By Rabbi Shmuel Gluck
This Parsha begins with the preparation of the oil for the Menorah. The detail required for the oil demonstrates its importance, and there must be multiple lessons that people can learn from it. I would like to share one of them.
In Baba Basra 25B, the Gemoroh discusses the direction people should face when they Daven. Horotzeh She’yisasher, one who wants to become wealthy, Yatzphin, should Daven to the north, towards the Shulchon, the Table. Horotzeh Sheyachkim, one who wants to become wise, Yadrim, should Daven towards the south, towards the Menorah.
Omar Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi L’olam Yadrim, She’mi’toch She’yischakeim, Yisasher. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says, people should always Daven to the south because if they become wise, they’ll also become wealthy. Many people believe that wealth is “guaranteed” to smart, and shrewd, business people. Nevertheless, most people know some very intelligent people who fail at business. What did Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi mean when he claimed that all wise people will become wealthy?
Torah’s definition of wealth is different. Wealth is having enough money to achieve one’s individual’s life mission. Therefore, there are many people who are wealthy, but they just don’t know it.
The Maharsha explains that there’s a commonly believed, but mistaken, definition of wealth, and that is wealth is based on the amount of money that people have. The more money they have, the wealthier they are. The Torah’s definition of wealth is different. Wealth is having enough money to achieve one’s individual’s life mission. Therefore, there are many people who are wealthy, but they just don’t know it. Unaware that they are wealthy, makes them, for all practical purposes, poor.
When people Daven toward the Menorah, which represents the Torah, they will learn what is the true definition of wealth. Then, if they look at the Shulchon, the table, they’ll recognize something that is plain to see. Despite the tables gold value, its sole purpose is to have bread put on it, people’s basic need.
Therefore, Davening towards the Menorah will make people wise, and that’s what makes people truly wealthy, even if most people never realize what is true wealth. This message is powerful but is denied by most, acknowledged by a few, and applied by even fewer people.