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Make Yourself at Home

06/02/2022 01:47:26 PM


There is no place like home. This is especially true when you are on vacation. While it is nice to be in a
new location with new routines and opportunities, I find that when I am away, I miss my bed and the
comforts of home. Moreover, when you throw children into the mix, it is much easier to entertain and
parent children surrounded by all their toys and belongings. Our homes ground us and center us. They
are our base of operations. An ideal home is one where you feel safe, comfortable, and at peace.

As we begin a new book of the bible, the book of Numbers, we are reminded that the Israelites are only
a few months into their second year after the Exodus. (Spoiler alert) We know that the Israelites have
yet to wander the wilderness for decades, but even at this moment I imagine the Israelites have a sense
of uprootedness – a sense of homelessness. They have been on the move and in a constant state of
flux. However, one thing that offsets this sense of impermanence is the presence of the Tabernacle and
the Tent of Meeting. Our portion begins: β€œOn the first day of the second month, in the second year
following the Exodus from the Land of Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the
Tent of Meeting, saying...” (Numbers 1:1). While the Israelites will continue to have to break camp and
move from one place to the next, Rabbi Benno Jacob imagined that the presence of the Tent of Meeting
was grounding for the Israelites. Knowing that God dwelled among the people and that the camp will
always have the furnishings of the Tabernacle provided a base of operations for the Israelites. No matter
where the Israelites were, they knew they were supposed to be there.

On our journey through life, there are many moments where we feel transient between two things. Looking
for grounding and order, we yearn for the stability of routine; the stability that comes from stopping in a
place of refuge and sanctuary. Certainly, the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting were places of
meaning for the Israelites. What are the places of refuge in your own life? Where are the places you feel
most at home – where you can catch your breath and recenter yourself? And where are the places
where you can invite God to dwell among you and bring more meaning into the chaos and the constant
flux of our lives?

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784