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    Shedding some light – B’reshit

    The order of creation raises fascinating questions.

    For instance, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light” (Gen. 1:3).

    Impressive, inspiring, poetic, but strange.

    Surely light came into being too early! For why is light necessary? To see by. But as yet there were neither plants, animals or human beings who could benefit from the light. It could have waited until the third day.

    Yet the Midrash remarks, “Just as a king wishing to build a palace does not do so spontaneously but consults architect’s plans, so God looked into the Torah and created the world.”

    Thus in a metaphorical sense the light was useful for God Himself, and indeed the text says time after time, “And God saw that it was good”.

    Not that God is physical and literally sees, but in a spiritual sense He is aware of everything, and in the process of creation He “saw” what He was doing and approved it as fitting into His predetermined plan.

    His Divine intention was to bring into being a world which would operate on harmonious, moral principles; stage by stage He checked what He had done and gave it a heavenly seal of approval.

    In due course the plant, animal and human kingdoms needed light in a physical sense, but the notion of light and “seeing” had their purpose for God Himself from the moment the work began.

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