My wife refers to my study as “The Cave.” I can’t blame her. It’s in the basement, damp and cold, without any natural light, and is quite crowded.
You can understand why my skin turned green when we visited friends in Great Neck and I saw their workspace. It has one wall of windows facing the Long Island Sound, with a second, perpendicular window with a view of a waterfall and a magnificent garden.
I generously offered to trade workspaces, but these, so called, friends came up with the excuse that it didn’t make sense for them to have a home office in Riverdale as long as they lived in Great Neck.
Certain places are more conducive to work. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai did very well in his cave, but for some reason, I can’t seem to adjust as well as did he. I prefer lots of natural light and clear space. A view would be nice, but, as you know, I am not greedy.
How would I have done in the Mishkan? There was no external light. It had its own internal light, Divine Light, that was perfectly adjusted for the people serving inside. The Mishkan was not a place to look out, but, within.
I suspect that is how Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai thrived in his cave. He wasn’t looking out, but within, and that is where he uncovered the light we all know as the Zohar – Illumination.
It’s back to the cave for me.
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