Take Your Holiness With You

1200px-ISJabalMusaWhenever the Jews traveled, they dismantled the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) for the trip and reassembled it at their new encampment.

No matter where the Mishkan was reassembled, it retained all the sanctity of the original Mishkan that Moshe initially assembled.

From this we learn that when we travel we can take our holiness with us and reestablish it wherever we go.–Likutey Halachos, Reb Nosson

In this week’s Torah portion, Bamidbar, we learn about the journey of the children of Israel through the midbar (the desert-wilderness). This journey is possibly the root of the generally non-Jewish expression, “the wandering Jew.”

Wandering connotes seeking but not quite finding, approaching but always turning. But a wandering Jew, one who carries his holiness with him, is never lost. Hashem is always with him.

The Mishkan, dismantled and reassembled throughout the travels in the midbar, reminded each of those Jews in the desert, “I am here to reconstruct the Mishkan, therefore Hashem is here with me.”

But even today without the Mishkan, we know that Hashem is here with each of us, all the time.

Full-time Jew

Judaism isn’t really an ism the way other isms are isms. A Jew can’t decide to be a Jew on Shabbat, and something else during the week. You can’t check your Jewishness at the door when you go to work, or put it on hold while on vacation.You can’t leave it in the car while shopping at the mall, even if you crack the windows.

Even if you don’t consciously take Jewish holiness with you, you’re still Jewish. You take your Jewish soul with you, the one that’s imprinted with the good deeds you’ve done. The holy soul given to you from Hashem.

That goodness inside you, the place where you shine most brightly, contains all the tools and materials you need to build your personal holy Mishkan—wherever you may go.


Author: Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Chaya Rivka's own words: What do we want? To feel less pain and more optimism. To be happy and lead meaningful lives. This all requires healthy relationships. If we learn, share, and live his teachings, Rebbe Nachman gives us real, practical tools to improve all our relationships—with ourselves, with each other, and with Hashem. Chaya Rivka Zwolinski is the Director of the first Breslov program for women, BRI Women. She “discovered” Rebbe Nachman in her late thirties and credits his profound wisdom with helping her make a 180 degree-turn in life. She shares Breslov inspiration with women in her classes, workshops, live and online at BreslovCampus.org and in her work as a personal coach. She has authored and co-authored several books including the psychotherapy patient-rights best seller, Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On; she writes articles for Breslov.org, BreslovWoman.org, HealthyJewishCooking.com, PsychCentral.com, and numerous other publications; is a consultant to Breslov Research Institute; and is the director of curriculum and program marketing at BreslovCampus.org. She leads women's trips to Uman and Jewish Ukraine with BRI Women and the BRI Experience travel program and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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