The Torah states “Do not burn any fire in your homes on the sabbath” (Exodus 35:3) which is understood both literally not to start fires and metaphorically not to engage in anger and conflict (machloket) which is likened to fire (Shlah HaKadosh, parshat hachodesh).
As life threatening fires rage throughout Israel and thousands of people are forced to evacuate their homes, I feel additionally concerned for the rage of anger that may continue well after the fires are extinguished towards Muslims/ Palestinians due to the possibility that some of these fires were acts of terror.
I pray first and foremost that the fires should be extinguished, no one should be harmed and that everyone displaced should be able to return to their homes by Shabbat. I also pray that no one should let their fears and anger burn with hatred with no distinction and nuance.
I have heard several stories of Palestinians opening up their homes to Israelis to stay during the fires and Palestinian firefighters working side by side Israelis fighting the fires in Haifa and Jerusalem.
Please God may you help us extinguish all these fires as we enter into Shabbat.
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