I am continuing my exploration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prayers today with a brief line which follows the Barechu (the call to prayer) in the morning.
Eternal light is in the storehouse of life. “Light from the darkness!” said God, and it was so. Or olam b’otzar chayim, orot m’ofel, amar vayehi.
We are the storehouse of life, and the eternal light resides within each of us.
In the account of creation, we are taught that light was created the first day, but the sun was not created until the fourth. The eternal light, Or olam, was this first light of transcendence. It is knowledge and clarity, purity and joy. When we use light as a metaphor, it is this light that we speak of.
Each of us is a repository of life. We are where life is stored, and this eternal light rests inside each of us, waiting for us to manifest it with our actions. When we act justly, we bring this light into the world, answering God’s dictum, “Light from the darkness!” When we help another, we bring the “and it was so” into the present, an ongoing creation of light in darkness.
On Rosh Hashanah we are reminded that God may have created the light, but it is up to us to dispense it from our treasury of life.