- Weekly D'var Torah
“And you shall command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle the lamps continually,” (Exodus chapter 27, verse 20). Olive oil that's crushed! Why? That sounds a little funny, doesn’t it? Why can’t it just be plain pure olive oil? Well, the Talmud has a reason for this. The Talmud says that just like the olive giving off a light when it gets crushed or pounded, people's potentials are realized under pressure from difficult things.
For this reason, we find out that the crushed olive oil is what gives off the light, so we wouldn’t have the light if it was not crushed. The Talmud then compares this to how people accomplish things from being crushed which is like pressure. It sounds like we need to struggle. We need to be under pressure to create something great. If we just had things smooth and easy the accomplishment would not be as great. In some cases, maybe the greater the pressure, the greater the achievement. Appreciation for our weaknesses and the things that make us scared is so important because the product they give us could change our lives.
In my life, I know I get super stressed, and the pressure builds up quickly, especially on school work. However, once I finish a project or a lot of homework, the reward is that I feel good, I can get a good grade, and these feelings remind me on other days that it will be okay. If I wasn’t pressured, I might not work as hard.
Pressure and accomplishment can go hand in hand. So, just like olive oil being crushed to create the light that was in the Mishkan, we are “crushed” to create something great in our lives. Next time, realize that pressure and hard work will make your potential even more significant. Shabbat Shalom!
This week's student d'var torah was written by Molly Malek, an 8th grader at Denver JDS.