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It’s Too Dark; I Cannot See

Thursday, 9 July, 2020 - 5:28 pm

It’s 2.30am and I’m fast asleep when four-year-old Mussya and six-year-old Sara come barging into our room, crying hysterically. Waking up in the night is not atypical, but usually they go straight to my wife and I don’t stir. This time, however, they were agitated, had woken each other, and were now both wailing. Their cry? “It’s too dark; I cannot see!” 

This was a first. Usually it’s a bad dream and we coax them back to bed by helping them think of pleasant things. Or “I’m thirsty” which is easily solved with a drink of water. But this I’d never heard before. I sat up groggily. “It’s the middle of the night, Mussya. Of course you cannot see. The lights are off, it’s dark outside, how do you wake up from that? And maybe the middle of the night is not the best time to test your eyes…” 

“Just close your eyes and fall asleep,” I cajoled. 

“But when I close my eyes, it’s too dark,” she insisted. 

It took some time and convincing and calming, but eventually she agreed to close her eyes and fall asleep in the darkness. 

The experience got me thinking. 

We’ve been in our current exile for close to 2000 years, and a lot of those years have been dark. But our sages teach that there is no darker period than ours. And we are surely feeling it, with the coronavirus and unrest causing so much fear and uncertainty all over the world! But the reason it’s so dark right now is because we are right before the breakthrough. The night is darkest just before dawn emerges onto the horizon, and that’s where we are right now: on the precipice of the Redemption. So yes, it’s dark, yes it seems like it will always be dark, but that’s good news! It means we’re on the verge of the greatest spiritual revelation—the one our people have been anticipating for millennia! 

We just started the annual period on the Jewish calendar known as The Three Weeks—a time of mourning for the destruction of our two Holy Temples. But this year we are ready, readier than we’ve ever been, for that third and final Temple. 

My daughters’ wails should be echoed by every single Jew. We need to cry out to our Father in Heaven and awaken His heavenly mercy: “It’s too dark! We cannot bear this anymore! Get us out of the exile; usher in the era of light.” 

May it happen immediately. 

Rabbi Uriel Vigler 

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