* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
I read the following penetrating thought on Shabbat. I am now dedicating it in memory of Uri Itzhak Ilouz, Lia Ben-Nun, and Ohad Dahan who were killed near the Egyptian border on Friday night and Shabbat afternoon.
Routine is something gray and grinding. So we are always on the lookout for something new and exciting and prefer dramatic, one-time events to the daily pattern of our lives. But in the Torah portion we read on Shabbat we learn about the task to which Aharon HaKohen was assigned -- to light the lamps of the Mishkan's menorah every day. Never to light a different menorah, never to change the manner in which it is lit, but rather to light the lamps in the same way in the same menorah every day. The Torah praises him for his success in performing this task with the same enthusiasm every time.
Our commentators explain that we do not improve ourselves by doing something new and different, but rather by finding new meaning in repetitive tasks and permanent commitments. *The tasks do not change, but we change* when we persevere and exert ourselves to become more deeply attached to what we do. The parasha teaches us to find meaning especially through devotion to our regular routine. This holds true in our studies, in our work, and in all of our relationships, especially with our spouses and children. May we be privileged to experience renewal within everyday life.