We Jews have recently spent many, many hours, even days, praying in the synagogue during the High Holy Days. As powerful and meaningful as these days are, there is a shadow side to them as well. We tend to over associate God and God’s presence with the space we’ve just had these religious experiences. Over time we come to believe that somehow it’s the synagogue that is holy, the place to be holy, the space where God is most readily found.
Although a synagogue can be a holy place, it is not the only holy place, which is partially why we move out of this space for the next eight days, from the synagogue to the sukkah. Among so many other reasons, this move is an important reminder that God is not in the shul, the temple, the synagogue, the mosque, the church, the ashram…
“Where is God’s dwelling-place?” asked Rabbi Mendel of Kotzk “God dwells wherever we let God in.”
It’s important to search for God in your house of worship. It’s just as important to make room for God in your home. It’s lovely to experience God indoors during the High Holy days. It’s also beautiful to experience God outdoors, in a sukkah, strolling along the seashore or walking down a sidewalk Wherever you might be at the moment – that’s where God dwells, not just in expansive sanctuaries, open huts or boundless seas, but most of all within our expansive mind, open heart and boundless soul.
Where is God’s dwelling-place? Wherever we let God in.
Happy Sukkot & Happy New Year
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