It is already several years now since G‑d has chosen to give me and my family tremendous hardships. For me, it is physically paralyzing. For my wonderful wife, Dina, it can at times be emotionally and mentally paralyzing. My children are also subjected to an unwanted roller-coaster ride. I wish and pray all the time that I will be cured, but I am grateful to G‑d for the positive experiences that come from our situation. Dina and I have been blessed with an outpouring of love from so many, and our writings and Dina’s talks have been uplifting people all over. All of this would not have been possible without the darkness we have undergone, as it brought to the fore love and abilities we never knew we had.

How can we not be grateful?

In this week's parshah, Bo, we read about the plague of darkness. There were three days of darkness, and three days where the darkness was tangible and rendered the Egyptians immobile. At the same time, for the Jewish people, there was light.

Everything that the Torah tells us is a lesson, even the plagues. What the Torah tells us about the Egyptian exile and exodus is particularly a lesson on how to deal with our present exile and future exodus.

What lesson can we draw from the plague of darkness, especially from the fact that there was darkness and light at the same time?

Egypt is “Mitzrayim” in Hebrew, related to the word maytzarim, which means boundaries, constraints or limitations. It is symbolic of the limitations we experience in this physical world.

There are times in this exile when you experience darkness in the form of heartbreak, health problems, oppression, etc. Sometimes, it seems there is no hope, and that no amount of light can overcome this darkness. Other times, it is worse; it can seem completely paralyzing. The struggle and pain we experience are very real and hard to get through.

G‑d is telling you that in this place of darkness can be found a great light—greater than anything you’ve experienced before. This light is transformative; it gives new perspective and brings out new abilities. The greater the darkness, the greater the light that is to be found within.

This doesn’t mean that darkness is good, but if you experience it, then search for the positive. Use the new light to brighten your surroundings and make a difference.

That said, we have all had enough darkness in our lives. Now it is time for Moshiach to come and for the darkness to end.

Let the light shine uninterrupted in our lives!