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Parsha Insight

Thursday, 4 June, 2015 - 9:20 am

 Parsha Insight - By Mrs. Chana Rachel Schusterman

Parsha Behaalotecha begins with the commandment for Aaron, Moses’s brother and the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), to light the menorah in the Mishkan. The word used here for lighting is to “raise up” the wicks of the lights, interpreted by our sages as, until they are a flame of themselves. This teaches us to recognize the importance of Jewish education, to kindle the potential inherent in every child. Each of us has a soul energy which is meant to be realized in everyday life in the world. 
The menorah, the seven branched candelabra in the Mishkan, was not welded together but made of one block of gold. The oneness of our people is represented by that one block of gold. The menorah had to be shaped by hammering each branch, and drawing it out from the one piece, without separating it. The Torah is teaching us the awareness that people have different characters. The seven branches represent seven distinct natures of people. Each type of person can integrate his Torah learning in a way which “speaks” to him, in a manner that uniquely inspires and guides him or her.

Later in the parsha, the people leave Mount Sinai, where they had received the Torah, and begin their journey to the Promised Land. They took the Torah and the Mishkan with them. As a people, we are still on our journey to fulfill our purpose of bringing G-d’s light to the world. In addition, each of us personally goes through many journeys in life. A good and properly integrated education awakens us to the values and principles which give us the ability to take the “light of Torah” into our daily life.
Each of us needs to grow and move forward with vitality and enthusiasm. If we have a good education from our childhood, that is a tremendous gift. But every person needs to continue to learn. Each one of us has to find those teachers and mentors who can guide us along our personal way. Every person has the potential, through learning Torah and doing mitzvos with care and consciousness, to bring our inner light out until it illuminates the world. 


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