Israel Forever

For the week ending 29 May 2010 / 15 Sivan 5770

A Light Unto the Nations

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
The wicks in lamps of the menorah of the Beit Hamikdash were arranged in what appears to be a manner that would produce little light. The three wicks on either side of the middle lamp were turned towards the middle rather than straight upwards.

Rashi cites the Midrash which explains that this was to demonstrate that G-d did not need the light of the menorah for His own purpose. Our Sages point out that the light of the menorah was a spiritual generator of wisdom for the entire world.

When we hear this week's Torah portion read in our synagogues we should think of the menorah described in it as a symbol of the Jewish people and our historic mission as a "light unto the nations". At a time when there is such widespread vilification of the Jewish state we must learn the lesson that neither power nor politics will enable us to fulfill this mission and only the light of Torah wisdom will secure Israel forever.

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