Tzav: Guard your inner flame

Dvar Torah written by Israel's first Ashkkenazi Chief Rabbi.

HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook zts"l

Judaism Memorial to Merkaz HaRav massacre
Memorial to Merkaz HaRav massacre
צילום: אוסף התצלומים של צדוק בסן.

A fire was always burning on the Temple altar:

“אֵשׁ תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ - לֹא תִכְבֶּה.”

“There shall be a constant fire kept burning on the altar; it shall not be extinguished” (Lev. 6:6).

The fire on the Temple altar is a symbol, representing our inner drive for holiness and spirituality.

The kohanim were warned to make sure the altar fire was always burning. We also must guard and cultivate our inner flame:

“The divine thirst, raging and storming with its powerful flame in the heart, must not be extinguished. 

A person who extinguishes a burning coal on the physical altar transgresses the prohibition of “There shall be a constant fire... it shall not be extinguished.” All the more so we must never extinguish a lofty spiritual coal on the spiritual altar of the heart, filled with holy life.”

(Orot HaKodesh vol. III, p. 210)

See also: Tzav: Appreciating Boundaries

Dear friends,
Please accept my wishes for a wonderful, inspiring Passover.
חג כשר ושמח,
Chanan Morrison