Updated: Jul 18
One day, the jewel fell and shattered into countless pieces. Undeterred, the king gathered all the fragments and distributed them throughout his kingdom, entrusting each citizen with a piece... * On Hayom Yom for 21 Tammuz
The Hayom Yom cites the verse, "They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I shall dwell within them" (Exodus 25:8). These words, originally spoken regarding the construction of the Tabernacle, carry a profound meaning. They reveal that within every Jewish heart, there exists a sanctuary where the Divine Presence, the Shechina, seeks to reside. This teaching invites us to recognize the immense holiness within ourselves and embrace the potential for a profound connection with the Divine.
THE HOLINESS OF THE WESTERN WALL
This teaching echoes a remarkable statement found in the Talmud (Berakhot 54a), where it is said that "The Shechina never departs from the Western Wall." It highlights the enduring sanctity of this sacred site, even in times of desolation and exile. Just as the Shechina remains steadfast at the Western Wall despite physical destruction, so too does the sanctity of our inner sanctuary persist despite external challenges. This belief beckons us to recognize and honor the eternal bond between the Jewish people and their sacred spaces.
THE UNWAVERING FOUNDATION
Embedded within this teaching is a call to embrace a life of mitzvot (commandments) and acts of kindness. The Hayom Yom draws our attention to the quote, "I am asleep but my heart is alert." This phrase encapsulates the unyielding foundation within each individual. While we may face moments of spiritual slumber or perceived desolation, our essence remains pure and vigilant. It urges us to awaken our hearts and engage in acts of kindness, charity, and the performance of mitzvot.
THE SHATTERED JEWEL
There once lived a devout Jew in a small village during the times of the Baal Shem Tov. Despite poverty and persecution, he exemplified unwavering faith and acts of kindness. When questioned about maintaining such devotion in the face of desolation, he shared a parable:
In the story, a great and holy king possessed a precious jewel. One day, the jewel fell and shattered into countless pieces. Undeterred, the king gathered all the fragments and distributed them throughout his kingdom, entrusting each citizen with a piece. The king declared that the presence of the jewel would forever reside within his kingdom, regardless of the state of its individual pieces.
This parable teaches us that, just like the shattered jewel, we are all fragments of a divine presence. Though the world around us may appear broken and desolate, within each of us lies a spark of the Divine. The inner sanctuary within our hearts remains untouched, ready to bring forth acts of kindness and illuminate the darkness.