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Two creations of light in Genesis 1:3-4 and 1:14-16?

Question:

Shalom Rabbi

As a retired Jewish male who now has time to study and enjoy Torah and Talmud a question arises. Hopefully you may be able to help me understand the two ‘let there be light’ creations Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:3-4 (day one)

“God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.”

Genesis 14-16 (day four)

“God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night; they shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years; and they serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars.”

Was there a unique type of light on day one? Your understanding of this enigma would be appreciated.

B”H

Gabriel

 

Answer:

It is wonderful that you are now using your extra time to study torah! It is brought in the seforim, that a person who works but uses the time that he can to learn, is considered as if he was learning the whole time. Therefore, in a way your torah learning now is making up for many years!

Regarding your question, when Hashem said on the first day “let there be light” he was referring to the creation of actual light, even though there was no “light source” for it as the luminaries were not yet created. At the point, the daytime happened without the assistance of the sun, rather because Hashem willed it to be light during the daytime. Additionally, Rashi (chap. 1 verse 4) refers to a gemora which says that this light was a certain spiritual light, which enabled a person to see from one side of the world to the other, (a sort of x-ray vision). Then Hashem decided that this type of light will not be good if wicked people could use it (for stealing), therefore He hid it for the righteous when the proper time comes.

The second verse that you are quoting was from the creation on the fourth day, which was the luminaries, which give us the light that we have today.

Best wishes

Sources:

Tractate Chagiga 12a, Seforno Genisis 1-4.

 

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