Does Ordinary Become Extraordinary?
The Rabbis’ gift was to infuse sanctity into each and every act of our day. We often believe that our Judaism can be checked in and out at the door of the synagogue. When we are in the sacred sanctuary versus when we are in our offices and our homes, do we need to lose the label of our Judaism?
Parshat Ki Tissa tells the Kohanim that they must wash their hands before they enter the Holy Temple in order to perform Avodah, the sacred service.
The Rabbis extend this ritual to every individual, creating the mitzvah of netilat yadayim, washing our hands, both before we break bread and before we pray each morning.
Our tradition teaches the purpose of our creation is for us to bring honor to God and to serve God. Each morning, upon waking, we are considered to have been created anew by God, thus renewing our purpose in our creation as well. The washing of our hands each morning is analogous to the washing of the hands of the priests in the Temple.
In essence, we are given the opportunity to make our table, our home, our lives, a sacred altar each and every moment we recite a sacred blessing.