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Sanctuaries - A book of religious fantasy

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Sanctuaries

Posted by Judy Git on August 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM

My new book is entitled Sanctuaries.  It envisions a world where, if you know where to find them, there are places where the boundary between the mundane and the Divine is just a little bit thinner, where a little bit of Heaven leaks into our world.  Do such places really exist?

 

If someone were to discover that Sanctuaries, exactly as I have described them in my book, with the increasingly paranormal phenomena that accompany the higher level Sanctuaries, really exist, there would be no one more dumbfounded than me.  Does that mean that nowhere in this world are there places which serve as balms to the soul, where one can find peace and contentment - even healing?  By no means.  Those kinds of sanctuaries (no capital) do exist.  I've been there.

 

It was not by accident that I chose to locate one of the Sanctuaries in Yosemite National Park, because, you see, for me, at least, there existed such a sanctuary in that location.

 

In 1981 my husband, myself and the only one of our daughters who was born then along with some friends and their (then) two children went on a road trip to Yosemite.  At the time we were living in San Diego, which was considerably cleaner, particularly the air, than Los Angeles where our friends lived.  Nonetheless, I had been suffering from allergy-like symptoms for an extended period of time.  When our overloaded station wagon rolled into Yosemite, my symptoms - as if by magic - disappeared.  There was beauty there, and peace and contentment, for all that we got a rather more detailed orientation on the habits of the bears in the park than would ordinarily have allowed me to remain comfortable.  Like Sheva and her family in the book, we stayed in something called tent cabins, and like Sheva describes it, "The scenery was breathtaking, the air was crisp and so crystal clear you could almost taste it."

 

In the final analysis, we may not be able to visit places where paranormal phenomena take place, but we can always thank G-d for His" miracles that are with us every day" (as in the Modim prayer in Jewish liturgy), and certainly one of those miracles is our ability to feel just a little bit closer to the Divine in some places in this world.  But it is up to us to find those places and more importantly, to tap into that capacity, for real sanctuaries reside mostly within our own souls.

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4 Comments

Reply Mordechai Broverman
9:08 PM on August 29, 2010 
I think that we have no choice but to be IN the places where paranormal phenomena are constantly occuring - indeed it would negate the basic tenets of Judaism to suggest otherwise. G-d is the Makom, and we are inside the Makom.

I thought you chose Yosemite National Park because of the "Semite" part of its constituency :)
Reply Judy Git
10:17 PM on August 29, 2010 
Mordechai Broverman says...
I think that we have no choice but to be IN the places where paranormal phenomena are constantly occuring - indeed it would negate the basic tenets of Judaism to suggest otherwise. G-d is the Makom, and we are inside the Makom.

Good point, Mordechai. Also, perhaps my favorite line in (Jewish) liturgy is in the Modim where we thank G-d "for Your miracles that are with us every day." The miraculous does exist in the mundane if we only keep our eyes open and look for it. This is why I had Shuli write a song based on that line. (Since she's my creation, she tends to be very accommodating.) :-)

Having said that, and also in reaction to your clever comment about YoSEMITE, I do want to make it clear that in the world of the Sanctuaries, there's a place for all non-evil traditions. (I can't conceive of a Sanctuary accommodatin worshippers of Moloch, e.g., a cult which called for the sacrifice of small children). Thus Yosemite would accommodate non-Semites just as well as Semites, despite its name.

I thought you chose Yosemite National Park because of the "Semite" part of its constituency [IMAGE]
Reply Jean English
11:26 PM on October 28, 2010 
Judy, your book sounds very interesting. Good luck in publishing it! I enjoyed meeting you at the Interfaith Forum tonight. Many ideas to think about!
Jean
Reply Judy Git
1:11 AM on October 29, 2010 
Jean English says...
Judy, your book sounds very interesting. Good luck in publishing it! I enjoyed meeting you at the Interfaith Forum tonight. Many ideas to think about!
Jean

Thank you, Jean. It was a pleasure meeting you, too. You should know that, towards the very end of the book, I describe an interfaith retreat; it was inspired half by a Jewish educators' conference I attended for many years and half by the very interfaith forums where we met and which I and my husband have also attended for many years running.

Judy