Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “An illusion, a mirage.”

The Hebrew word for “created,” bora, implies the formation of a vacuum, like a clearing in the forest.

(Related words are bor, “pit,” and be’er, “well.”)

The statement that God “forms light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates evil” (Isaiah 45:7) should be interpreted in the light of that understanding. …

Darkness is a “creation,” for it is characterized by an absence of light. God “creates darkness” by making a vacuum within light.

The next phrase, that He “creates evil,” refers to real evil, which results from a vacuum made within the divine light.

That reality, however, is false, for in the divine and infinite light there can be no true vacuum.

The reality of the sitra achra [other side] is an illusion, a mirage.

When it melts away, the divine light is revealed and the imaginary matrix of evil disappears.

—Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz