Weekly Dvar Torah: Kindling Souls

After the inauguration of the Tabernacle by the princes, Aaron felt dejected not having been part of the celebrations.

G-d comforted Aaron; don’t feel bad, your share is greater than theirs, you get to kindle the Menorah, and this is far superior to that of the princes.

What’s unique about lighting the Menorah?

The candle of G-d is the human soul.

Kabbalah tell us that the Menorah is the vat of all the Jewish souls, and the seven branches are seven paths of souls serving G-d, some do it through flowing love and some through fiery love, some through the study of Torah, etc.

So G-d tells Aaron, when you kindle the Menorah, you light the Jewish soul, you ignite the passion of the soul to serve G-d, each in their own way.

Fair enough, that’s a pretty tall order, and ranks way up there to keep the G-dly service ablaze, and the service of the princes pale in comparison.

Now Aaron feels better knowing that he plays a major role in the tabernacle, he fires up every soul.

But wait a minute, Rambam teaches that the Menorah can be kindled just by anybody, so where’s the uniqueness in Aaron’s service if just about anybody can do it?

So here is the real accomplishment of Aaron, which nobody else can do.

G-d says; kindle the lights in a way that the flame will continue glowing on its own, with stunning flames to light up the world.

Now that’s an accomplishment, one can light a candle, and slowly it diminishes and dwindles away.

However, the candles that Aaron lit, they continue to shine, and the flame keeps glowing on its own through the inspiration of Aaron, now this is a major accomplishment.

Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner once asked the Rebbe; what is it that you’re trying to accomplish?

The Rebbe directed Avner to look at a candle.

What do you see?

A Candle, said Avner.

“This is not a candle, it’s just a lump of wax with a wick inside, you must light it to become a candle, said the Rebbe.

“The body is the wax, and the wick is the soul, the Torah is the flame; when you apply the flame of Torah to body and soul, then you have a burning candle bringing light to the world.

“I try to bring it all together, so every man and woman can bring the light for which they were created.”

So did you light my candle? Asked Avner.

No, I just handed you the match, now you can light your own candle, said the Rebbe.

To empower every Jew to be able to light their soul on their own, this is the power of the kindling of the Menorah by Aaron, striking a match and kindling the soul may last for only a short while, but handing a match to each person, enables them to light their soul forever and ever.

That’s the power of lighting the candelabra in the tabernacle by Aaron, he empowered every Jew to continue lighting their own candle forever, so now everybody can do it.

The empowerment came from Aaron, but now everyone can light up the world, with the final goal of lighting up the new Menorah in the third Temple, with Moshiach speedily.

Have a glowing Shabbos,
Gut Shabbos

Yosef Katzman

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