Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Great Light Which Comes Out Of The Darkness

Audio Version By Rabbi Sholem Perl

The Song of David is read as the Haftora twice during the year. Once with parshas Hazinu (when it falls between Yom Kippur and Sukkos), because it is similar to Moshe's song of Hazinu, and again on the Shvii Shel Pesach the seventh day of Pesach, when we read Az Yashir, the song we sung at the splitting of the Sea of Reeds.

When we read Az Yashir during the year, we read the Song of Devorah, because at the splitting of the sea, the women were more joyous than the men. While the men sang, the women sang with dances and tambourines. Therefore we sing the song of a woman, the Song of Devorah.

Why then do we read the Song of David on Shvii Shel Pesach? Because on Shvii Shel Pesach, the light of Moshiach shines bright, as the day has redemptive qualities to it. That is why, it was on this day, when the Jewish people went through the Sea of Reeds, finally being freed from the Egyptians. Being that David Hamelech is the father of Moshiach, we read his song.

The Song of David, is recorded twice in the Tannach, once in Shmuel Beis (Samuel II), and again, with variations, in Tehilim (Psalms). For the Haftora, the one from Shmuel Beis is read.

David Hamelech sang this song, in gratitude to Hashem, Who saved him from his enemies and from king Shaul. It is written in the Tannach twice, because there are many lessons to be learned from it with regards to our personal salvation from dark and difficult situations and challenges. I will just mention a few.

The Haftora tells us, that Hashem, "surrounded Himself with a canopy of darkness, from clouds of water, bound together..." This is said, not in a negative way, but rather, in a positive way. What is positive about Hashem being in the darkness?

First, it is the darkness that defines the light. Second, darkness and difficulties bring out light in two ways. When a person is faced with a challenge, it brings out the will in him, to overcome and break through the darkness. By overcoming the darkness, the light is greater than it would have been without the difficulty.

However, there is much more that can be achieved with this darkness. Sometimes the darkness is so great, that it is insurmountable. When this happens, there is only one strategy left to implement, to turn the darkness into light. By taking the difficulty and finding a way to use it for good, you realize that the darkness was not darkness at all. This is called, the great light which comes out of the darkness. It is when difficulty itself becomes the light. This light is greatest of all, because when you achieve that, not only does it push the darkness away, but it ceases to exist, like it never existed, you realize that it was truly great light in disguise, and now you revealed it.

This message is found later in the Haftora as well. David Hamelech says, "You are my lamp, Hashem, and Hashem lights my darkness." A lamp dispels darkness, but the darkness still exists, it is just overcome. "Hashem lights my darkness," is when the revelation of Hashem is so great, that the darkness ceases to exist.

How did David Hamelech achieve these great salvations? He says that Hashem, "makes my legs straight like a doe's." Rashi explains that a female deer's legs are straighter than the male's. What does a doe's legs have to do with our Haftora?

A dear prances freely and could go far on its legs. This symbolizes, that we are capable of doing a lot. Straight legs symbolizes, acceptance of Hashem's will without question, just as legs do the bidding of the head, taking it from place to place, without question. He speaks of a female deer, because women, being closer to Hashem, are more likely to do what He wants without question. As we see by the sin of the golden calf, the women refused to get involved. David Hamelech is saying, that because he had the unquestioning faith, that women naturally have, he merited these great salvations. As the verse continues, "He stands me on high places." Meaning, that when we act this way, Hashem doesn't just save us, but He puts us above any possibility of strife, challenges, darkness, difficulties, pain, suffering, etc.

May we merit this already, as we have all done Hashem's bidding and suffered for it. It is time for Moshiach to come. May he come soon.


  1. The switch always bothered me! Thank you so much! Good Shabbos!

  2. Chag Sameach to you and your entire family and may you be blessed with much simcha and simchos this year!