Examine Your Life
Question  26. How do I bring the Divine Presence into my life?

   Rabbi Schwartz :
The Torah commands the Jewish people to build a sanctuary for the Shechina, the Divine Presence, and at the same time it commands that we should make a home for her in our hearts.*

Our hearts, namely, our most important thoughts, are the home to our desires and dreams. Just as we feel comfortable in our physical homes, so we feel comfortable with such thoughts, - and even when they are more than a little messy. And just as when an important guest visits us, we tidy the rooms and prepare delicious foods, so too must we do with our hearts.

We need to pray for the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash, we need to beautify our shuls and study halls (our mini-temples), and similarly, we need to ready our hearts for the Shechina to rest there.

How may we prepare our hearts? First, we remove all negative thoughts and emotions - resentments, complaints, sadness, anger, jealousy, irritation, etc. Second, we fill them with all that is positive and beautiful - love for Hashem, people and the world, honor for the Torah and its scholars, and a bubbling, exuberant joy of life. With such meditation and a sense of gratitude, our hearts then will become gorgeous, serene, happy places that draw the Shechina into our lives.

* Shmos 25.8 and commentaries

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