Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Beha'aloscha

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken

"Speak to Aharon and say to him: 'when you light the lamps, towards the face of the Menorah shall you light the seven lamps.'" [8:2]

We begin our reading this week with the Commandment to light the Menorah in the Tabernacle. As my teacher Rabbi Asher Z. Rubenstein pointed out, G-d doesn't need our candles. He doesn't need our light.

In an ordinary house, the windows are narrowest on the outside. Because of the way light radiates, this method of construction allows the maximum amount of light to enter the house through the window.

In the Holy Temple, on the other hand, the deign was just the opposite -- the windows were narrowest on the inside. This allowed the internal light of the Temple to radiate outwards.

So G-d doesn't need our light -- what He wants, however, is for Israel to participate, 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]. 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 lacking the shine of Jewish spiritual life. One way or the other, we must participate by sharing light. One candle can light thousands of others -- if it is, itself, burning brightly.

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.

Let us participate in lighting Menorahs, all around us!


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Perspectives on Trouble
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

A Major Player
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Spiritually-Independent
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Defending the Indefensible
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

No Contest
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Heads Up!
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

If One Does Not Own Land, He Need Not Go 'Up' for the Festival
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Higher than Sinai
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Moshe Does Not Let Betrayal Infringe on His Love For The People
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

> You Have the Power
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Irreversible Changes
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Let Them Eat Cake
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

ArtScroll

Strength in Numbers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

The Hamantash - Food for Thought
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Shabbos Is Both A Mitzvah And A Present
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Inclusiveness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767



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