A Night of Day

Friday, 29 March, 2024 - 8:44 am

Our day starts at night.

Just look at the first chapter of the Torah.

It’s often a hassle to explain to those unfamiliar with the Jewish faith. All days on the Jewish calendar begin at nightfall.  Shabbat begins on Friday night.  Passover this year will begin on April 22 at sundown. It is, after all, a more accurate calendar that follows the universe in which we dwell.

However, in this week’s parsha, Tzav, we find an exception to this otherwise ironclad system.  The fire on the altar in the Bait Hamikdash remained burning all night. Sacrifices that had not yet been completed during the day were offered at night. In this respect, the night followed the day.

Why the exception? And, what is the lesson for us?

Day, filled with light, represents holiness. Night, with its abounding darkness, corresponds to evil.  When our day is holy, illuminated by the holy fire of devotion to G-d, it can illuminate the night as well.  If following an ordinary moment, night remains darkness.  But, when empowered with the light of Divine sanctity, even the darkest places can be illuminated.

We all have “day” moments and “night” moments.

By maximizing our “day” moments, we can extend them into our “night” moments.  Making the most of our days will eliminate our nights.

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