This week’s Parashah begins by recounting Moshe’s instructions in Midbar Sinai. The BeMidbar Rabbah, commenting on the first Pasuk of the Parashah, recounts that the Torah is given to us with fire, water, and desert. Rav Meir Shapiro explains that the Torah is given to us with these three things as a symbol of our intense belief in Hashem and our willingness to die for the preservation of the sanctity of Hashem’s name. The fire symbolizes Avraham, who, the Midrash states, is thrown into a flaming pit for believing in Hashem instead of the pagan idolatry of the time. The water symbolizes the faith Bnei Yisrael display in Hashem at Kriat Yam Suf, as they enter the sea despite the ever-constant threat of the walls of water crashing down and killing them. Finally, the desert represents the constant faith Bnei Yisrael have in Hashem during their forty years in the desert, years of painful living without a stable home.
Alternatively, the symbolism of fire can be interpreted in a different way. When we find ourselves lost and in the dark, fire lightens up the confusing darkness, illuminating a path through which to navigate. The Torah, which is compared to fire, similarly provides a beacon of light to help us navigate through the spiritual ventures in our lives.
Daily, we are bombarded with a barrage of information painting a bleak picture for Israel’s future. The constant threat of war, the continuous attempt at suicide bombings, and the always threatening missile attacks present a serious danger to the survival of Israel. Despite all of this, it is upon us to retain faith in Hashem and preserve a hopeful outlook for the future of Israel.
This past Wednesday, Am Yisrael joined together to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim. While we are thankful and joyful that we have Israel and Yerushalayim, we must never forget the thousands of brave men and women who gave their lives to ensure that we have an Israel today. Just as Avraham risks his life in the fire and Bnei Yisrael risk their lives in the Yam Suf and in the Midbar, these heroes were willing to sacrifice their lives for Hashem and His land. They never lost their faith in the future of Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, and we must not either.
Throughout our lifetimes, we will face many obstacles. However, despite how difficult a challenge may be, we will always have the light of Torah to guide us through the difficult times and keep us on the divine path.