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The Crown of Halacha

Tzav 5777 – Keep the Flame Burning!

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Vayikra 5777

Tzav 5777

Keep the Flame Burning!

“The fire on the Mizbaiach shall be kept burning, it shall not be extinguished, and the Kohen shall kindle wood on it every morning….” “A permanent fire shall remain aflame on the Mizbaiach; it shall not be extinguished.” (Vayikra 6:5-6)

The avoda of the Kohanim was to keep the fire burning at all times. In order to do so, trees were constantly planted and wood had to be chopped and transported to the BaisHamikdash where it was carefully stored. Day and night logs were added to the fire. Great amounts of ash had to be removed on a regular basis. All this was done in order to keep the fire steadily burning.

It Takes Great Effort to Pass the Torch

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay was the longest in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. The 65,000 km journey lasted 123 days, visited more than 2900 towns and settlements across all 83 Russian regions and averaged 535 km per day. The Torch switched hands 14,000 times! Each torchbearer was accompanied by security personnel, a medical team, the media, and extra burning torches in case the original one went out. More than 30,000 volunteers also participated in the Relay.

These facts demonstrate the immense effort involved in keeping the torch burning while passing it from person to person over thousands of miles. Imagine how much more effort was needed to keep the fire in the BaisHamikdash burning for hundreds of years!

Hashem’s Fire is Inimitable

One of the miracles in the BaisHamikdash was that wind and rain never disturbed the fire. It was protected by Hashem.  Therefore, the entire avoda of the Kohanim was to ensure that the fire continued burning from one korban to the next. As we see, it was not a small avoda, every single log added to the fire represented hundreds of hours of preparation and maintenance. It took tremendous effort. Letting the fire go out is equal to putting it out.

The Pintala Yid: Hashem’s Fire Burns in Our Hearts

The fire on the Mizbaiach is symbolic of the fire within every Jew, called the pintala yid. Hashem protects that fire and will never let it go out.  However, our job is to keep the fire within fiercely burning. This is called chizuk. It needs to constantly be fed, or it will smolder like a dying ember. Every word of Torah, every moment of prayer and all our investigations into the world around is meant to give us chizuk. Don’t let the fire go out, not yours and not anyone else’s.


Series Navigation<< Vayikra 5777 – Souled OutShmini 5777 – A Shift in Perception >>
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