This noble creature will seek to comfort all those who are distressed, just as you would do, they will dry the tears of the afflicted and downtrodden, as they will learn from you, they will raise up those whose spirit is bent over and bowed down and they will reach out a helping hand to those who in need of help, they will speak peace to the heart of the widow and give comfort and shelter to the orphan. They will do all this, for they be emulating you. How could such a magnificent creature not be a glory to its Maker?"
- This midrash fascinates me because the rabbis did not contrast light and dark, white and black, as representing good and evil, as we are prone to do. Rather, it was the undifferentiated chaos, the formless, primordial mess which represents evil and the light which represents goodness. Perhaps the message of this text is that those who are so unformed, without moral grounding, without a sense of being connected to anyone or anything, who are filled with hatred and anger, trying to control the world and others which represent evil. For when one lives in the world of tohu va'vohu, the chaos prevents us from seeing and acknowledging God's light. And it is God's light which allows us to see the universe and all within it is connected and which compels us to make the world a better place. But those living in the world of tohu va'vohu, those who promote evil and hatred in our world, need not stay there for their entire life. For the perpetual optimist in me believes that it is possible to to slow down the chaos, to bring stillness to the maelstrom and silence to the cacophony. This can allow almost anyone engaging in evil (I am not so naïve as to say everyone) the opportunity to see the light of goodness in the world and to begin to embrace it. That is a central role of religion, at it's best, of spiritual practice, such as prayer and meditation, and can be found within loving and caring families and communities everywhere. For when we join together with others to see that light, we not only help each other connect to the light and abandon the other path. That is one of our primary tasks as human beings. That is one of the main reasons we exist.