"Command the people of Israel that they bring to you (Moses) pure olive oil... to burn always." This oil was for the Menorah that illuminated the Sanctuary and later the Temples in Jerusalem. The Talmud notes the words "bring to you" instead of the more appropriate "bring to Me." The sages comment that G‑d needs no illumination; the Menorah is for man's benefit.

The ultimate beneficiary of Torah and its commandments is not their AuthorThe purpose of mitzvot, in fact the essential nature of Judaism, is frequently misunderstood. The purpose of prayer, for example, is not to present our demands and wishes to a busy G‑d, nor to flatter and propitiate a wrathful, quick-tempered Deity (as is maliciously and sophomorically stated by some who should know better). The practices of Judaism are not designed to placate and gratify an adulation-hungry Creator. Nor is He any the lesser by our violations of Torah teachings.

We pray three times daily to remind ourselves of a Power higher than our own, to reaffirm our dependence and faith in Him. We perform His mitzvot so that our bodies and treasure may serve a purpose higher than pleasure and self-satisfaction.

Is there anyone who can say that he would not be a better person and a better Jew if he would begin and end his day with worship? Can anyone deny the immediate personal value of the classical Shabbat with its warm ceremonials, study, worship, and vacation for the soul from its weekday distractions and problems?

The Menorah, all of Torah, is meant to give light and guidance to man, to give direction and purpose to his life. The ultimate beneficiary of Torah and its commandments is not their Author, but the men and women who use them.