It can be difficult to create a space in our lives that is safe enough for us to open up, to relax and to experience a connection with something beyond (or within) ourselves. For many of us, there is so much going on in our lives that we rarely have time to appreciate the stillness. If you read this week's Torah portion, it talks about building a Tabernacle in the wilderness. Very specific instructions are given regarding the materials to be used, the dimensions of the space and the way it is to be constructed.
Interestingly enough, the materials are things that were already available to the people, or that they had brought with them on their journey. The building is constructed in such a way so that the most sacred areas are deep within the structure, not even visible from the outside. Veils separated one area of the main room from another.
Aren't we each built in a similar way? We create our bodies and our minds through the foods we consume and from the sensations and information that surround us. We keep the most precious emotions and aspects of ourselves hidden from the outside, and only share them when we feel safe enough to do so. We segment ourselves into different areas such as work, family, spirituality. And when we look deep enough within ourselves, don't we usually receive the most accurate guidance and wisdom... whether we feel that this originates with God, or the universe, or simply our higher selves. It seems to me that when we can connect with this part of ourselves, we can experience "sanctuary" even during the roughest of storms.
I hope that each of us is able to experience that feeling of stillness and peace and get a sense of who we truly are.
ps. I had an amazing trip to Newton and Needham, MA a couple of weeks ago. The communities at Temple Beth Avodah and Temple Beth Shalom were extremely welcoming and it was a joy to share my music with you...
Here's a link to a video of my "Hinei Mah Tov" performed with Cantor Susan Glickman and MidraShir: