These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

בן אור לחשך

Posted on December 24, 2013 by Dorielle Parker

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From my blog:

d0ri3113I was recently given the task of writing my own “autobiography” for a final paper in one of my classes. Below is an excerpt from my introduction:

It is told: There are tiny cracks in the ether that makes up our Universe. It is how all of the light from the Cosmos is able to leak in, reach us, soothe us and explain to us what love is.

As I sit down to write my autobiography for the first time, I am struck by this image and the times when this holy light has surrounded me, engulfed me and led me home. I am brought back to a memory at age 4, when I first stared at a lamp for too long. It left this electric purple shadow-burn on the back of my eyelids. Every time I closed my eyes, there was the mark. I felt as though the lamp and I shared a special secret; we knew each other intimately. We knew each other with our eyes closed. It was only a couple months later that I became aware of the fact that this effect was completely natural and normal and all other human beings understood that when you stare into any light for too long, it becomes a part of your eyesight, at least temporarily.

But for that short period, for the first time, I had a secret with the lamp. I shared a secret with the light.


My whole life I have clung to that memory and used it as a guide to discovering and re-discovering Divine presence in my life. The secrets I share with the light of the Divine have only gotten brighter, and every time I close my eyelids, I see them. Vividly and luminously, the shadow-burns flicker in moments of meditation, sleep, laughter and slumber.

These are the secrets that make me who I am. These are the secrets that I use as seeds to help me plant roots in my life experiences and allow me to grow throughout the night, out of the darkness and into the…

well, you can fill in the rest.


I encourage all of you to discover your own Secrets with the Divine and use them to light up the dark spots underneath your eyelids.