Tonight marks the beginning of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. It is a time to step back from the usual routine of our daily lives, relax and reflect. During Shabbat, we read a section of the Torah, called a Parshah. This week’s section is from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 10:1–13:16) and is called “Bo.” It involves the last 3 of the plagues visited upon Egypt and Pharoah and the description of the first Passover.
As is widely known, the final plague was the killing of the firstborn of Egypt. But, what you may not remember was that the 2d to last plague was “darkness.”
As we all know from childhood, darkness can be pretty terrifying. And, at some point, each of us has to be comforted by a parent that we “shouldn’t be scared of the dark.”
That admonition is of little comfort to any child. Frankly, if you ask most adults they’ll tell you they’re still scared of the dark. The dark is filled with the unknown. And, there is little more frightening than the unknown or the uncertain.
But, darkness doesn’t have to be all bad. Darkness can bring with it a quiet and stillness. It can be a time of great serenity and restfulness. So, as we head into this Shabbat, I thought I’d take a whack at coming up with some positives about the dark so that when our son gets a little older, and he’s afraid of the dark (if he is), I’ll have something to comfort him with. So here goes:
1. If it’s dark outside, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not at work.
2. Darkness is very conducive sleeping.
3. The best way to watch a movie is in the dark
4. Darkness can hide all manner of sins, including, fat, unsightly lines, and a messy room
5. Darkness is a much better way to experience a hangover
6. Hanging out in the darkness will reduce your risks of sunburn and keeping the lights off will save on the electric bill
7. If you order a glass of scotch, people won’t ask you “why are you drinking at this hour?”
8. Contrary to popular belief, monsters do not like the dark either. However, it remains unclear whether they like the closet and the space underneath the bed. And absolutely keep your feet covered while in bed regardless of how hot it may be.
9. You can’t use that really cool “Black Light” in a lit room or in daylight. Only darkness will do.
10. Darkness must be great. Congress operates in the dark constantly, and they must be doing that for some reason.