Simeon ben Lakish teaches: The Torah given to Moses was written with black
fire upon white fire, sealed with fire, and swathed with bands of fire.
While writing it, Moses wiped off the reed on his hair
thus he conceived the radiance that was to emanate from his countenance
Aside from the beauty
of its imagery, this midrash has a crucial message for Jews of every
generation. Fire is essentially dangerous and potentially destructive.
Used aggressively as a weapon, it can maim and kill; handled carelessly,
one can set fire to one's surroundings and be burned oneself. The challenge
of receiving the Torah is to use its lessons to spread warmth and light,
nourishment and love. The person who succeeds in so doing, will
like Moses radiate goodness and draw people
near to him.
Among the articles on FIRE, we include:
Theophany at the Burning Bush
Fire as a sacred folk symbol of life and fertility
Why the study of Torah is likened to fire
Talmudic views on (the fires of) sexual temptation
Midrashim regarding the creation of fire and
ancient Israelite fire
A close look at the Havdalah ceremony
Have a look at our unusual collection of JHOM electronic
greetings cards; these may be sent at no cost to your friends and relatives.
From the poem "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1971)
by Anne Sexton (1928-1974).
 JT, Shel. 6:1, 49d [back]