1)Fire! The Zohar has a novel understanding/reading of the third pasuk in Vayakhel. The pasuk reads (35:3) ‘do not ignite a fire in your dwellings on the day of Shabbos. But the Zohar understands ‘fire’ here to mean arguments and bickering. This is party because fire represents passion. Whereas water symbolises a degree of calmness and serenity; water merely takes the shape of its container, fire, on the other hand, is more destructive, it moves, and can consume its container. Thus, according to the Zohar, the pasuk is warning us not to have destructive arguments with each other on Shabbos. In fact, Chazal (see gemarra Gittin 52a) reveal that the yetzer hara/sattan makes a special effort to push us to argue on Erev Shabbos - presumably he realises that an argument on Shabbos eve can spoil the sanctity and serenity of Shabbos. 2)Fire, Fire! The only act singled out by the Torah explicitly as forbidden to do on Shabbos is igniting a fire. The other prohibited activities are learnt via non-explicit references or rules of extrapolation of the Torah. Why is fire-ignition singled out? There is a halachic dispute in the gemarra (Shabbos 70a) as to whether this singling out of fire is to tell us that fire is the exception or the norm in terms of punishment for violation of Shabbos. However, the Da’as Zekeinim here (35:3) gives us another answer. Lighting a fire is singled out as a forbidden activity because it does not seem like such a big act (compare the act of building or weaving), so one might (mistakenly) think that the Torah never prohibited such a thing. So the Torah specifically mentions that even the small act of lighting a fire forms part of the prohibited acts of Shabbos. Indeed, the fact that such ‘minor’ acts are forbidden on Shabbos (and can carry the death penalty) show how spiritually important Shabbos is. For the more important an event is, the less leeway for error there is. Take a heart operation, for example. The smallest act can have the most grave consequences. So too on Shabbos, seemingly ‘small/insignificant’ acts are forbidden as a result of the day’s immense holiness and importance.

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