Creating a holy space
This week’s Torah portion, Trumah (offering), includes G-d’s instructions to build the Tabernacle, which would be a traveling dwelling for some portion of divine presence during 40 years of wandering through the desert. This description of sanctified space within the encampment raises interesting questions about how and when we create the distinction between the holy and the mundane in our own lives.
Most of us spend the majority of our time moving through routines. We wake up, those with children move them through their own set of morning rituals, and we make our way through the day, hitting the usual milestones along the way. It is not uncommon for me, at least, to end the day not having spent an enormous of time reflecting, processing, stopping to notice, etc. Luckily, I do have that experience in morning Tefilah (prayer), and it strikes me that my own Jewish practices create the (holy) time and space that I need to be a better husband, father, and professional leader.
Many Jewish practices reflect the idea that it is possible to bring the divine into our everyday experience, if only we take the time to stop. Saying a blessing before and after we eat. Saying a blessing after we use the restroom. Considering the decisions we make through the lens of Jewish values and ethics, rather than simply blowing through our daily decisions using whatever tendencies and preferences we have developed in our lives. All of these have the potential to create moments of holy time and space.
We decide how close we want to be to divinity. If we adopt even one new practice and observe it carefully, it will certainly impact us in profound ways.