Guest Post: Apartment Therapy in Shul (Synagogue)?!?

Guest Post: Apartment Therapy in Shul (Synagogue)?!?

Jill Slater
Oct 14, 2005

I attended Ritualab for High Holidays this year. It was and, will hopefully continue to be, a very un-conventional but very spiritual approach to the Jewish new year and day of Atonement. I was pleasantly surprised, when as we were awaiting the closing of the gates towards the end of the service the leader took us through a meditation of our bodies and our homes! Amichai, our spiritual guide, asked us to think about each part of our bodies, working our way up from our toes to the hair on the top of our heads. As we reached each part, he would pose questions about our use of those parts and any associated good or bad will evoked that might have been directly or tangentially relevant. Once we finished with the body, we moved on to our homes! We were asked to slowly move through our apartments, stopping in each room for a sizing-up in terms of our metaphysical, emotional, sensory, and spiritual needs. Even though we were supposed to focus on the room and nothing else, I couldn’t help thinking, for a moment—this is the entire gist of Apartment Therapy—right here! He asked if, perhaps, there was a picture hanging that we had been meaning to change for months; what was in our refrigerator and whether we were cooking healthy things for ourselves or always eating take-out, etc, etc. Between our body and our home environments—the two things over which we purportedly have the most control, we could make a full assessment of our behavior for the past year, acknowledging that which we would like to improve for the coming year and that for which we want to atone.
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