Let My People Know

"Israel has to be a wholeness"

“The original menorah was cast in one piece of gold.
The idea is that Israel has to be a wholeness.

Each member is responsible and liable for the others in a singleness of essence.

Concerning this concept of mutual responsibility, there is no denying the obvious fact that Jews do tend to be contentious and argumentative with one another.

Antagonisms and conflicts within the community have always been all too prevalent.

Nevertheless, the sense of spiritual unity has usually been present, the knowledge that there is a basic connection.

Each Jew is a part of an organic whole, like a limb or an eye of a single human body, and even if there is a lack of harmony or an illness in the body, the organic unity remains.

The whole is a molten menorah, all of gold.

Thus, there is a certain basic understanding among the people, each type nourishing the other.

To be sure the golden mold of the menorah may be covered with dust, and the dirt may accumulate into such a considerable layer that the goal will be completely invisible.

The task, then, of the teacher is not necessarily to devise some new system of thought or to provide the people with a new head and a new heart — which cannot be done in any case — but to dig strenuously into the covering layer of dirt to reveal the gold beneath.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Candle of God, “Implications of the Menorah,” p.328-330, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz