Sacred Space from the Second Temple to Zuccotti Park

Trashed books from the Occupy Wall St. library

Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, writing in Religion Dispatches:

On Monday night, November 14, 2011, the mayor of New York City ordered the police to evict the 500 or so overnight occupiers in Zuccotti Park. As part of the eviction, tents and computers, books and papers, food and toilet paper were destroyed, actually ground fine in dumpsters. Many falsely thought the movement wouldn’t survive its physical eviction and material destruction. They were and are wrong.

Sacred space may start with tents and have a middle stage in church buildings, even sanctuaries. But sacred space has no need of one place. It can occupy many at the same time. They did not destroy all the books in the Occupy library. Some of those books are being retrieved at the New York Police Department “lost and found.” Sacred space is not one place; and you can grind a book to dust but not destroy it.

Though she doesn’t mention it specifically, I couldn’t help but think of the destruction of the Second Temple and the creation of the Jewish diaspora when I read this description of the razing of Zuccotti Park. Indeed, wasn’t this precisely the idea that gave birth to rabbinical Judaism? Following the trauma, there came the realization that “sacred space is not one place”

From the Temple to tent cities, tyrants have made the fatal mistake in believing that by destroying the place they can destroy the idea…

2 thoughts on “Sacred Space from the Second Temple to Zuccotti Park

  1. jpeditor

    Revolting. The rioters, drug dealers and drug users and rapists being led by Soros-and-union-funded-professional communists were defecating all over the streets

    Their goal isn’t to fix what’s wrong in our society, its to tear ALL DOWN and “organically” build anew with “consensus” from anarchists, supporters of jihad, and with the support of the groups that PUBLICLY ENDORSED THEM:


    This is what you call a “sacred space”?

    IT IS THE CESSPOOL OF AMERICA and you are now forever identified as a supporter of the contents and a disgrace to Judaism.

  2. Nancy Bruski

    What a sad comment was left by jpeditor. There were some homeless folks who drifted into Zucotti Park, and this is in part because they have nowhere else to go and in part because the Occupy people fed them and helped them. What person who thinks of him/herself as a good Jew would denigrate the attempts of people to focus attention on the huge disparity in income in our society and the terrible effects of the big banks’ malfeasance on the entire fabric of our society? The banksters got bailed out, while the rest of us face chronic unemployment, foreclosures, and at the very least, financial insecurity and flat or lower incomes. I am a wholehearted supporter of the Occupy Movement and am proud that they have shifted the conversation from “wasteful government spending” to the 99% vs. the 1% who wield all the power and own our government to the detriment of most average U.S. citizens. What happened to our commitment to the greater good and the American Dream? That dream is dying before our eyes. I thank God for the Occupy Movement!


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