“Crushed…To Illuminate”

This week the Torah tells us to catch a fire – make pure light and keep it burning. Referring to the commandment of the Menorah (the first symbol of the Jews),we are told to “cause a lamp to burn continually…to burn from evening to morning.” (Exodus 27:20-21)

Ask yourself how many contradictions you see daily: Defense that shuts down, public policy that’s all too private, democracy with no questions. So then, why in blog’s name have I thrown another paradox from The Good Book at you? Shall our fire last only through the night and change with the coming of a new sun? Or do we light up non-stop – forever perpetuating a higher illumination?

The Torah speaks to the individual. So the answer lies not with the Menorah but with each of us. The Menorah is ours; the commandment is upon each of us to be a light in/to the world. Day in and day out we are asked to change the air around us. Time and time again we have the want to change the space we are in.

This is the meaning of the verse: Effect your place in the positive and appreciate the time you are in. Divinity is not limited to Jerusalem, nor does it only reside in the blue sky. Our task is to provide limitless love, light, and lesson from the eternal Torah to this world – a place of limitations, a community of revolution.

Drown yesterday’s light with the awesomeness of today’s. Use all your talents, spiritual and physical. And thus may we all pave our streets with acts of righteousness creating avenues of peace.

Shabbat Shalom

*ùáòéí ôðéí ìúåøä seventy flavors of Torah – for the d’var Torah of your choice email me.

9 thoughts on “Tetzaveh/Command

  1. Still looking for the hippie take on the story of Nadav and Avihu, a great story about getting high and worshipping in unauthorized forms. Bummer.

  2. J— I take your question quite personally… as in I myself have asked it. E-mail me for further discussion. Unauthorized forms have unwarranted responses. G-d has given us all the herb and all the wine- in order to serve Her, not ourselves. A good hippy knows it’s not about his high but On High.

  3. Ramban has a great take on the Nadav and Avihu BBQ issue. Basically, we know that Bnei Levi are way into the violent aspects of Din. There’s a line in either Moses’ or Jacob’s blessing for Bnei Levi that they ‘pour incense on G-d’s wrath.’ or something like that – Ramban reads this as refering to N&A. Basically they went in there worshiping G-d’s judgemental anger and it went after them and smoked them. As my ex says, ‘You live in the world you create.’

  4. Moses-
    I’m generally averse to private e-mailings because of time constraints, and also because I don’t see why this can’t be a public discussion. I think it’s both important and interesting, and lots of the other people here are likely to have worthwhile (and clashing!) things to say.
    “in order to serve Her…”
    One provocation at a time, please.
    Also, I forgot to compliment you on the Marley references and to criticize you on the “community of revolution” line. Watch out. That’s not catching a fire, that’s playing with fire.

  5. 1) mentioned my e-mail for your convenience, not my own.
    2) “one provocation at a time”- whatever do you mean? Last I checked G-d was looking for commitment
    3)In due time my friend, you will see, I hope, that I pull reference from a vast cd changer… my query is: why compliment the Marley and not the Mystics that taught me?
    4) “community of revolution”- refers to people who change with the times… the exact thing the peice was speaking agianst. Playing with fire is but one way to burn the bridges of Babylon

  6. “Actually, there is nothing wrong with an individuals using feminine words for G-d to address her as mother or imagine oneself talking to an intimate female friend. For some individuals, this helps to develop a richer and more intimate relationship to G-d. We can also write and share our own interpretations of G-d’s compassion, G-d’s judgment, G-d’s creative work in the world in feminine terms. This may help us to come to experience the fullness of G-d in our lives.”
    Tamar Frankiel

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