When the kohen (priest) entered the chamber where the menorah stood in the Holy Temple to kindle its lamps each afternoon, he found them fully prepared for lighting: earlier in the day, the lamps had been cleaned and filled with oil, and fresh wicks had been inserted. All he had to do was bring near the flame he carried, so that by its mere proximity to the waiting lamp it would ignite the latent energy and luminary potential which the lamp already held.
Therein lies an important lesson to the spiritual “lamplighter”: do not think that you are achieving anything that your fellow could not, in truth, achieve on his own; do not think that you are giving him something he does not already possess. The soul of your fellow is a ready lamp, filled with the purest oil and equipped with all that is required to convert its fuel into a blazing flame. It only lacks the proximity of another lamp to ignite it. If your own soul is alight, its contact with another’s soul will awaken its luminous potential, so that it may illuminate its surroundings and ignite other souls, in turn.
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber