The Midrash Tanchuma notes how the Mitzvah of lighting the Menorah in the Makom HaMikdash is difficult to understand. Does Hashem need light? Hashem is the source of all true light! Whats then is the significance of this Avodah, which has such emphasis and even its own chag, Chanukah? We are told later on that when Aharon does this avodah it is even greater than all the Korbanos of the Nesiim?
The Midrash concludes that obviously Hashem does not require from us light. Nor does he really need anything we do. Every mitzvah and avodah is intrinsic to the functioning of the world, as Hashem looked in the Torah and created the universe. When Hashem gives us a mitzvah, he is inviting us to partner with him in the creation and upkeep of the universe. It is a zechus, not a burden.
As parents and mechanchim are, in a way, a dugma for the relationship an individual has with Hashem, we should take the same approach when giving our children chores and setting rules and expectations. It is not that we need something from them (though sometimes we could use the extra helping hand, that’s not the focus), we are inviting them to partner with us. It is a zechus to run a home and be a part of a family, to need each other and have obligations and responsibilities to one another. It is a zechus to be part of something greater than yourself, to build. May we ourselves exemplify this spirit in everything we do and inspire our children and students to as well.
Shabbat Shalom, Have a Great Shabbos
Ari Deutscher MSW