Seven years ago, my oldest daughter, Adar, was born in the early morning hours of Shabbat Tetzaveh. Josh and I had decided that her first name would be for the Hebrew month of her birth, but we weren’t sure what or if she would have a second Hebrew name. We went back and forth with names, unable to commit. But, when little Adar was in my arms and I read the first words of this Torah portion for guidance, I knew.
Moses is told by God, “You shall further command the sons of Israel to use pure olive oil for kindling the light of the lamps. Aaron shall set up this light to burn continuously in the sanctuary. It will serve as a light for God for all generations.” (Exodus 27:10)
It is no small thing, this commandment. Where would the Israelites procure the oil? How could they be prepared to have this special pure oil continuously available so that this light would burn eternally?
When I think about the responsibilities we take on, how many of them do we commit to in perpetuity? In this day and age, we can let go of almost everything. We can sell the house. We can get divorced. And even religious obligations don’t seem to carry the same weight as they used to, no matter how hard we religious leaders try. But parenthood is a sacred responsibility we can never be relieved of. No matter what happened, I would never un-become a mother. My heart would forever live outside my body; my greatest commitment would always be to her and any children that would come after her.
So, Adar’s second Hebrew name is Meirah – light. This week, I invite you to consider your most eternal commitments. What lights you up and gives your life purpose and meaning? How do you ensure that you are prepared to keep your sacred fire burning?
May your fire burn strong and bright, without fail.