27 March 2011 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #376, 5934 AM
The Open Plan House
Approaches to Sacred Tavnith
Continued from Part 1
As we approach times of great and sudden change in a world that has only changed gradually over the years it's perhaps worth looking back at the ways our notions of the way we think things 'ought to be done'. As a fallen race, humans have become creatures of habit, most learned from our parents and peers, and back across the generations. As a rule, we don't like big changes.
Take your average Western home. Most houses have kitchens, toilets, bathrooms, dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. These are all separated off by corridors and each room has at least one door. In more modern houses the kitchen and dining room are often combined, and in more 'open space' houses even the dining room is linked, often by doorless doorways. Even in offices things have got more 'open'. However much we move towards 'open space' in our homes, we are unlikely to do the same with bedrooms.
And yet go back to Tudor and Stuart times and you will find that bedrooms were 'open plan'. There were no corridors or private cubicles or rooms with doors in which to sleep. Those who could afford them bought four poster beds with curtains to have a modicum of privacy as people would typically pass by going from one place to the next in the house. Samuel Pepys lamented the time he stayed at the home of Sir W. Penn during the Great Fire of London, complaining that he "did give me a bed, but without curtains...so here I went the first time to a naked bed." Poorer folks had no such luxury and had open beds in open rooms.
Many of us are shocked and yet the vast bulk of mankind has always lived like this. Most houses anciently consisted of only one room combining kitchen, dining room and bedroom. Only the rich were able to partition certain rooms off.
In the House of Yahweh or Temple there were basically two main rooms - the Holy of Holies (where the Ark of the Covenant was stored) and the Holy Place (where the Menorah and other set-apart items were found like the table of shewbread). They corresponded to the Domain of the Father and of the Son, respectively. Only the Cohen Gadol or High Priest was ever allowed into the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year at Yom Kippur to make atonement for the nation. A thick, heavy curtain separated these two rooms to make sure no one either peeped or went in. Not until the death of our everlasting sacrificial Cohen Gadol (High Priest) Yah'shua (Jesus) on the Cross was the curtain rent by the Father and the House of Yahweh made 'open plan' - now anyone and everyone has direct access to the Father through faith (emunah) in, and submission and obedience to, the Son, who secured our atonement on exactly the same terms.
The world is only too anxious to 'throw everything open' in a haphazzard and unkosher way. Today sex is out in the open. Residents in Surrey, England recently complained to the local county council because a layby on a motorway had become a place for homosexuals to have intercourse in the open air. Public parks in some cities have become the favourite outdoor place for recreational sex between all kinds of people. Even in biblically sanctioned, kosher relationships, such behaviour is wholly unacceptable. We used to think public nudity was unacceptable - today the bedroom might as well be on the High Street.
Yahweh has strict rules for 'openness' - it is never haphazzard but always bound by sacred tavnith or pattern. We can no more expect one another to be 'open' in this random sort of way than we can expect Yahweh to address our needs when we refuse to come to Him on His terms. The fact that the High Priest of Israel had to go through such an elaborate and careful preparation before entering the Holy of Holies at Yom Kippur is to instruct us on the terms of openness not only from the stance of the Heavens but from the Torah stance on human relationships. If we don't approach those who have toqef or authority in the right way we can expect difficulties. For Yahweh it is unconditional surrender. We need to remember that. Complaining Martha was reminded of this truth by the Saviour who said to her:
Even the animal world understands these things. We have recently had a litter of puppies in our home and one thing I noticed was that if the puppies approached the bigger dogs in a wrong way they got growled at. This is something planted in them by the Creator, a common tavnith or pattern in all nature, including us. Even those cohenim (priests) allowed to go no further than the Holy Place in the Temple had to approach in the right way to be regarded as clean. Today all believers are cohenim and we must approach Yahweh with the proper lev (heart) in our bodies of flesh, which are our temples. And it is the same with the home, where the father or patriarch is its cohen of the domain assigned to him by Elohim (God).
"Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, 'Master, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.' And Yah'shua (Jesus) answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'" (Luke 10:40-42, NKJV).
Satan, of course, seeks to pervert all true tavnith (pattern), ripping down the walls established by Yahweh-Elohim and creating the kind of open space that leads to chaos and moral disintegration. The hippies initiated this in the name of 'love' but it was anything but true ahavah (sacred love) - the result was anarchy and we are reaping its evil fruits today.
Approach and present yourself to all toqefim (authorities) in the Torah way and be blessed!