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By this same principle, a human being can become something higher only when a superior reality assimilates him. The Church Fathers consistently taught that God became human so that humans might become God—which is to say, participants in the divine nature.
In a word, we can become children of God precisely because God reached down to us and became a son of man. Would you like to receive these daily Gospel reflections in your inbox every morning? Share now on your social media accounts:. This is reflected in a midrash about the first human encounter with fire, as well.
The fear is assuaged by the appearance of a column of fire.
The Notre Dame fire – reflections on Health & Safety during construction work for businesses
Fire allows humankind to conquer fear, to conquer the natural dangers of the world; with control of fire, humans begin to rule over nature, rather than be ruled by it. In the life of Moshe, too, fire plays a central role. In just one perek, Moshe is born, grows up in the palace, kills a man, runs away, saves the girls, marries, and has two children, bringing his life full circle.
Then he sees a fire.
Reflections for the XX Sunday - Vatican News
It is in the fire that God finds Moshe and Moshe finds God. Moshe needs the break from routine, the stepping out of reality into the world of the miraculous to recognize the potential, the creativity and the leadership qualities that he carries within. The fire provides that opportunity.
After encountering the fire, Moshe knows his mission in life, returns to Egypt and begins the process of liberating the Jewish people. As we celebrate Chanukkah, the symbol of the fire, so foundational in the lives of Adam and Moshe is what we focus all of our attention upon. Lighting candles is the one mitzvah that we are commanded to keep, and it is directly connected to the miracle related in the gemara Shabbat 21b — the candles commemorating the lights of the miracle that took place in the Bet ha-Mikdash years ago.
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Interestingly, the gemara does not say that a festival was instituted because of the victory over the Seleucid army; instead, we commemorate a miracle, a small detail really, that took place within the broader context of that victory. Why does the gemara focus on this detail, rather than explaining the entire narrative? The light of the menorah was important, but it was the military victory, and the resulting political independence that were the primary events of the story of Chanukkah!
Rav Ezra Bick of Yeshivat Har Etzion suggests, that we focus on the candles as a way of framing the broader narrative, as providing a lens through which to see the whole story.
Reflections After the Fire
At a time in our religious history when there appeared not to be enough spirit to continue, when the old ways were virtually dead, when the flame was almost entirely extinguished, a small spark survived and that was enough to fuel the flames of growth, potential and renewal. When a fire is down to its final glow, it may seem to be all but dead, but so long as there exists a burning ember it can be re-ignited into a powerful and life-changing force.
Any moment in time can be the start of a new Temple, a new flame, no matter what may have preceded it. When it comes to learning about, watching and celebrating the miracle of Chanukah with our children and with our students, we are reminded, day after day, and one creative achievement of theirs after the next, that all that is needed is for them to have the spark from within and then fan the creativity and watch it flourish. Immersing ourselves in the educational life, culture and spiritual community that is SAR High School allows us to witness this on a daily basis.
Our building is constantly permeated with the noise of intellectual rigor, the depth of spiritual questing, and the colors, scents and sounds of creative accomplishments.
One need only walk the floors, or stand in the middle of the Beit Midrash and look up, to feel it and sense it. One of our primary goals, then, as an educational institution, is collaboratively figuring out how to best inspire and ignite the passion and creativity. This is done in varied and thoughtful ways by our community of educators. It is first and foremost reflected in our dual curriculum that is diverse and individualized, with multiple opportunities for student choice, as well as student input.
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