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9 Days for Home Improvement?
August 07, 2016


Nine Days Home Improvement Project

As we approach the 9th of Av, the time of our worst calamities, we restrict activities that bring us joy. Vacations, weddings, wearing that new outfit, and decorating of our homes are some of the doings we put off. Holding back on things in life that fill our hearts with happiness serves to make room for the emptiness that we need to impose upon ourselves. It helps us to feel something when we cannot truly fathom the Temple's loss.

Emptiness is unsettling, we resist—we want structure, but our Structure is gone. We are builders, but we have not yet merited the Temple’s rebuilding. We are by nature an optimistic people. If the holy generations before us did not see the geula (redemption), how we in can our troubled times, be considered fitting to receive?

While this is not a time designed for structure, building, and happiness, we can direct these propensities in a way that just might answer these questions and help us through the next nine days.

Rebuilding Plan

Tradition tells us that when Jerusalem was destroyed, G-d’s Presence left the Temple and moved into the Jewish home. The Jewish home is called our mikdash mei’at, a temple on a smaller scale, and it has the potential to be a place where G-d can dwell if we will only build it to be so.

This is where we can create structure, build and “decorate” as we ensure our home reaches its potential as a mikdash mei’at. Here are some home improvement and decorating ideas that are totally permissible, even preferable, to work on this week.

• Reinforce the foundation with kindness and humility
• Build the structure for safety, both physical and emotional
• Establish walls to respect privacy and personal boundaries
• Inspect the roof to protect us from the negative influences that change like the weather, and can do permanent damage to those in our home.
• Decorate with thoughtful words, never litter our home with gossip
• Install windows to look upon our community in a positive light
• Set table for guests, words of Torah and sharing our day. And enjoy these 9 Days Recipes from The Kosher Channel:

9 Days Recipes
Crepes Recipes
Eggs for Dinner
Cook Once, Eat Twice

Hopefully, together, we’ll be rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash, one mikdash mei’at at time.

Chodesh Tov & Shavua Tov~

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