This week's Torah Portion, Tzav, continues on the theme of offerings. When the temple stood, and offerings were brought, it was common to bring an offering for a special occasion, such as an offering of gratitude or an offering of atonement. However, there were also routine offerings that were brought on a daily basis and all of these offerings were placed on the very same altar, using the same fire, the ‘Aish Tamid’ - the eternal flame.
In this week’s reading, it speaks of this fire, and the verse says; "Aish tamid..... “An eternal flame shall burn upon the altar, it shall not be extinguished.” (6:6)
A double expression here - eternal flame and it shall not be extinguished - This is the teaching of consistency. A flame that is eternal—meaning that is constantly being fed—is one that will never be extinguished.
To bring an offering in a time of inspiration, when one is overwhelmed with remorse, or with gratitude, requires little effort. But to bring a routine offering, day in and day out, with that same excitement and inspiration, now, that's hard work. Yet all offerings, both unusual and routine, were offered on the same ‘eternal, constant’ flame.
The key to lasting success is perseverance - keeping at it - continuously , through the easy times and the hard. When we start something it is easy to find the passion and excitement to get started. A week later, a month later or years later, that is when we need the perseverance to keep the momentum.
We all have something in our lives which need constant attention, passion and perseverance to continue to grow - this week's torah reading infuses us with 'perseverance energy' to keep the flames alive and to continue to persevere towards success and fulfillment on a physical and spiritual level.