by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat
Written for The Wisdom Daily; inspired by the founding builders of Bayit.
What does it mean to be at home? Home is where we come from — unless where we come from makes us feel alienated or unsafe, in which case home is anything but there. Home, the saying goes, is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in — so maybe it has something to do with belonging.
To be at home, I need to feel safe being authentic. If I have to hide part of who I am, or leave part of myself outside the door, then that’s not really “home.” I also need to feel able to try new things. A “home” in which I don’t grow or change isn’t a permanent home: it might be a useful cocoon, for a while, but it won’t be satisfying in the long term.
Home can be portable: a set of qualities or practices or ideas that go with me wherever I go. Home can be people: the friends and loved ones with whom I feel most myself. Home can be a place, of course — or maybe many places over the course of a lifetime. Home is something we receive from those who came before us — and home is also something we build for ourselves. Continue reading “Why Judaism feels like home to me”