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    Residents & tourists – Tzav

    Flame-e1323621407311The sidra tells us that the fire on the altar shall be left to burn continuously and must never be allowed to go out (Lev. 6:6).

    There is a comparison between the fire and the human being. King David said in the Psalms (27:4) that he yearned to dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of his life. He said a similar thing at the end of the famous Psalm 23.

    The fire should be in the sanctuary continuously; the believer should be blessed to be present there every moment of every day.

    But there is a problem with the verse from Psalm 27. It speaks of dwelling in the Temple but also of coming to visit – “to frequent His holy place”. Which is more important – to dwell in the sanctuary or to visit?

    There is an argument in favour of each. To dwell means to be constantly in the Divine Presence. To visit means to be there whenever possible but not all the time. The dweller can take it all for granted; the visitor can enjoy the moment but then move on to other things.

    There is a challenge for each. The dweller must learn to see the sanctuary with fresh eyes every day of his life, never letting himself become blasé.

    The visitor must try to increase the frequency of his visits so that the day will come when he will no longer be a tourist but a resident.

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