By Rabbi Ari Lucas
לֹא-תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ, בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, בְּיוֹם, הַשַּׁבָּת
Let no fire burn in your homes on the Sabbath Day
– Exodus 35:3
As I kindle these Shabbat flames and bring the warmth and light of Shabbat into my home, I am mindful of the wildfires that continue to burn across Southern California. Fire, when contained, brings blessing to a home, but it also has destructive potential. Many of our neighbors, family, friends, and fellow citizens face great danger to their homes and well-being. For them, this Shabbat brings no rest. As for me, this is my prayer: Let the peace of Shabbat come as a salve to the burning we have witnessed this week. May God protect the lives and well-being of those who are in harm’s way. May God strengthen the hands of the firefighters who work day and night to control this blaze. May our earth and ourselves be healed from the great destruction of the week that has passed. Let no fire burn in our homes on this Shabbat day.