The Torah states: "And you shall command the Children of Israel that they bring to you pure pressed olive oil for illumination to keep the lamp constantly burning." (Exodus 27:20)

The Midrash comments on this verse that the Almighty does not really need the light, but you should nonetheless make a light for Him just as He makes light for you. The Midrash gives the analogy of a blind person and a person who could see who were walking together. The person with sight led the blind person the entire way. When they came to their destination the sighted person told the blind person to make some light. "I want you to do this," he said , "so you will not feel a debt of gratitude for all that I have done for you. Now you have done something for me in return."

Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz comments that from here we see what total kindness is. There are many ulterior motives a person can have when he does favors for others. The ultimate in doing kindness is to do it without any expectations for something in return. This Midrash should be our guide when we do a favor for another person. Our attitude should be totally to help someone and not expect even gratitude in return.

Adapted from Aish.com's Shabbat Shalom Weekly email based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

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