It’s the fifth day of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. But at a time when we try to fight darkness and spread the light with eight flames of fire (or, okay, nine), there’s some of the other kind of fire going on — a bad fire, or what Beavis and Butt-head would call a “heh-heh” fire.
Fires in the Carmel and Haifa region of Israel have wreaked devastation on wildlife, industry, and people. A number of relief funds have been set up. One of them, the Carmel Fire Relief Fund, is a great charity that’s doing direct action in the region. (It’s especially noteworthy that the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and ROI Community are offering to match all donations up to $500 for the next 10 days, if you follow this link and say you know an ROI member — don’t worry, you’re not lying; you know me.)
Fire is a touchy subject this time of year. MJL and Bible Raps just made a new music video, “Spread the Fire,” that we’ve been getting tons of positive feedback about. A few people have suggested that the song is inappropriate, given the tragedy in Israel. But fire, like most other things in this world, can be either a positive force — spreading light, making blessings and songs and keeping away predators in the jungle — or a destructive one. I think it’s especially important now to recognize the difference…and recognize the blessings of fire at the same time that we try to fight its devastation.
UPDATE: I was just asked by ROI, please mention my name (Matthue Roth) if you choose to donate! Not for name-dropping purposes, but so they know to add it to the total for matching gifts.