Written by Tamar Fox. Check out last week’s post in this series, Double Mitzvah – Vayikra.
Fire is often used as a metaphor for relationships. Couples are instructed to keep the flame alive, and reminded to rekindle the romance if things have gotten less exciting in the bedroom. An old love can be an old flame, and of course, good chemistry is described as “red hot.”
In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the Aish Tamid, the light on the altar that is never to be extinguished. We are twice reminded of this fire, and according to Maimonides, the second reminder means that it is incumbent on all Jews, not just the priests, to ensure that the flame burns forever because the flame symbolizes God.
But the harsh truth of the matter is that the flame on the altar did eventually go out, just as most relationships will go through less-than-fiery phases.
So what then? What happens when a deep and important relationship– whether it’s with God, or a lover or partner –loses its spark? There are countless books and magazine articles focused on helping couples find ways to revive the fire in their relationship, and much of this advice may be based in the wisdom of this week’s parsha, which suggests that part of keeping the flame alive is tending it on a daily basis.
Which brings us to our question for this Shabbat: How will you tend to the flames in your life?
We invite you to share your wisdom in the comments section below. Shabbat shalom!