I’m Lit!

Categories: Behaalotecha, Friendship Circle, Parsha
A sketch-style illustration of a lit match against a dark background.

Art by Sefira Lightstone

A WEEKLY TORAH THOUGHT FROM RABBI MORDY

I practiced it for about a year and a half and much of it still comes to mind even though it was just a few years ago (23 but who’s counting?)! In commemoration of that and as a thought for the week, I’ll share now what I shared then. Behaaloscha literally means “to raise up” and is a strange term in referencing Aaron the high priest as he lights the candles of the Menorah in the Temple. Seemingly he was kindling these lights; why this use of the term? The sages tell us the reason is that “The candle of G-d is the soul of man.” Each soul is a flame. Our job, all of our jobs as members or leaders of the community as Aaron was, is not just to kindle or to ignite the soul of another, but to truly raise it up. To inspire someone else to lead and to affect others, to pay it forward.
There is obviously much talk of kindling flames within Judaism because fire is the one physical object that has an immensely spiritual quality. With most physical objects, when we give to another means that we have less in our possession than we did before. Not so with fire. We can use our candle to ignite that of the next person’s and our flame has not been diminished in the slightest. This is why the soul is referred to as a flame; it is here in this physical world, yet with spiritual capabilities. All these qualities we have—kindness, sensitivity, compassion—we can share without lessening ourselves. In fact, sharing only strengthens these qualities within us. So, let us share. Let us impact others for the better, and through that we will make a better brighter world. Good Shabbos!

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