The portion opens with the olive-oil lampstand in the Tabernacle (Ex. 27:20). Who is meant to benefit from the light? The Midrash puts into God’s mouth the words, “Do I need your light? Does it not say, ‘Light dwells with Him?’ (Dan. 2:22)”. No; the light is meant for us; there is a verse that says, “The spirit of man is the light of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27).
With light we can see our way – we can discern our goals in life and follow them.
With light we can read the Torah – we can discern the truths about life and the world that can give meaning to what we do.
With light we can see other people – we can discern that every human being is, like us, a child of the Divine, with a precious soul and a unique dignity.
Why then doesn’t God provide us with light Himself and not need us to exert ourselves: to use the Torah’s words, “to cause the lamp to burn continually”?
Because God expects us to be His partners in the work of creation, even the creation of light. He endows us with all the means and material to produce light, and empowers us to utilise our potential and turn the ingredients into a result.