For the past five weeks, our family has gathered each Friday night to sing a blessing over an empty corner.

We sold our small white china cabinet with the door that never quite closed properly a couple of weeks before we put our house on the market. We took down our Shabbat candlesticks—the pewter ones with hamsas (hand-shaped amulets) and turquoise stones that I picked out amongst so many on display in the Judaica store–because they reminded me of my home state of New Mexico–and wrapped them up carefully before we put them away in a box that ended up in a storage unit we rented for a few months.

A few days later, the staging of our little house was complete. Except for our ketubah, all of our Judaica was packed away, replaced with framed mirrors and prints of birds and flowers. Our red couch was slipcovered in white, and our wedding quilt was replaced with a white duvet. It was still our house, but it no longer felt like our home. We stayed with my in-laws for the week, because there was no way I was going to keep a white couch clean in between the showings.

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