Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Making a Fresh Start

It is surely significant that although only a kohein can prepare the lights, even a non-kohein is permitted to light them. The Imrei Avraham learns an important lesson from this halachah. “The lights in the menorah symbolize one’s neshamah. As the verse states, 'נר ה' נשמת אדם'—‘The soul of man is the candle of G-d.’ The main time to prepare the lights was when they went out. The kohein would remove the remaining oil and wick in each lamp and replace them. This signifies making a fresh start when things fall apart. The first thing is to remove the wreckage caused by one’s fall by strengthening his resolve to ‘turn from evil and do good.’ This is the same way in which the sacrifices would atone by removing the filth of sin to enable a fresh start. This is clear from Rashi on the verse, 'אכפרה פניו במנחה'—‘I will attain an atonement before Him with a minchah offering.’ He continued, “Although making a fresh start after sins are atoned for is of paramount importance, it is also much easier than cleaning up the mess. Only a kohein can remove the filth. Although it is a mitzvah for a kohein to prepare the lights, and only a kohein may prepare them, rekindling them and starting over can be done by anyone.” But this need not only apply to those who sinned and fell. Even a complete tzaddik has to continuously make a new start so as not to rest on his laurels, no matter how great they are. As Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, zt”l, said, “It is forbidden to be old! Even an old chassid or an old tzaddik is not good. We must continuously begin fresh in avodas Hashem!”


Anonymous said...

shalom rav how can i email you personally?

Micha Golshevsky said...