Bringing a Little Bit of Light into the World

In Parshat Tetzave we are commanded to light the Ner Tamid, eternal light in the Mishkan (Tabernacle).


A question is asked in Vayikra Raba 31:7 why God commands us to have an eternal light. After all, God can create as much light as he wants to. God separated light and darkness when He created the world, He created the sun and He creates lightning. Why do we need to be involved?


Rabbi Shmuel ber Nachmani explains in the Gemara in Menachot 86b that the words “vayikchu elecha”, “bring for your self pure olive oil” mean that it is for your benefit as God does not need any light.


According to the Meshech Chochma, a person’s mind is only clear when it is light and we associate light with joy.


Light brings happiness.


Light can be compared to the Torah.


In Shmot Rabba 36:3 we learn that a person who does not study Torah is left to stumble in the dark while a person who studies Torah is able to see the light and does not stumble.


Even though we don’t have the Mishkan or Beit HaMikdash today, we do continue to follow this mitzvah by lighting a Ner Tamid (a lamp that is continuously on) in our synagogues.


May we all be blessed with opportunities to study Torah and may those who feel in the dark have the opportunity to come out and see the light.