This week’s portion the second in the Chumash – Book of “VAYIKRA” – Leviticus is called “TZAV” – Commanded.

“The fire that will burn upon the Altar regularly must not go out. (6:6)

We may feel sometimes so distant from the Torah’s expectations of us or encumbered by negative spiritual baggage, that it is hard for us to imagine how we could even begin to live in accordance with our ideals. In times of such pessimism, we are told to keep our Divine fire burning even when we feel unqualified or otherwise unable to enter realms of holiness.

By keeping our enthusiasm fired up even in such times, the Divine flame within us will eventually burn away all impediments to joyful, holy living. As the Maggid of Mezritch interpreted this verse, “if the inner fire of the heart is kept burning continuously, it will extinguish all negativity.”

But the fire can only work this magic if it is kept burning continuously; any lapse in enthusiasm is an opportunity for pessimism to creep in. An intermittent fire or the memory of recent flames is therefore not enough; we must become adept at keeping our inner fires burning no matter how our moods may vary.

This Shabbat is also called “Shabbat Hagadol – The Great Shabbat” the Shabbat before Passover. A great miracle happened, when the Jewish People were commanded to take the “Paschal lamb” and offer it as a sacrifice and smear its blood on their doorposts as a sign for G-d to “PASSOVER” their homes and save them from the 10th plague of the killing of the firstborns. Although a deity of the Egyptians it passed by peacefully!

In these difficult and challenging times, we beseech the A-mighty’s mercy and blessings to heal all those who are unwell, console all those bereaved, and to bring a speedy end to this awful epidemic, we are all experiencing.

Wishing you a peaceful healthy fulfilling week followed by a tranquil spiritual Shabbat.