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Parsha Mitzvot: Vayakhel: Mitzvah 114 – Concept 89

“You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:3) The court must not inflict punishment on Shabbat. (Rambam, Hilchot Shabbat – The Laws of The Sabbath)

One the one hand, kindling fire in itself is not a productive, creative, but primarily, rather a destructive activity. But on the other hand, the ability to artificially produce fire is just that which first gave human beings their true mastery over the world. Only by means of fire can a person create tools, or analytically and synthetically probe into the inner nature of things. (Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch)

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