This week, we read from Parshat Bereshit. Berershit is the first parsha in the Torah. According to the Torah, God created the world in seven days. He separated night from day and light from darkness. “God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.”
Torah can bring light into someone’s world. Torah teaches us about Jewish life and how we should behave as Jews. Knowing this helps to guide us in our decisions and how to behave.
How do we understand light and darkness? Light can be seen as something positive. Light symbolizes happiness. If you see light you are reassured; if you are stuck in a dark place, you see light and you feel like you know where you are going. Light also symbolizes good. Light can be seen as knowledge, Torah, happiness, life and joy.
Darkness represents sadness, grief, tragedy and a time of need. People may think that darkness represents something bad. However, without darkness you wouldn’t be able to have light. If you never have darkness, you wouldn’t appreciate the light.
There are different kinds of darkness and different kinds of light.
What brings darkness to someone’s world? Nobody would want a time of darkness, but everyone has had a time of darkness. For example, there are little things that could cause darkness — if you lost something or if you tripped and embarrassed yourself. There are also big things that could cause darkness — if someone in your family dies or if you worry about people in the world who are hungry. We wish light for everyone in a time of darkness.
What brings light into our world? If we do mitzvot or charity, it makes someone’s day. For example, we can donate clothes or food to charity. Giving people something that they don’t have makes people happy. Also, people feel good about themselves when giving to others. That is not the only way light is brought into someone’s world. Learning Torah also brings light into someone’s world.
Light also represents knowledge. People might call you bright, which means that you are smart. Learning Torah can bring light into someone’s world. Torah teaches us about Jewish life and how we should behave as Jews. Knowing this helps to guide us in our decisions and how to behave. When God created the world, He separated light from darkness. This speaks to us the way we live our lives today.
Gabrielle Moshkatal is a seventh-grade student at Krieger Schechter Day School.