Mystical Lights of Love & More: “I Was Made For Sunny Days” by The Weepies
December 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm, by Jonah Rank
“I was made for sunny days,” says Deb Talan, singing the title of the song.
“And I was made for you,” continues that female half of The Weepies. Through these words, Talan equates her lover with the sunny days of her life.
While this catchy folk-tune speaks for itself, I am moved even more deeply when I recall how, not only are light and love intimately connected in Jewish mystical language, love and light are often embellished with and accompanied by other profound images in Jewish thought.
Since “I Was Made For Sunny Days” is a short song, I’ll offer just 2 short examples of what I’m talking about:
1. Traditionally, the Siddur introduces the morning recitation of “Shema” with three blessings: (1) for light and darkness (“yotzer or uvorei choshekh“), and peace and wholeness (“oseh shalom uvorei et hakkol“); (2) for the luminous celestial spectacles (“yotzer hamme’orot“); and (3) for the Divine choice of loving the people Israel (“habbocher be’ammo yisra’el be’ahavah“). (Note: I like to think of the people Israel as something more abstract than the Jewish people.)
In this sequence of prayers, we verify God’s presence in the light of God’s universe–a universe that, when truly lit up, reveals the light of Divine love.
2. In the mystical work the Zohar, we read of a trio of interrelated bodies: kudesha berikh hu (“the Holy Blessed One”), oraita (“the Projection” or “the Light,” as in “the Torah“), and yisra’el (“the people Israel”) (Aharey Mot, 73a). The Zohar says that each of these three essences is connected to the others (“telat dargin inun mitkasherin da beda“).
From this much, we can gather that all Divine matter is touched by that beloved people Israel, for they explore the world using the light of God’s creation. It is precisely their bond of love with God that permits the people Israel to light up the universe.
The motif of light as love (or vice versa) appears in many American songs, and Be My Thrill is not the only CD where you can hear this metaphor. So too, the two Jewish texts cited above are just a few of many, many Jewish texts that see light as a gateway to love or love as the throughway of enlightenment.
Chanukkah distinguishes itself as a festival of lights in a very dark season.
In a messianic dream–or at least a romantic dream–Talan confesses to the object of her affection she hoped he might save her “from the dark side of the moon.” But not only did he lead her out of the darkness, Talan says, “you still light up the room.”
Talan’s lover is Divine in nature, and Talan’s lover is Israel-like in spirit: eternally beloved and continually illuminating.
But, now I’d love to hear from you, friends…
In dark times, where do you find light? Where do you find love?
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