Of Golden Spaces
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Parshat Terumah mentions the word gold 21 times as it goes into a detailed description of the Mishkan, the place the God resides while B'nai Yisrael trek through the desert. Gold is complemented by a list of other precious materials and the detailed descriptions describe a place worthy of God's presence. While reading these descriptions I was struck by one Pasuk that describes God's presence between two golden Cherubim with their wings spread wide. I have thought a lot about these Cherubim over the past few days. What were they? What was their form and why was that form chosen? How were they depicted in different texts? Most of all I thought of God's presence in that hallowed space then, and how that presence has shifted. This poem attempts to imagine God's presence in our lives.
It is between the golden wings of the cherubs that I once dwelt, their golden eyes unseeing. Their wings forever furled and frozen as they protected Me. Their golden ears listened to the silence
echoing through the halls of acacia wood, empty but for an occasional visitor
as they tiptoed down the hall. But it is now between the golden leaves of the trees that I dwell Each delicate leaf trembles as it cranes to listen
to your songs as you walk through the forest with your dog at your side on a crisp autumn day.
It is beneath the golden rays of the sun that I may be found one bright morning As you leave your home, your keys jiggling in your hand, a question on your lips as you lift your head and pause.
I hear you. It is between the golden wings of the finch that I fly As she sings you shall hear My voice As she flies, her golden wings are alive.
Her golden feathers quiver, a thousand tiny movements that lift her from her perch We both delight in her song. It is between glowing eyes of children where you will find me Their eyes flecked with golden lights Their smiles bright Their giggles and delight are My voice,
my answers to the world,
in their innocence I delight.
It is between the golden lights of the candles that I observe your circling hands sending ripples through the air
Currents fly, making waves. Allowing the tiny flames to do their swirling dance
as you stand alone
or with others by your side "Amen,"I say, as you murmur your prayer
with a voice as soft as velvet. It is between the golden acts of kindness that I will reside Helping hands reaching out to others, words of comfort and encouragement that fly as if on the wings of butterflies
floating from you to others
and from others to you Golden intentions, Golden words, Golden acts Gather, grow and weave a golden home for Me to be and to listen.
Exodus 25: 20-22 (Translation from Sefaria)
The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, shielding the cover with their wings. They shall confront each other, the faces of the cherubim being turned toward the cover.
Place the cover on top of the Ark, after depositing inside the Ark the Pact that I will give you.
There I will meet with you, and I will impart to you—from above the cover, from between the two cherubim that are on top of the Ark of the Pact—all that I will command you concerning the Israelite people.