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Lights III

“I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.” (Psalms 132:17) Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that this verse refers to the Menorah which stands directly opposite the Shulchan – the Table, and which, according to God’s command, is to be put in order each day (Exodus 27:20-21) This Menorah, as a “Tree of Light,” symbolizes the eternally progressing development of the spirit which is to be derived from the Torah.

It indicates to the anointed king of the Davidic dynasty his task constantly to cultivate the spirit of that Divine Law in the midst of his people, a task, which David, had fulfilled in such an exemplary manner, and which will be completed in the end of days. (See Isaiah 11)

It seems to me that the placement of the Menorah facing the Shulchan with its bread, reminds us to maintain our spiritual sustenance as carefully as we consider our physical needs.

The Menorah faces the Shulchan to teach us that our physical needs are provided by sustenance nurtured by the Menorah and the Torah it symbolizes.

Learn some Torah at each meal so as to recreate the Menorah facing the Shulchan.

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