Sunday, July 12, 2015

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How Many Lights?

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
   

How Many Lights?

 

     How many lights are shown in this picture? Can you count them? Take your time. If you do not have the patience to count them, then just guess.

     It is a picture of the sunlight bouncing off rippling water. I took the picture some thirty years ago.[i] Since the light in the picture is sunlight, there has to be only one light… the one light that is coming from the Sun. If you did not see that at first then you were probably counting reflections thinking that each one was a separate light.

     There is one light and many reflections of that one light. The one sunlight is the light that makes up each reflection, but any single reflection is not any other reflection, so even though the light is the "universal" one, the reflections are many, individual, and finite.

     Many times a day we say the prayer, "Baruch Chay Haolamim". It is the end of the after-blessing for certain foods. Most say it automatically without thinking of its meaning. In fact, few actually know its translation. It is usually mistranslated as, "Blessed is the One Who lives forever," or "Blessed is the One Who gives life to the World." Neither of these is even close to its actually meaning.

     Most people see that there is only one world and there are many lives living in this one world. This is the usual way of looking at our life and the place where we live. The Torah tells us differently.

     The actual translation is, "Blessed be the Life of all the worlds." There are many worlds; for instance, this world and the world to come, the ten emanations[ii] are each called an individual world, but in all of the worlds there is only one Life. Hashem is the life that fills each of us. He is One and He apportions an individual "ray" or "spark" of His One Life into each of us.

     Now look back at the photo and see, almost like the sunlight bouncing off the water, each of us is a different reflection of the One Life. Baruch Chay Haolamim.

 



[ii] The Ten Sefirot 

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