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    The palace is on fire – B’ha’alot’cha

    When we read Parashat B’ha’alot’cha we recall how important light is in religious thinking, beginning with the verse, “Let there be light!” (Gen. 1:3).

    There are several versions of a Midrash that says a traveller saw a palace on fire and wondered if anyone was in charge. The owner of the palace looked out and said, “I am the Master of the palace!”

    Some versions say it was a tower, not a palace; some say it was lit up, not burning; some say that the person who spoke out was the caretaker, not the owner.

    What really matters is the idea that the world, even if it is in a poor state, is not hefker, forsaken and abandoned to its fate.

    On one level the story indicates that God remains in charge even if human beings try to dislodge Him from Creation and think they can manage on their own.

    If this is the message, it is up to the human beings who have a sense of responsibility to make the world once more worthy of its Maker.

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