When I think of my holy place I think of the Sydney Football stadium on a Sunday afternoon with the sun shining on my face, cold beer in my left hand and a Maxi-bon in my right. I am sitting in the coliseum of greatness where my heroes spilt blood, sweat and tears for the pride of the Guernsey. That is my tabernacle, a place of worship to the young men who go to battle for the love of the game and the cheer of the 40 000 strong crowd every week.
In this week’s parsha, God instructs Moses to start to build a tabernacle. A place of worship and adoration for the Lord our God. Special oils, woods, leaves and silver were used to make this the holiest portable site for the Jewish people. The Torah says that a cloud would appear over the tabernacle when God was present and no one could leave until the cloud had left and at night there would magically appear a flame to signify the presence of God. It was a place where Jews could come and worship, feel safe and show expression to what they cared about.
So there is no more temple, no more cloud and I wouldn’t even know where to find acacia wood and tanned ram skin. So where do we worship now? Where is our spiritual nest? What geographical location do we feel the safest and happiest.
I hate to be a cynic but I highly doubt a synagogue in London or Manchester is that place for many. We need to find it and I am making it my mission to do so. Where is this place, where is it hiding or do I already know it. Could it be under the blankets on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Maybe it’s the countryside or the icy mountains of the far north.
We all have that one place in the world where our hearts strings are pulling us towards, a place where we become ourselves and experience life the way we want to. I am going to take a wild guess and say that we are not all currently in that place.
Besides the Sydney football stadium on a Sunday arvo I have my soul set on another and more meaningful sight of beauty. This is how my dream goes; a small time kibbutz in the Galilee with plants so green and luscious, at 4pm on a warm afternoon as the sun is setting for another day I am sitting in my favourite chair with a Turkish coffee looking out into the abyss. Ah the poetic beauty of it all, one day I will be there.
This Shabbat, find out where your holy place is. The place you know you need to be, from where you’d rather be.