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Engineering Light

Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5742 · August 19, 1982

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Engineering Light: Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5742 · August 19, 1982

Many manuscripts of Maimonides’ Commentary to the Mishna show an illustration of the Holy Menorah in which each decorative goblet on the Menorah’s branches face upward. But Maimonides’ own handwritten sketch of the Menorah shows the exact opposite: They face downward.
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menorah
Engineering Light
Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5742 · August 19, 1982
Disc 71, Program 284

Event Date: 30 Av 5742 - August 19, 1982

Many manuscripts of Maimonides’ Commentary to the Mishna show an illustration of the Holy Menorah in which each decorative goblet on the Menorah’s branches face upward. But Maimonides’ own handwritten sketch of the Menorah shows the exact opposite: They face downward.

The windows in the Holy Temple were narrow on the inside and wide on the outside, for their purpose was to shine Divine light outward to the world. So, too, the Menorah: its goblets were narrow at the top – at the source of the light, and they open toward this lower world.

When it comes to a Jew’s mission “to be a Menorah,” shining G-d’s light to the world, the windows of his home – and his soul – must resemble the windows of the Temple. He must make himself into a fitting vessel – even with little light for himself, he provides the widest light for a fellow Jew.

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