At the outset of Creation, He removed all light. And that is the source of all that ever goes wrong.

Why did He remove the light? Why did He choose that things could go wrong?

Sometimes we say He wanted darkness as a background, like the black velvet upon which a diamond is displayed, a clouded sky through which the sunshine bursts. After all, who will appreciate the light if there is no darkness? Pain exists to make room for healing. But that could not be the entire answer. Who will appreciate acts of beauty and kindness if there are no deeds of ugliness and selfishness?

So the darkness is there for the sake of light. Evil exists so that good might also be. Pain exists to make room for healing.

But this could not be the entire answer.

Why? Because if it were the entire answer, the darkness would not be as thorough as it is. It would be a darkness that would provide some hint of light, some glimmer of hope, some weakness by which it could be pierced. But when He removed the light, the resulting darkness allowed not even a possibility of light. It was absolute, a void, an emptiness, the diametric opposite of the Infinite Light that preceded it—so that we find evil in our world that has no explanation, no answer, no light to shine.

The answer must be that in light alone, G‑d cannot be found. For He is beyond dark and light, presence and absence, being and not being. And so, just as darkness is there for the sake of light, so light is there for the sake of darkness—to reveal the true purpose of that darkness: To allow knowledge of a wholly transcendent G‑d to enter His world.

A time will come when the very darkness, otherness, coarseness of this physical existence will itself speak the most profound truths of its Creator.

Getting There

How do we get the world to this point—that the darkness itself should speak out its truth?

The most vital question still remains. Not a philosophical or a theological question, but one that concerns us here and now: How do we achieve this? How do we get the world to this point—that the darkness itself should speak out its truth?

We can flood the world with more and greater light, but that alone will not achieve the goal. Neither will raising the darkness to a place of greater light. No, we want that this darkness, here, as it is, to shine and speak its own truth.

And it does. Because it challenges us at every turn. It denies everything in which we believe—that there is purpose and meaning, that G‑d is good and He is one. It laughs at our ambitions and scorns our enthusiasm, sets fire to our dreams and pours ice buckets upon our greatest aspirations.

And when it challenges us this way, we defy it, stubbornly, repeatedly, from the immovable essence-core of our souls. We show it that all its efforts are futile and vain, for we are bound up inextricably with the core of truth. And so we too are beyond darkness and light, self and not self, being and not being.

To which the darkness must eventually respond, “Yes. That is all I am here to say.”

Darkness speaks, in silence. We will make it sing.

Bati L’gani 5731; V’nacha Alav 5725