Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Behaaloscha

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


The week's reading begins with the Commandment to light the Menorah in the Tabernacle. And as my teacher Rabbi Asher Z. Rubenstein pointed out, G-d doesn't need our candles. He doesn't need our light. There is no darkness before G-d.

In a house, the narrowest part of a window is on the outside - this is even true today. This method of construction allows maximal light to enter the house through the window. Yet the Holy Temple was constructed with just the opposite design - to allow the internal light of the Temple to radiate outwards.

So G-d doesn't need our light - what He wants is for Israel to be engaged in the act of lighting. Yet, what does this symbolize?

The answer may be found in Proverbs (20:27): "The light of HaShem is the soul of man." [Ner HaShem Nishmas Adam.] Again, G-d does not need our light, but He offers us the opportunity to radiate light. And we are to be involved with the lighting.

This applies, said Rav Rubenstein, not only to ourselves. If we find a "candle" which isn't burning, it is our obligation to light it. If we find a Jewish soul which is not shining, we cannot leave it dim.

Torah enlightens the mind and gives joy to the heart. A person may be "dim" because he or she is unhappy, or simply lacking the shine of Jewish spiritual life. One way or the other, we must participate in sharing light. One candle can light thousands of others - if it is, itself, burning brightly.

There is no question - here too, G-d does not "need" our help. He alone can light the lights. But He wants us to be involved in the lighting. We - every one of us - has the opportunity to share, and to grow brighter along with others. G-d gives us not merely a place under the lights - He gives us the opportunity to radiate on our own, and to help others to shine as well.

Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.
The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Growing Forever
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

'The Plan'
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Parashat Vayigash & the Fast of the 10th of Tebet
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Meaning of Miracles
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Growing in Exile
Shlomo Katz - 5763

> Interpreting Dreams
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Feel My Pain
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Jewish Identity Through Jewish Education
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Right Size Portion
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Maintaining Family Unity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Whole Justice
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

ArtScroll

Mitzvah Lamp
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Having Been Wrong
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

A Torah Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Before the Picture is Complete
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information