I’m fascinated by the imagery of light in spirituality, particularly regarding humans and the description of “enlightened” people as reflecting light. Would you possibly elaborate on this?
This is a scintillating question and I’d be happy to shed some light on the topic!
Therefore, people who are “closer” to this source or influence or quality are viewed as receiving or reflecting this energy and light to a greater degree than others.
A prime example of this is regarding Moshe’s receiving the Torah (Exodus 34:29-30): “And it came to pass when Moshe descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moshe’s hand…that Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moshe, and, behold, the skin of his face had become radiant, and they were afraid to come near him”.
This may be similar to an intensely radiant halo. It’s very interesting, in fact, that the English terms for this phenomenon are nearly identical to the ancient Hebrew words. “Halo” is as in the verse “Hilo (His light) aley roshi (is upon my head)” (Job 29:3); and “aura” is as in the Hebrew word “ora” which also means light.
However, according to ancient Jewish sources, even more than reflecting from the Source, this sacred light radiating from the righteous is viewed as actually emanating from It.
Thus, the illustrious medieval theologian, philosopher and poet Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi (1075 Spain-1171 Israel) in his famous Kuzari (4:15) on the fundamental beliefs of Judaism, illuminates the relationship between
So too, coarse human beings reveal little of the sacred light. More refined people reflect the sacred light externally. However, the light seen emanating from the truly elevated, pious and pure individuals, like polished, precious, translucent gems, is actually His light shining through them from the “other side”. And His Light projected through them is via the Divine soul, as in the verse, “Man’s soul is the candle of
According to this explanation, the light emanating from Moshe was not a “reflection” of his closeness to
This also explains another enigmatic teaching. The Talmudic Sages taught (Gen. Rabbah 8:9) that when Man (the initial, singular, composite being of Adam and Eve) was created, the angels mistook him for