A Grandmother Apartment for God?

A Grandmother Apartment for God?

What to do about Grandma? Many of us have had this discussion with our families. Should we build an addition onto the house: a “Grandma apartment”, if you will? Fill it with some, but not all, of her treasured memories? And what to do with the myriads of  family pictures, some of which were taken during the early days of photography, when the camera employed to collect those memories was, itself, nearly as big as an apartment?

Now imagine what Moses must have felt like when shown the plans for God’s apartment: the Mishkan, wherein God’s presence would be concentrated when the Israelites camped in the desert! An involved commission from the One who created the entire world? NO PROBLEM!! (Not.)

God just needed what every Grandma needs: privacy, a bit of distance, yet a way to be close enough to holler if necessary! Oh, and with exacting color and material requirements: you know, gold, lapis lazuli, purple, red and linen covers. Not much to ask for creating us, nurturing us, freeing us from slavery, ( Don’t even ask why ANYONE has to endure that dehumanizing experience), and teaching us how to live good, ethical lives by giving us SO many more than 10 commandments that Yom Kippur is required in order to atone for breaking them! So, isn’t God entitled to a few creature comforts? (Please excuse the pun on a not- funny subject: animal sacrifice) To paraphrase Captain Kirk in the movie, Star Trek VI-The Undiscovered Country,

“Excuse me…what would God need with a Grandma apartment?”*

Perhaps it is not God who needs the gold, the linen, the lapis and the beautiful woven curtains, reminiscent of sunrise and sunset. Perhaps WE do, for the same reason that we wear kippot large enough to cover our fists**: to remind us that, just as WE are not the creators of our world, we must not have a hand in her destruction.

Yael Fischman, 2023 For more blog posts, see https://www.renaissancewomankppot.org/blogs/muse

*The line from the movie is as follows:  “Excuse me, what does GOD need with a ship?”

** I learned this teaching from Rabbi Emerita Susan Grossman

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