The third Aliyah of this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, goes into great detail while describing the elaborate instructions for the construction of the Menorah. However, Rashi comments that Moshe just threw a block of gold into the fire, and the complete Menorah emerged! Why does the Torah go into such detail in describing instructions that aren’t even necessary in the end?
In this life, there are many tasks, responsibilities and situations that seem beyond us. We find ourselves feeling stuck or unable to move forward. It is when our efforts are stymied that we pray to Hashem to make the Menorah for us — when we have given it our best shot, and we know that we can’t do it on our own. But there are two conditions for Hashem’s assistance in such a circumstance: we must know the instructions – regardless of whether or not we will end up using them, and we must throw the gold into the fire.
Hashem doesn’t just miraculously cause a Menorah to appear out of thin air or miraculously cause our problems to disappear. When Hashem sees that we have put in the proper effort — that we have taken the time to familiarize ourselves with the instructions and the logical and practical solutions to our problems — only then He gives us the opportunity to throw the gold into the fire with the knowledge that He will take care of the rest. He gives us the ability to take that leap of faith and give it our best shot, knowing full well that if we were indeed relying only on our knowledge of the “instructions,” ours would be a fool’s errand. Hashem turns those hopeless odds into a perfect product — a complete Menorah — when we approach any issue in life with the willingness to give it a try and the humility to recognize our need for His assistance.