Midreshet Amit


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Connecting Through The Light

By: Reb Norman Meskin

When Hashem created the world the first thing that he brought into existence was light and dark. I’d like to interpret this not as physical lightness and darkness, but as good and evil. We always want to gravitate towards the joyful people that exude goodness rather than the gloomy people who encourage negative thoughts and behaviors. In this weeks parsha, Hashem gives over the laws of the mishkan and starts by saying,”ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך כתית לאמו להעלת נר תמיד״, take for you clear olive oil, crushed for illumination, to kindle a lamp continually.  G-d is telling us to take olive oil for us, but why would He say to do it for ourselves when the mishkan is for Hashem ?
The Gemara in Menachot 86b writes, ויקחו אליך : אמר רב שמואל בא נחמני: אליך ולא לי לא לאורה אני צריך
Take unto you, said Rabbi Shmuel Bar Nachmani for you and not for me. I do not require any light. Hashem is constantly giving us opportunities to gain a connection to him, but we don’t always take advantage of those moments. We aren’t given mitzvot for Hashem to gain from it, Hashem is our G-d , what does He need from us? If our G-d wanted a light for the mishkan, He would’ve brought light that was needed just like he did on the first day of creation. Hashem gives us mitzvot for our sake and for us to recognize that Hashem is our father and king and it’s our duty to utilize those commandments and become closer to Hashem.
Today we don’t have a mishkan but we are still tasked with bringing a constant light into the world. Torah is often referred to as light, כי נר מצווה ותורה אור. This year I have had the opportunity to learn so much Torah, part of the goal of my learning is not just because it's interesting, but rather as an opportunity to spread the נר תמיד, the light of Torah to all.