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The Purpose of Our Journeys

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

This week’s Torah portion begins with instructions regarding the Menorah (Candelabra) in the Temple. The Torah tells us that the six flames should all be facing the middle flame and that the Menorah should be carved out of a single piece of gold. The Torah portion continues with an elaborate description of how the Jews traveled in the desert and how they arrived at each Junction.  Even if they were only remaining for one night, they would erect the entire Mishkan (traveling Temple) which was a very large job.

The commentaries teach that there is a connection between these two concepts expressed in our Torah portion.  The Menorah which had seven branches are a symbol of the Jewish people.  The Kabbalah teaches that they are representing the Jewish people. The Kabbalah teaches that there are seven components of the heart and that each Jew on this soul level has a special connection to one of these components, yet. the Menorah had to be carved out of one piece of gold to teach us that although we might be different to some degree, we are still one.  However, the main function of the Menorah is to kindle its flames and become a beacon of light.  So too, in our lives we must all kindle the flames of our soul with Torah study and Mitzvot observance which are also flames of light and become a beacon of light.

One might think that it is sufficient to become a beacon of light in his own home of surroundings. Therefore the Torah tells us that when the Jews traveled even when they remained in a certain place for a short time they erected the Temple, since if G-d brought them to a particular place they had a mission to raise them to a particular place, they had a mission to raise and sanctify that place.  The same is true in our lives all the people and places that we come in contact with are orchestrated from above and besides taking care of our personal business. it was also meant for that we should become a beacon of light for them.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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