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The Gift of Darkness

11/18/2021 08:52:55 AM


Beth Schafer

Some things literally happen overnight. I’m thinking in particular about 2 weeks ago when we turned back the clock and found ourselves squarely in the dark (and darkening) days of winter.

Nothing says goodbye to summer/fall more abruptly than that ominous shift of the clock.

I would, however, invite you not to spend the next 6 months inside! During the day, the brightness of the sun obscures all else. It encloses us and centers our attention on earth, on humanity and on this mortal life. But as the sun sets, a magnificent window opens. This opening to the universe only happens in the evening. It is through this window that we get to see signal lights from the endless cosmos stretching beyond earth. Daytime is about our world, the evening gives us a glimpse of God’s world.

We are born from a womb of darkness, a place of sacred comfort. As humanity rests in the darkness of night, we can also find comfort in being swaddled by the velvety sky that reveals itself more in this season than any other. Even the creation story reminds us in its very first paragraph where we learn of the creation of light, “There was evening and there was morning, day one.” Darkness is our origin, but light is our gift.

In a little over a week, we will celebrate Chanukah, our season of light. Chanukah lights are most bright because of the darkness that surrounds them. So this season let us celebrate the darkness, not because it is sad and gloomy, but because it lets us see cosmic light and candlelight-both beautiful and brilliant.

Shabbat shalom,


Wed, December 1 2021 27 Kislev 5782