I was able to go outside and see the eclipse last night – by the time the moon rose and it got dark enough to see, it was pretty well eclipsed, and quite red.  Beautiful.

I stood outside and watched the moon, and looked at the covered patio that my husband is building for the grill/to hang out in, and I thought about Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles, which not coincidentally at all, started last night at sunset.  (I don’t celebrate, but I do contemplate).

During Sukkot, the faithful Jew creates a temporary structure with a roof through which you can see the stars (and feel the rain, if it comes).  For a week, it is slept in and eaten in, with visitors if possible.

Throughout the Bible a “tent” is the metaphor for the body.   What an interesting symbol – if you go out and sleep and eat in a booth with no proper top, you’re going to be exposed to every bit of weather, good or bad.  You’ll not have privacy.  You’ll not have security.  It will be fun sometimes, and annoying sometimes.  Much like life.

I think Sukkot teaches you to not be so attached to this body, this life.   We only wear this body as a temporary shelter.  Jesus came and wore a tent for a while, and now He has His eternal body… and He has promised us mansions.  We’re not supposed to be attached to this temporal existence, even though we are supposed to live in it, enjoy it, and share it.   The booth, open to every bit of noise and air and rain and heat… that’s not the forever place.

So, while death is part of life – I think that our revulsion for decay is our understanding that decay and death aren’t how things are supposed to be.  Health and life is what we were made for.  Entropy is a curse.  When we see decay, sickness, death, we pull away from a tent that is returning to the soil.   We are disgusted by the shell, outgrown and outworn and simply not fit for the soul it housed.   It never was, and now in death that becomes obvious.

Just a few musings before breakfast…

1 thought on “Tabernacles

  1. superslaviswife

    Wonderful. 🙂
    I guess death and decay also, to some extent, remind us of our own imperfections and the nature of being human. From the Fall of Adam and Eve to the idolization of celebrities, we feel that if we were closer to perfection, we would suffer less. Whether that is true or whether a memory of suffering is necessary to appreciate our gifts (again, looking at those blessed with “perfect” lives), we want to avoid suffering and believe that in aspiring to be better we can reduce or erase it.


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