The fifth grade was doing an end-of-the-year project entitled, “Getting the World Ready for the Geulah.” The class was divided into a number of groups and each one would be recommending a plan of action. This morning, each group had to choose a representative to present its plan to the class. The boys were excited and a bit nervous because Rabbi Levine, the principal, was going to be there. “Your project is very important,” Rabbi Levine had said. “I would like to join you in your discussion.”

Mordechai presented his group’s plan first. “We think that if we teach people that the world was created by HaShem and that the geulah — the goal of the entire creation — is coming soon, people will begin to think seriously about it.”

Shimon was second. “Our group feels that, for many people, it’s hard to think seriously about deep ideas which they have never studied. But if we describe all the good things that are going to happen at the time of the geulah, they’ll want Mashiach to come, even if they don’t understand much.”

Chaim was next. “We think that talking to people is not enough, because everyone is busy with his own life and business. The way to get people ready is to make sure that the geulah is always on people’s minds. We could do that with posters, newsletters, signs, radio shows, and other kinds of advertisements.”

Gedaliah’s group was last to present their plan. “We thought about all those ideas, too, but we decided that the best way to get others ready is to make sure that we ourselves are ready. If we would work on ourselves, by studying about the geulah and strengthening our own belief, we would be like ‘live’ signs spreading the word to others.”

Rabbi Levine listened intently to the boys as their teacher looked on, clearly proud of their presentations.

“I am pleased that you have been thinking so seriously about the most important mission we have to fulfill now,” Rabbi Levine said. “Some of you may be wondering what I think is the best plan. We can look into this week’s parshah and learn that all the plans are good. In Parshas Behaalos’cha, the Torah tells us about lighting the menorah. The menorah spread HaShem’s holy light out into the world. The menorah had seven branches. Each one was separate, but they were all part of one effort to light up the world. We, too, can each follow different plans, but we all share the same goal.

“We can also learn other important points from the laws of lighting the menorah. The Torah allows anyone to kindle the lights, even a person who is not a kohain. This teaches us that everyone should do whatever he can to brighten up the world.

“Yet, the command to light the menorah was given to Aharon, the kohain gadol. This teaches us that, although we must all join in the effort to spread the light of the geulah, we must be sure that the plans that we follow are inspired by the holiness of the kohain gadol of our times. Then the flame will shine brightly and light up the world.”

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 314)