The Sanctuary of Home

The Sanctuary of Home April 11, 2020


The home should be perceived as a microcosm of the universe.
– Rebbe Menachem Schneerson

Modern Judaism places a strong emphasis on the sanctity of home. Our tradition encourages us to cultivate homes of love, of peace, of learning, of hospitality, of discussion, of patience, of forgiveness, of comfort, and of beauty, even if it’s a simple beauty.

Currently, many of us are spending more time at home than ever before, and likely more than we ever will going forward. So, now’s a good time to ask – what quality of home have I/we cultivated? Is our home a place of refuge and joy? Is it a place of peace? Or have I/we cultivated a home of discord, chaos, and conflict?

Anger in a home is like rottenness in fruit.
-Talmud, Sota 3b

We’re in the middle of Pesach and we just celebrated one of our most sacred holidays – at home. We would have likely done so even with the coruna virus. Much of Judaism happens at home or can happen at home – Shabbat, holidays, learning, gatherings – Jews have focused on creating holy space within their own personal dwellings long after the destruction of the Temple and the experience of exile and wandering.

Make your home an assembling place for the wise, and drink their words with zeal.
-Pirkei Avot, 1:4

More so than ever before we can assess, and perhaps change, the type of home we’ve created and see if it aligns with our better Jewish values. After all, now we have the time to reflect on such things, to make positive changes, to heal broken relationships, to make the small and large changes that can make our home a truly holy space.

Build your home in such a way that a stranger may feel happy in your midst! ”
-Theodor Herzl

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