Sometimes we get so busy that we forget. We forget to do things we meant to do, pick up that one key item at the grocery store, call the people we love just to say hi. We get so caught up in the details of daily living that we forget the big picture of our own lives, forget to remember what’s really important.
What’s most important? Joy. Love. Family. Friends. Sunsets and starlight.
And us. Each of us is important. Each of us has a soul that needs nourishment.
This week’s Torah portion teaches that there is a fire that must be tended; “This is the Torah of the burnt-offering… a fire must always burn on the altar; it may not go out.” (Lev. 6:1, 6).
Our sages teach that this fire is a spiritual fire, an inner flame that must be tended carefully. It is the flame that burns in our hearts, a fire that is ignited by Divine goodness and grace, which flows freely to us each day.
How wonderful to see our hearts as sacred places, altars that house a flame that feeds our spirit and ignites our desire to do good in the world!
This weekend we will observe Shabbat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering, with the enigmatic message to remember to blot out the memory of Amalek – a vicious enemy of the Children of Israel as they wandered in the desert.
But how can we remember to forget?
Perhaps it is with the sacred flame within ourselves. Because we can use our inner flame, the one that we have tended so carefully, to illuminate that which is good and important, to heal ourselves and the world around us, and maybe, just maybe, we will be able to forget evil, because it will no longer exist.
And then we can remember what is really important. Sunsets and starlight. Love and family. Joy.
May we be so blessed.
Note: The above essay is nearly identical to my blog post on this date last year. But because it is so easy to forget what’s really important, especially when our beloved Israel is roiling with strife and yet another school is mourning murdered children and teachers, I wanted to take a moment to remind myself, and you.