Home as Sanctuary
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel is well known for linking prayer with social activism. “Praying with our feet,” is how he described participating in protest marches on Shabbat. Less well known is how Heschel likens prayer as a home for the soul and body. Prayer is the infrastructure for our body and soul. At Yachad we take that idea one step further and say that our homes are like a sanctuary for that prayer.
“For the soul, Heschel states, “home is where prayer is. In their home, even the poorest person may bid defiance to misery and malice. That home may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow though it, the storms may enter it, but that is where the soul expects to be understood. Just as the body is in need, so is the soul in need of a home.”
Yachad’s work to make homes less frail—healthier and functional-- also restores a family’s dignity and resilience to life’s challenges. As we continue to pray with our feet, we must also work to see that homes in our community offer comfort and sanctuary for our body and souls.
Abraham Joshua Heschel, “On Prayer,”
Vol.225, No. 1970. Page 2.