February 25, 2022 / 24 Adar I, 5782
My Body as a Movable Mishkan
beauty in every detail
each breath, each moment
This week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel, repeats almost verbatim, the Torah portion from a few weeks ago, Terumah, describing in detail how to construct a beautiful portable tabernacle that the Israelites could carry with them throughout their travels in the desert. (This was my son, Jesse’s, Bar Mitzvah portion, thirty years ago this Shabbes!)
This is the white linen “priestly” garment that I have been wearing every Shabbes
during my Shmitah journey … adorned in holiness.
(The photo was taken by my daughter, Lila, when we were in Mexico together – Summer, 2019.)
Just as the Israelites built, cared for, and tended their portable sacred space as they moved through the desert for forty years, I am experiencing my own physical body as a sacred temple, moving through space and time during this Shmitah journey in the wild.
Wherever I go, as they say, there I am. There I am in my own holiness. In my own beauty. In my own glory. Honoring my own body as sacred space. And every step of the journey as holy ground.
The mishkan of our ancestors was constructed with exquisite attention to detail and adorned in beauty. These days, I am treasuring the incredible gift of a strong, healthy, and joyfully aging body, and marveling at its exquisite and intricate design. As I continue to reflect on how my body was created in the image of the divine (betzelem Elohim), I am cultivating a greater tenderness in caring for my body and my well-being, and delighting in a deepening connection with my body as beautiful, embodying the essence of holiness with every step.