With G‑d’s epic kindnesses and the pure generosity of my in-laws, my husband and I are building an apartment in Safed. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re busy hammering away, but there is much confusion and frustration involved, and endless stressful decisions. Home renovation is known to be one of the all-time challenges in a marriage.

While visiting and taking stock of just how hilarious the Israeli construction site was, my Dad said to me, “You guys are doing great. If you can build a house together, you can do anything!”

My chest melted; it felt really good to hear that. It was the first time I took stock of how united we had become through this process, despite the stress.

One morning, my husband asked me, “Are you going to have your friends over more often when you move?”

You move?” I asked playfully, a raised eyebrow. We both laughed at the silliness.

He made a fake frowny face. “I meant, we move.”

The silliness of it hit on a truth. I only need this house to live in with you. The need for the home with all of its many details was for the sake of our family being together. That was the secret sauce that had been helping us through all the many details: the desire for us to have a home together.

That driving force meant that our togetherness was more important than who was right about some detail that went wrong. Feeling connected was not only the end goal but the purpose. And without it, the process would have lost all meaning. It would just be an empty shell of a house, not a home.

One day, the contractor was meeting us at the apartment. Ariel was finishing a meeting before he came. I felt annoyed that he wasn’t here yet, even though he had a good reason for the delay, because it made me look bad to the contractor. I reminded myself, at the end of the day, I am going to be living here with my husband, and this meeting and what the contractor thought of me will just be a distant fleeting memory.

Another time, I wanted the window frames to be a different color than the building allowed. Ariel watched me go through hoops and ask the same question 30 times to see if somehow it would be possible to choose a different color. Seeing that Ariel wasn’t judging me because he knew this was important to me was an amazing feeling of support.

And then there was the time when we felt stressed because the contractor wanted to know the paint colors, but we had not finalized them. (We were still debating between two shades of white, which can drive a person to insanity). We did not allow that stress to pollute our morning tea together. And so we sipped in the peace and kept the stress waiting for us for later.

Chassidus teaches that the world was born out of G‑d’s desire to have a home. And where exactly? In the lowest of all worlds. Home sweet home. The ultimate fulfillment of that home is with the coming of Moshiach, when G‑d’s essence will be experienced fully in the world.

Sometimes, I feel like a hired worker here to do Torah and mitzvahs, and create a home for G‑d. A voice inside of me gets resentful, and when things don’t go my way, starts to ask, “What about my needs and desires? Why do I always have to do these things for G‑d?”

That is when I need the teachings of Chassidus to bring me back to the simple truth.

G‑d only needs a home if He has me. The entire purpose of all of creation is the intimate connection and active relationship He wants to have with every single Jew.

We are the home.

The places where we allow G‑d in become our sacred space, heaven on earth.

Unlike the construction crew, we aren’t leaving the site. G‑d wants a home to live happily ever after with each of us. He doesn’t want a home that we build so He can live happily ever after by Himself.

We are building this home together, which means being connected throughout the process. Torah and mitzvahs are the rock-solid indestructible foundation that keeps us focused on building.

But then to make it a real home, not just a house, I have to let G‑d fully into my mind and heart. That means releasing my fears and giving myself permission to feel G‑d’s love.

I am not a crew member on a hired job. I am not awaiting payment one day. The connection, the closeness, that is the only “payment” I could ever desire. “The reward for the mitzvah is the mitzvah.”

To build a home for G‑d in this world I have to have a home in my heart. I am the palace we have been building together.

Dodi dofek pitchi li—“My beloved is knocking.”1 Let Him in. Enjoy the home you have built together. Cozy into your own being. And trust there is nowhere G‑d would rather be.