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Excerpted from Living Judaism by Rabbi Wayne Dosick. Copyright 1998 by Rabbi Wayne Dosick. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The glory of God's splendor was accustomed to filling the universe, not being hidden away in little jars."

Rabbi Wayne Dosick
Living Judaism
, Part 1

An old Jewish legend:

In the beginning - before the beginning - God's light filled the entire universe.

When God decided to create the world, He had to withdraw some of His light from the universe, so that there would be space for the land and the seas, the trees and the corn stalks, the butterflies and the lions, the ladybugs and the sea otters.

So God breathed in some of the Divine light, so that there would be room for all the things He wanted to create.

But what was God to do with the light - with the light of His Being that had filled the whole universe - now that He had breathed it in?

God put the light into jars, heavenly vessels that would hold His radiance.

And then God began to create: the sky and the earth, the dry lands and the waters, the fiery sun, the shimmering moon and the twinkling stars, the forests and the deserts, the creepy crawly things and the birds of the air, the fish of the seas and the animals roaming from here to there.

Everything was going so well. Creation was shaping up just perfectly. God was having a wonderful time!

But in the heavens, there was trouble.

God's light, which He had put into the vessels, could not be hidden away. For no vessel - not even a heavenly vessel - could contain the radiant light of God. The glory of God's splendor was accustomed to filling the universe, not being hidden away in little jars.

So it wasn't too long until - with a blazing flash - God's light burst out of the heavenly vessels.

The force of the mighty impact caused the jars to shatter into millions of little pieces.

And the light itself splintered into billions of little sparks.

The broken pieces of the vessels fell to the newly formed earth and became the ills and the evils that beset the world-little pieces of anguish and travail that, one day, will have to be collected, repaired, and made whole again.

And what happened to the billions of little shards of light?

Each of the little shards of light, the sparks of God, became the soul of a human being.

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