"...but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings." (Shemot 10:23)
During the plague of darkness, the Egyptians were engulfed in darkness while the Jewish People had light. While refering to the light of the Jews, the pasuk says, "in their dwellings." This phrase seems extra. What is the Torah teaching us?
The phrase "in their dwellings" can be interpreted metaphorically. Although a person may be surrounded by spiritual darkness, it is possible to harbor a spiritual light within. "In their dwellings" is refering to a person's consciousness, namely, one's inner realm. This inner light can manifest itself outward. The way a person talks, walks, eats, dresses and conducts business, can be readily perceived by outside observers. When an outside observer viewed Egypt during the plague of darkness, he saw the Egyptians subdued and engulfed in darkness while the Israelites were basking in the light. One place, two very different experiences.
I think that this notion is reflected in the Talmudic principle (Tannis 21b): "It's not the place that honors the man, but it's the man who honors the place." An honest and courteous man bestows honor wherever he goes. How do we bestow honor to the places we go?
Have a good Shabbos.