Leaving Rooms unfinished in the Jewish Tradition
“Alot of people leave a part of their house unfinished to represent the destruction of the temple…to be a reminder that it can all be destroyed or something like that. Like they will have unpainted walls or unfurnished rooms.
It’s a reminder that ..I think it’s supposed to be that.. it’s not complete. Like it’s not complete until the temple is complete or the Messiah comes.”
My friend Jessie, a practicing Jew with strong ties to the Jewish community, described to me why her parents have an unfinished wing of their home. She described that some Jews leave a part of their home unfinished, some without flooring or paint or sometimes simply without furniture, to remind themselves of the destruction of the temple and the wait for the Messiah. It is left undone to represent the incompleteness of life and the look of what is to come.
It is an important folk religious practice that many Jews observe as a reminder of their faith and the future. It is a daily reminder and a physical image of a hard concept to convey with words alone. According to my informant, it has been going on for hundreds of years in the Jewish tradition, yet no rule or instructions are found in any written history of the Jewish faith. I assume the tradition is passed down through families, with children growing up accustom to the practice and go on to build their homes in a similar fashion as a way to honor their faith and upbringing.