Hannukah 5777

Two commandments involve the doorstep. The Channukiah should ideally be placed just on the threshold of the home, by the doorstep or windowsill; when taking in a guest, the obligations of hospitality extend to accompanying the guest out to this same threshold. Boundary-spaces are complex and wonderful: they allow for the otherwise impossible interaction between inner and outer worlds, an interaction that defines both of them. When a confusing emotional inner-world (love, frustration) has to be conveyed to the outside world, this impossible act nonetheless takes place at the boundary, the lips, with language. Words tied to the soul like a flame to a wick radiate outwards, preserving distinctions while creating communities. Boundary-spaces are where miracles take place, despite everything.

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[Inspired by: Bavli Shabbat 21b; Rebbe Nachman’s  Tale of the Winged Guest (Chayei Moharan 85); Sefer Hayetzira 1:7;  and Pitagoro Filosofo by Pietro Longhi.]

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