4/24/202321 min read

The Mystery of Life

With all the recent advances made in science and knowledge, mankind is still baffled by the mysteries of life. Where did we come from? Are we the only rational beings in the universe? Why did God create us? What is our purpose?

With the advent of modern technology like gigantic radio telescopes and other sophisticated devices, we have begun to appreciate the vastness of space. For thousands of years, ancient man had no inkling of what lay beyond his field of vision, but the Bible (Torah) insightfully told us that there is more than meets the eye.

Three times God promised Abraham that his progeny would be numerous. The first time, in Genesis 13:16, He promised that “they would be as numerous as the specks of earth in the ground.” The second time (Genesis 15:5), He pledged that they would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky.” The third time (Genesis 22:17), He promised that they will be as numerous “as the stars in the sky and grains of sand by the seashore.”

To the naked eye on a clear night only about 6,000 stars are visible. Abraham and others who lived prior to the invention of the telescope must have wondered what kind of a comparison this was. How could God contrast the six thousand or so stars to the trillions of specks of earth and sand? Today, thanks to modern technology, we can understand this equation. There is no way any ancient writer could have made such a blatantly unequal comparison.

How do we fit into this immense and complex picture? Are we important? Do we matter? Do we have free will? Is there a Creator?

Mystery excites and tantalizes us, hence the popularity of mystery books and movies. By comparison, how much thought do we put into the mystery of our existence? The universe tantalizes us with mysteries but we choose instead to focus on man-made, trivial, counterfeit mysteries, like those created by writers and portrayed in movies and television. Isn’t it sad that we choose to ignore the most fundamental and important mysteries of all? We should ask how, why and what-for questions about our very existence!

The complexity and vastness of the universe gives us a small glimpse into the greatness of our Creator. Our monotheistic religion started with such a question. This was the way that Abraham, our ancestor, came to appreciate God. Post-biblical writers further speak of God’s existence, and of humankind’s ability to gain awareness. Maimonides also known as Rambam, explains, in the laws dealing with the prohibitions of idolatrous practice (Avodat Kochavim) 1:3, that Abraham pondered the existence of the universe and came to the rational and logical conclusion that the universe must have a Creator.

Rambam’s son, Rabbi Abraham, in his introduction to the Eyn Yaakov, lists two ways to gain awareness of God: The first way is through observing His creations: When a person takes a walk in the forest, or along the beach or on the mountains, or on beholding any grand natural vista, he or she should be awed by God’s handiwork and be drawn closer to Him. The second way is through learning Torah and appreciating the truths, deep wisdom and goodness inherent in God’s manual for human living.

The Wonders of Creation - The Human Body

To obtain a better feeling for the complexity of creation, let us examine the human body: its miles and miles of tubing (veins, arteries, and intestines) its miles of electrical circuitry (nerves and hundreds of thousands of connections of the nervous system). Just think of how many nerves go through the spinal column! The muscles that make the bones move are triggered by tiny electrical impulses relayed from the brain and delivered via the nervous system.

The body has a thermostat to adjust its climate control system. It has a tremendous self-healing apparatus and a defense mechanism against bacteria and sickness. Think of the body’s ability to obtain energy and nutrition from its surroundings, utilizing complex chemical reactions!

The body never really ceases its activity. Day and night, it is busy, constructing new cells, warding off illness, processing nutrients, and orchestrating a host of physical and biochemical actions, all of which contribute to health and a sense of well-being.

The human brain is like a small and powerful computer, which controls all mental, emotional and physical functions, most without any conscious thought. The brain is able to interpret and react to all incoming information within milliseconds, even without a person having to deliberately focus and think. Attempts to construct devices that mimic its operation have been unsuccessful.

Those with even casual knowledge of biology or the other natural sciences are well aware that nature’s level of complexity far surpasses the complexity exhibited by an object with right angles and smooth surfaces. Let us appreciate this. An embryology textbook, From Conception to Birth, asks honest questions about the human brain and its nervous system. How do the billions of cells comprising this system come into being in the first place, the textbook asks, and how do they attach themselves to each other to form a network connecting the brain to every muscle, organ and gland in the entire body? How is it possible for microscopic chromosomes, each containing all the coded information necessary to produce and “wire” an entire human being, to have come into existence without a designer?

It would be relatively easy to understand if the neurons were connected to the brain like spokes of a wheel, but they are not. Most of these neurons are connected to a great many other neurons; one estimate is that, on the average, each neuron is connected with one thousand others. This means a total of ten trillion connections. A complete wiring diagram of this network would stagger the imagination. All of the telephone cables of the world would comprise no more than a small fraction of it.

The neuron, like any other cell, contains a nucleus that is identical to those in the original fertilized egg. Thus the nucleus of each neuron contains a catalogue of potentiality inherited genes from both mother and father. How can a collection of genes possibly account for the multifarious connections between neurons and the human nervous system? How can a collection of genes possibly account for the relationship between neurons, muscles and organs of the body? There are only approximately forty thousand genes in all the chromosomes, seemingly not enough to encode instructions for performing ten trillion connections.

But if every last interconnection is not spelled out in the chromosomes then how do the neurons get connected? Do they just reach out for one another haphazardly? Obviously not, since all neurons fulfill definite, specialized functions, not random ones. Connections between the nerves associated with hearing and those controlling, say, the biceps muscles wouldn’t be logical or effective, and above all, the nervous system effectively coordinates whatever the person does or thinks.

The nervous system eventually comprises the most efficient cable system in the world for the transmission of messages. Ultimately, each nerve fiber will be covered by a sheath of protective cells (sometimes five thousand per fiber) and each will be able to carry messages at a speed of three hundred miles per hour. From these primitive cells, first distinguishable a few days after conception, the embryo will form more than ten thousand taste buds in its mouth.

Some twelve million nerve endings will form the baby’s nose to help it to detect fragrances or odors in the air. More than one hundred thousand nerve cells will be devoted to reacting to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or the ticking of a Swiss watch. The piano has only two hundred and forty strings, but the baby’s ears will have over two hundred and forty thousand hearing units to detect the smallest variations in sound.

The baby’s eyes, which begin to form at nineteen days, will have more than twelve million screen points per square centimeter. The retina, or light-sensitive portion of its eye, will have more than fifty billion such points. The composite picture the eyes record is homogeneous, because the information collected by these light-sensitive points is blended into a whole. Take a hand lens and examine any picture in any daily newspaper. You will find it made up of hundreds of points, each light or dark, which together make up the picture as you look at it from a greater distance. This is exactly what the eye does, only in much finer detail.

Where do these billions of cells in the nervous system come from? From the original ovum, this is still dividing after one month to form the tissues and organs that the child requires. It has been estimated that all two billion of the specific nerve cells which make any individual educable are located in the outer covering of his brain, its cortex, and that these two billion cells could be stored in a thimble.

Development continues in certain parts of the brain, even after birth. By the end of the first month of embryonic development, none of these parts of the brain, spinal nerves or sense organs, is completely formed, but the foundation for all of them has been laid.

The textbook does not mention the word, God, but it states:

“The development of the brain and nervous system and its rule of the integration of all the systems is one of the most profound mysteries of embryology. The eyes alone display such intelligent planning as to stupefy anyone studying them. They are formed on the sides of the head and are ready for connection to the optic nerves growing out independently from the brain. The forces that ensure this integration have thus far not been discovered, but they must be formidable indeed, since more than one million optic nerve fibers must mesh with each eye. Think for a moment about what is considered to be a feat of human engineering: the drilling of tunnels from both sides of the Alps that must somehow meet precisely and merge into one continuous highway. Yet any one of the thousands of things the fetus must do as part of the routine of development is far more wondrous.”

The eyes are a tremendously complex three-dimensional camera. First, light hits the lenses of the eye, which focuses the light. The light then passes through the pupil, then through the colorless liquid inside the eyeball, to hit the retina located at the back of the eyeball.

The retina receives all information upside down and backwards. This information is then transmitted to the back of the brain. All the visual information from the right side of space is sent to the left side or hemisphere of the brain. Visual information from the left side of space is transmitted to the right side of the brain. Virtually the entire brain is wired ‘backwards and upside down’ so that the visual information, which comes in ‘backwards and upside down,’ can be dealt with efficiently.

Imagine that you see a fly coming at you from the left. This visual information is sent within milliseconds to the back of the right hemisphere. The information is processed and analyzed subconsciously or consciously. Your brain analyzes all the information and within a second you may decide to swat the fly.

We take for granted the amazing visual system that we have been given. It is among the most complex systems known to science. It is so complex that some scientists have argued that evolution alone could not account for such a wondrous system. Hence, the visual system points to a Creator.

There are more complex neural systems that deal with intangible activities like the ability to remember and to forget.

Human emotions, what triggers them and where they are located in the brain, are subjects of ongoing research. Modern research is focusing on the effects of chemical imbalances on the mind and the possibility that many “emotional disorders” have a chemical origin.

There are many things concerning the brain that remain unknown, and to a great extent the workings of the mind remain a mystery. For instance, what causes a person who has been in a coma for seven years to suddenly awaken? This recently occurred to an American police officer. He remembered events that took place seven years earlier with clarity, as if they had just happened.

This is very similar to the story in the Talmud (Taanit 23a) about Choni Hamaagel. The Talmud states that Choni went to sleep and awoke seventy years later and found the town he had lived in totally changed. Note that Jewish belief has always posited that the difference between a person in a coma and a normal person has to do with the soul and the measure of its presence or absence. The Talmud in Berachot 57b mentions that sleep is one sixtieth of death.

More recently, Rabbi Suleiman Sassoon of blessed memory once said that the whole world will come to believe in God when scientists will discover the soul. Through this discovery humanity will come to a realization of the Divine. Then, “the world will be spread with knowledge of God just like water covers the seas.” (Isaiah 11, 9)

Faith and Healing

There is an awakening happening in the midst of this high-tech world in which we live. People are becoming cognizant of the fact that we have a spiritual component as well as a physical body and the fact that they both need attention. They are learning to nurture this inner spirit through the forgotten power of meditation and prayer. Simple acts of faith are mocked by modern society. Yet belief is the antidote to confusion and hopelessness, and without it a person will collapse in the face of life’s inequities. Life’s unfairness and ugliness are all around us, ready to drag us down. Belief is the means by which we do not let external circumstances control our inner lives. It is the way to maintain our personal strength in the midst of adversity.

Prayer is the means by which we connect to a power higher than ourselves to reaffirm our own inner abilities. This can lead us to contentment regardless of circumstances, and enable us to combat the negative forces in our environment.

Many articles have been written about the mind-body connection. People who live with constant anger, resentment and bitterness affect their health adversely by triggering damaging stress hormones. What affects us most are the words we say to ourselves. The impact of our thoughts can be measured by changes in heart rate, muscle tension, blood pressure and respiration. We can literally harm our bodies and slow down the healing process of an illness with negative internal messages. Alternatively, to assert that there is hope when everything looks dark may appear naïve but it is the kind of positive illusion that is generated by faith.

One of the best documented studies on the effect of prayer on healing was conducted in 1988 by a cardiologist, Dr. Herbert Benson, and his partner Dr. Richard Friedman. Over a 10-month period, 393 patients in the coronary unit were randomly assigned to receive or not to receive prayer by complete strangers. The patients who received daily prayer had fewer complications and life threatening situations such as pneumonia and cardiopulmonary events (See Science Vol. 276, 18 April 1997).

A review of studies examining the effect of religion on healing in the Archives of Family Medicine revealed that people who practice religion have lower depression and suicide rates. They also seem to be able to deal better, both mentally and physically, with illness and recover from it faster than those who are not religiously committed. Perhaps one of the most intriguing findings is that devout people tend to have a lower incidence of high blood pressure.

A study funded by the National Institute of Health looked at the relationship between religion and blood pressure over a period of six years in more than 2,000 older adults. The investigators found that those who attended religious services at least once a day were 40% less likely to have high blood pressure than those who did so less frequently. And it doesn’t appear that this correlation can be credited to a lifestyle that limits or rejects cigarettes and alcohol. The effect persisted even after adjusting for a variety of such factors, including smoking, and was particularly strong among those aged 65 to 74.

There are several hypotheses on how religion influences health. One is that religion helps people cope with stress. During any stressful situation the body’s adrenal glands release a flood of chemicals that effectively raise heart rate and blood pressure. Praying or reading religious texts at home seems to help people maintain lower stress levels. The sense of social belonging and community that religion provides may also help minimize stress and its effects.

Religion appears to act as a buffer against mental and physical pain. In fact, 40% of 542 hospitalized adults reported that their religious faith was the most important factor in coping with their illness. And the results of a study published recently in the Journal of Psychiatry support this finding. Among elderly women recovering from hip fracture surgery, those with stronger religious beliefs and practices were less depressed and could walk greater distances when they left the hospital than those who were not so religious. While no direct causal relationship can be made from any of these studies, they certainly do reveal a link between religion and health.

A few years ago, just three medical schools in the United States taught courses on religious issues in patient care. Today that number has increased tenfold.

A recent Newsweek survey found that 87% of adults believe God sometimes answers their prayers. A Nature poll found that 40% of all biologists, physicists, and mathematicians believe in a God who answers prayers.

Sadly we do not appreciate and thank God enough for his plethora of kindness. There are many little things that we take for granted in our lives. These include the ability for the body to repair itself in certain situations, or the marvelous ability to reproduce another life. God’s creatures can reproduce themselves, a feat that with all human ingenuity available at the moment cannot be performed by any man-made creation. We are unable to produce an object that can reproduce itself. Truly we have to stand in awe as did Job (19:26) when he said the words “From my flesh I will see God.”

Evolution or Creation

There is some confusion regarding evolution and creation, the primary element being that these topics address two different issues:

Creation deals with where everything came from and the primary cause for this to happen. Judaism has very clear answers on this subject. Our universe was created out of nothing by a Supreme Being who is infinite, all-powerful and all-knowing, above time and not affected by it. The Jewish name for God symbolizes that He is above time and therefore has no beginning or end.

Evolution does not deal with the origins of the universe as that would posit creation and point to a Creator. It only theorizes the mechanism by which the universe changes over time. Atheists must believe that there was no creation from nothing and the physical universe that is presently in existence has always existed, albeit in a different form which evolved over time.

One of the more complex questions that exist on this idea that the universe has always been in existence is that we all know that matter is constantly being transformed into light and heat by the trillions and trillions of stars that exist. After billions and billions of years there should be a shortage of matter in the universe and there isn’t. Why not?

There are major questions on evolutionist theory, chief of these being the lack of fossil evidence that evolution took place. Where are the fossils showing part-ape and part-human characteristics? In fact, more than one hundred years of intense collecting by well-funded professional expeditions has not yet yielded any of the remains that Darwin had envisaged. Africa and the Middle East, the areas ‘most likely’ to have these remains have now been thoroughly searched. There are early ape-like remains and early hominid remains. The store of primate fossils has been multiplied a thousand fold since Darwin. The only ‘missing link’ so far discovered is the bogus Piltdown man, where a practical joker associated the jaw of an orangutan with the skull of a human.

Darwin also gloomily confessed in The Origin of the Species that:

“The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

There has been a dramatic shift in scientific theory today. Most scientists who think about such issues have come to the realization that the universe as we know it came into being in seconds and minutes, just as the Bible states. Some scientists also conclude that a supreme being was behind creation.

There is a beautiful story of an atheist who came to visit a Rabbi. He asked the Rabbi to prove to him that God exists. The Rabbi had a gorgeous painting on the wall behind him. He pointed to it and said “look at that painting behind me. How do you like it?”

The individual was struck by its beauty, “It’s a masterpiece.” he cried, “Who painted it?”

The Rabbi looked at him with a twinkle in his eye. “Well,” he said “one day I was sitting at my desk. By accident I knocked over the ink bottle and that caused this painting to occur.”

The individual was incredulous. “There is no way Rabbi,” he retorted, “that such a gorgeous masterpiece could be produced by accident!”

The Rabbi smiled “Think carefully about what you have just said. If a single painting cannot be produced or evolve through an accident, then how can this tremendously complex and exquisite world just come about by itself?”

In the same vein, Yale University’s Dr. Harold Horowitz calculated that the odds against the random evolution of life are 1 in 10,000,000,000. Consider also the statement from Nobel Prize winner, Sir Fred Hoyle:

“No matter how large an environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning. Troops of monkeys thundering away at random on typewriters could not produce the words of Shakespeare, for the practical reason that the whole observable universe is not large enough to contain the necessary monkey hordes, the necessary typewriters, and certainly the waste paper baskets required for the deposition of wrong attempts. The same is true for living material.”

The beauty of the Torah is its simplicity. It takes very complex subjects, like creation, and describes them in terms that a lay person or even a child can grasp. The downside of this simplicity is that people take the Bible at face value as a very childish account, not realizing how deep it is.

At first, the scientific world believed that the universe was eternal. Today the accepted scientific theory for the creation of the universe is the ‘Big Bang Theory.’ According to this theory, the first stage of creation was a big bang started in a gargantuan black hole. The bible in its very second verse (Genesis 1:2), described this theory thousands of years before the scientists. ‘And the land was waste and darkness was on the face of the deep.’ Darkness on the face of the deep could be a euphemism for a black hole. The next verse describes the big bang as a great flash of light, the primeval light (or radiation) that predated the sun. I am sure that many people have read these verses many times without comprehending what could be their full import.

Not only does the Big Bang Theory support the idea of God’s creation of the universe, it even resembles the chronology of Creation given in the Bible. Just as it is stated in Genesis that God created light before He created the sun and the stars, which seems enigmatic, the Big Bang Theory proposes that the sun and the stars came into being long after the initial explosion. They are merely ‘latter-day’ by-products of the original radiation (light) which appeared out of nothing.

Discussing the Big Bang Theory, and why scientists were irritated by it, Dr. Robert Jastrow, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, had this to say:

“I think that part of the answer is that scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon that cannot be explained, even with unlimited time and money. There is a kind of religion in science…This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under the conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized. As usual, when faced with trauma, the mind reacts by ignoring the implications. The main problem though, was that the Big Bang Theory pointed to God, tending to confirm the account of Creation in the Bible.”

In 1978, Dr. Jastrow published an article in the New York Times Magazine. This outlined the evidence that our universe inexplicably burst into existence. It concluded:

“This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: ‘In the beginning God created heaven and earth.’ For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Even with the widespread acceptance of the big bang theory many questions still remain, the major ones being the discrepancy of billions of years that the bible glosses over, and the creation of Adam and Eve, which according to Jewish tradition, took place nearly six thousand years ago. It is very interesting to note that all social scientists agree that historic man dates back around ten thousand or so years in the same order of time that our tradition asserts the creation of Adam and Eve, not the millions of years that were previously mentioned.

What happened in the billions of years since the creation of the universe until the creation of man? What about fossils dated to be millions of years old, where are they from?

There are many possible answers to these questions, among them the following five:

1. There was an instantaneous creation of galaxies and fossils and, just as the first tree was created fully-formed and the first man was created fully-grown, so too the earth was created, complete and fully-aged.

2. The scientific deductions regarding the age of the world are based on extrapolation of data taken only within the last hundred or so years. Extrapolation becomes increasingly inaccurate over long time periods.

3. From the time God created the universe, it evolved under the laws of nature to produce stars, planets, the sun and moon, and genetic material (the seeds or potential for vegetation). This took many billions of years if the time was measured locally, but from the Torah’s viewpoint (cosmic time - time within an intense gravitational field) it only took several twenty-four hour days. Even though the laws of nature were observed, the evolution was not accidental. It followed from the initial conditions God had established at the moment of creation.

4. The fossil record and the early universe indicate the previous worlds that, according to Kabbalah, were created and destroyed before this one. (This is the viewpoint of the Tiferet Yisrael. See Appendix A at the end of the book.)

5. Fossils and other apparent manifestations of earlier times were actually formed only a few thousand years ago, either by processes we do not understand yet, or by physical laws that have since changed.

The Importance of the Present

There are a lot of mysteries in the past on which the Torah (both written and oral) sheds light. However, we should not overly focus on mystery. This is hinted to in the first letter of the Torah, which is a ‘bet’ ‘בּ’ Enclosed on three sides, it advises us that we are limited in our understanding of what is above, below and what came before us.

For those who have come to believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, invisible, one God who created the universe, there is less mystery. The traditional Jewish conviction has always been not to worry where the world came from, but where it is now and the direction in which it is heading. We have to concern ourselves with matters that we can change and alter, the present and future, not the past. The future of our existence, and that of our progeny, is to a great extent in our hands. Moses, our greatest prophet said with immense wisdom: “The hidden things belong to God, whereas the revealed matters are in our hands.” Judaism is a very practical religion, concerned with the things we can do, and not those that are beyond our reach.

Paraphrasing Moses: “This mitzvah I am commanding you is not too wondrous or too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say who will go up to the heavens and take it for us and teach it to us and we will do it. It is not across the sea that you should say who will cross the sea and take it for us and teach us and we will do it. The matter is very close to you in your mouths and in your hearts to do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11).

Whereas other religions focus on death and the mystery surrounding it, Judaism focuses on life. Although the Prophets and the Talmud are replete with mention of life after death and the messianic era, in the five books of Moses there is no explicit mention of it. The Bible does not focus our attention on mysteries, but on the present in a very practical way.

Approaching God through the Torah - History

It is important to learn history for the lessons contained within it, not just history for its own sake. “Remember the days of old, understand the years of generation after generation. Ask your father and he will relate to you, your elders and they will tell you.”

The first Rashi on the Bible seems to disagree by asking why we need the first book of the Torah - Genesis (Bereshit). His question and answer implies that the Torah is not a history book but a moral and ethical work that reveals God’s will to us.

There is a famous debate between Rashi and Ramban as to whether or not the historical details of the Torah are in chronological order. Rashi takes the view that the message is more important than the form. According to him the chronological order is not as important as the message the Torah is relating. Sometimes the Torah puts certain incidents together to emphasize a message, not because the two incidents are chronologically in order. In contrast, Ramban holds to a literal view. He insists that the Torah is both a historically valid document that is chronologically accurate, and a moral code.

What they both agree on is that the Torah is a moral and ethical Divinely-inspired code for living life to the fullest potential. The history of the past is important if it helps us to live more moral, ethical and fulfilling lives.

The Torah is a moral guide that teaches us how real men and women grappled with life’s difficulties, and how God wants us to act. The goal of the Torah is not to teach us history for the sake of cold scholarly research into past civilizations, but to grant us insight into how to conduct our lives and deal with the problems and issues that we face daily.

A person who has delved deeply into Torah cannot help but be amazed at its tremendous insights into human psychology and behavior. The beauty of how the Torah system meshes within itself and with the world is truly amazing and points to its Divine origins.

Mysteries of the Future

The mysteries of the past cannot be compared to the mysteries of the future. At least we have some points of reference regarding the past but not the future, apart from the predictions made in the Torah and by the prophets. We don’t even know what the next few minutes will bring.

Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzatto, in his important work The Path of the Just, compares this world to a maze. In the Middle Ages, the kings and queens of Europe had lots of leisure time on their hands. To pass the time they invented many unique games. Outside Hampton Court in England and the Palace of Versailles in France are hedges planted in the shape of mazes. The royal family would have garden parties during which they would blindfold their guests and lead them into the center of the maze. They derived great pleasure from watching them from a balcony above try to find their way out. What can we learn from this?

Imagine that God placed us in such a maze, the maze of life. The decisions we continuously make in the course of our lives are like making turns in this maze. We cannot see where the path we are on will lead us. A wrong turn can have eternal repercussions. And yet God allows us to turn where we choose, to exercise our own free will.

With all our wisdom and knowledge we don’t have a clue as to what the next few minutes have in store for us, much less predicting events of the next week or year. The future is dark, yet there are lights that illuminate and direct the pathways of our lives. King Solomon in Proverbs 6:23 made a remarkable statement: “A Mitzvah is a candle and the Torah is a light”. This means that following the instructions of God gives us direction in life.