The Zohar/Rav Brandwein Writings
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PARSHA TETZAVEH 5763 #10
Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Jerusalem (in translation)
(Our Parsha begins,) “And you will command the Bnai Yisroel (Children of Israel), and they shall take for you clear olive oil, crushed, for illumination, to light a lamp (the Menorah, Candelabra, of the Mishkan) continuously.”
The Ner Tamid (Eternal Lamp) would burn from evening to evening, i.e. all night. According to the view that one end of the Menorah’s branches was to the North and the other end to the South, so that the Menorah faced parallel to the West, where the Holy of Holies and Shechinah were, the center flame of the seven flames was called the Western Flame, since it was at the center of the Menorah facing to the West.) Chazal say that it was the westernmost lamp, which comes to testify that the Shechinah dwells in Israel. This lamp needed to be lit from clear olive oil, i.e. from the first drop that came out from the oil. (The pressing of the olives went through three stages; only the first stage was worthy of the Menorah).
In order to explain the matter, we need to understand that the olive represents bitterness, i.e. concealments in the ways of Divine Providence of Hashem, May He Be Blessed, due to which a person thinks that there is no law and no judge. In order to repair this path and to guide a person onto the correct path, there are two paths. One is called the path of Yissurin (affliction, suffering), Heaven Forefend, where by way of the difficulties and pains, a person improves their actions. The second path is the path of Torah, i.e. with understanding and contemplation in the ways of Hashem, May He Be Blessed, where the person sees the goodness of Divine Providence.
This is symbolized by the olive, which is bitter; but there is a way of crushing it, to smash and hit the olive. This is “crushing for illumination”; that after the crushing, which is the path of Yissurin, which precedes the path of Torah, a person comes to illumination, that from the olive is revealed light, that a person merits to see that all of the concealments were just for good. And therefore, it burned the entire night, since “night” represents concealment and darkness; but after the crushing, it shines, most specifically at night.
And so it is written, “And they will take for you.” The Nation of Israel together will give and supply the oil. Through this unity, the Westernmost Lamp, which in the Holy Books it is written that Western “Maaravi” comes from the word, “Meurav Im Habriyos”, a person who mixes well and gets along with others.
We see that all of the Menorah flames leaned towards the Westernmost Flame, which burned in the middle, so that all of the flames were equal (in harmony). This shows that each person has an importance, even though people’s minds and personalities are different. Therefore, this unity testifies that Hakadosh Baruch Hu rests His Shechinah in Israel, for the word Shechinah is Gematria, numerically equal to Safah (language) 385.
This is as it is written in Tzephaniah Chapter 3, “For then I will change all of the nations to a clear language, for all to call in the Name of Hashem, to serve him with one shoulder.” And so too, the word Tetzaveh (you shall command), in the Holy Books it is written, that this represents a connection and unity.
All of this burned on the Menorah, which was beaten from one piece of gold, its base, branches, flowers and apples. The base represents those who support and help a Torah Scholar. The knobs are those who are busy with acts of kindness. The flowers are those who study Torah. All of them are beaten from one piece of gold, so that each one needs the other, and therefore it is impossible for one person to be arrogant over another.
When there is unity, then the Menorah shines to the entire world.