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    Fire on the altar – Tzav

    Lev. 6:6 commands us to keep the altar fire burning continually. The Talmud Yerushalmi says, “Even on Shabbat”.

    Commenting on this law, the Lubavitcher Rebbe said it can be taken metaphorically. In this sense, “fire” indicates the flame of Jewish enthusiasm in a person’s heart.

    We might find this rather surprising. Keeping the altar fire burning on weekdays is what we would expect, but if we are talking about fire in the heart it should surely burn on Shabbat even more brightly than on the weekdays.

    Perhaps the problem is that for many Jews Shabbat is a problem. They are aware that they must feel Jewish on weekdays – but who would have thought that anyone would not know about Shabbat?

    The answer? Shabbat is the test of Jewish feeling. How you dedicate your soul and spirit to God on Shabbat is more demanding. If you can make something of Shabbat you will find Jewish quality in the weekdays.

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