Keep the Fire Burning

Shavua Tov. There was a large room in the Beit Hamikdash called לשכת העצים. This was where wood was stored so that the fire on the מזבח remained burning 24/7. The Talmud in מסכת יומא discusses the orderly fashion in which the wood was neatly placed on the altar.

Today's Parsha describes the commandment to keep the fire burning and a further commandment to remove the ashes that remained. The removal of the ashes was not a task that was very glamorous to say the least. Yet the Kohanim viewed this Avodah as a great honor and even fought over the right to remove the ashes.

The constant fire bordered on the miraculous as it also applied in winter despite the rain and winds. The message is clear that we literally have to keep "the fire burning." We must never let it be extinguished. We have to maintain our enthusiasm and zeal in the observance of the Torah. This is especially true now that we are in the home stretch of our Pesach preparations.