Today I can’t help but think about fire. It is a beautiful and powerful resource when maintained and manageable, yet, it can also become something uncontrollable and dangerous. Fire is my favorite element. I like how all it takes is one simple spark and that can turn into a flame and that flame can burn for as long as you allow it. Someone once told me that based on my ideas and beliefs about fire that is how I feel about G-d. When looking at fire in relation to G-d is makes sense. If you allow G-d in your life, you’ve initiated the spark and then praying and living your life in a way that brings glory to G-d is letting the flame burn infinitely.
Today I also cannot help but think about israel and us jewish people and how fire relates to us. With the terror events which have struck Israel and left all of us Jews in a state of shock and sadness. Or at least that’s how I feel. Ever since arriving in Israel during my birthright trip last year, anytime something goes awry in Israel it’s like a piece of me gets inflicted. My love for Israel is something that most of my friends and family don’t understand. I can’t explain it however I will try. It’s like when our plane to Tel Aviv touched down, we clapped. When we got to Cesearia and saw the most beautiful sunset, it felt natural. With the palm trees all around and even running into acquaintances from my home town in the middle of Ben Yehuda street. There is something unique and different about Israel. It felt like home and yet I had never been there before. It felt natural. I didn’t have to prove who I was or what I believed. I was just me. I was Jewish and so were most of the other people. It was so beautiful! It was not perfect and I was even sick half of the time I was on my trip, but the reflective time I had on the bus rides, the adrenaline I got from the extreme hike down Mt. Arbol and even when I went ziplining across two mountains, and the connected, power and fire I felt burning inside me when we reached Jerusalem and specially when I went to the Kotel on Shabbat for the first time in my life. There were tears in my eyes when the plane left. How could I be leaving the Holy Land? I was going back into Exile. Why? I don’t know. I guess I’ve been searching for that answer for quite sometime. Regardless even when I got back to America, as I exited the plane I talked to this young Israeli man who had just finished his service in the army. We periodically still keep in touch. To me this is Israel. This if the Jewish nation, culture and religion.
My birthright trip to Israel was everything and more than what I expected. It also seems like Israel to me is the answer to a question I never asked because I never even knew I had. I am so grateful for Israel, to be Jewish and for the fire burning within me.
There’s a burning fire in each of us. Some strike the match for good, others for evil. Your life. You choose.
I actually went back through and felt like I had to add this song as I started to recall the lyrics as I said my prayer before falling asleep. “Aish talmid eternity, fire burns continuously…wondering where you been won’t you come on home to me”