The olive oil used in the menorah in the
Tabernacle is described as “pure olive oil,
beaten to give light” (Exodus 27:20). Olive oil
was not only used in the menorah but also in
consecrating the vessels of the Tabernacle.
Olive oil was also used to sanctify the cohanim
as they were initiated into service in the
Tabernacle (a process described at the end of
this portion, Exodus 29:1-37). Additionally,
olive oil was used to anoint kings. It is from
this ritualistic act that the name “Mashiach,”
which means “the anointed one,” is derived.
Olive oil allegorically represents a profound
secret: light emanates from physical matter.
When physical matter is probed and “beaten” like
an olive, it reveals a deeper dimension of
energy and light. The Zohar teaches that all
matter is simply different degrees of “thickened
light.” What is true of olive oil is in effect
true of all physical reality. Einstein’s theory
of relativity and other modern scientific
revelations about energy and light have
confirmed that matter is quite literally energy.
Mashiach is charged with teaching the world this
link between the physical and the spiritual
worlds. Although Mashiach will be a warrior, a
king, and the ultimate leader, his primary
mission is to educate the world, introducing a
new level of consciousness to humanity.
Ultimately all the people of the world will come
to recognize the Divine unity animating all
reality and the consummate union between the
physical and the spiritual realms. Humanity will
then realize that reality is none other than the
light of God. The menorah symbolizes God’s
infinite light and humanity’s role in revealing
that light in all places and at all times.