Trumah: Chapter 74

"For the commandment is a candle; and Torah is light"


Rabbi Yosi here explains that it is necessary to perform a deed to prepare the candle, and it is necessary to be occupied with Torah to light the candle in order to merit the supernal light from which the candle is lit. He goes on to discuss the reproofs of instruction that the Holy One brings upon a person to purify him of his sins. Another explanation of the candle is that it is the Oral Torah, which only illuminates through the Written Torah, which is the light. The candle is a commandment or precept that women merit, the candle of Shabbat, but only men can merit through Torah and illuminate the candle.

Next, we hear of a father and daughter who are bitterly unhappy because her new husband doesn't even know how to say the prayer after a meal, and does not merit Torah. The young man sits before Rabbi Yosi, who proclaims that either the light of Torah will emerge from him, or else a son will emerge from him. The young man laughs and explains that because he is young and respectful he decided that he should not speak before the older, wiser men for two months, but now the time has come. He says that the "the commandments" refers to Malchut, which is a candle waiting to be kindled by Zeir Anpin. He speaks of her two arms and the 248 supernal limbs, which add to 250, or resh-nun; 'candle' is nun-resh. And Torah is 'Light', because Torah is from the right side, which is the first light that was created. When the left is combined in it, we learn, there is perfection in everything.


Here we are purified and corrected of sin, so that our souls flicker like the flame of a candle. Our 248 limbs are warmed and nurtured by the supernal candlelight that radiates from the Torah. And just as one candle can light millions of others without diminishing its own flame, the spiritual Light we now reveal is shared with all the souls of this planet, flooding the entire globe with the Light of the Creator. As mankind basks in the glow, peace takes hold and tranquillity spreads throughout the land.