use, just like a king who, upon seeing a good portion, says: “This portion shall be mine!” Even so, when the Holy One, Blessed is He, created His universe and created the great light, He said, “Except for Me, no creature shall be free to make use of this light. And thus Scripture says “The light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:22)
Rabbi Judah teaches that whenever we benefit from God’s light, it is a direct gift from Him: He is sharing His portion of creation with us. God gives us the opportunity, through our relationship with Him, and through His service, to make us of His light as we learn, live and grow.
This psalm is King David’s song of joy over this great gift, a gift we share more intensely over Elul and the High Holydays.
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