Sanctuary

אשרי יושבי ביתך

“Happy are those who dwell in your House”

(from the morning and afternoon prayers)

I have seen your Glory reflected, H’, often in silence but also in song, in moments of prayer and in hours of study, in tender love and in tearful loneliness, in the good times of peace and in those long years of war.

I have heard your Voice echoed, H’, as it speaks through children’s laughter and the veils of  pain and suffering.

I have known your Reality sanctified, H'; it fills all worlds, it encompasses all, it vivifies all, it is everywhere, it is always, it is everything. 

But where is your House? Is there not a single shrine in which, day or night, I may encounter you? Is there not one place in which you are forever before me?

“In my heart I shall build a sanctuary.*”

בתוך לבי משכן אבנה לזיוו

(* By Elazar Azikri, a 16th-century mystic, who also composed the hymn “Yedid Nefesh”)

@2012 Jonathan Omer-Man