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Spiritual Tools-Mishpatim-Netilat Yadaim & Hamotzi Print E-mail
Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem   

So-What-Service-of-God-Machberes-Avodas-Hashem-MishpatimAn alternative explanation of the verse, “And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan (Genesis 37:1): The principle is that we should contemplate our ways and deeds, making sure that they are all for the sake of heaven; for “whatsoever the Holy One created in His world, He created but for His glory (Avot 6:10),” and this includes mundane objects.

 

Thus, your eating and drinking should be for the express purpose of strengthening the body, the better to be able to serve the Creator. Likewise, when engaged in the conjugal act, your thoughts should be direct it to fulfilling the commandment of marital relations (Exodus 21:10).

Similarly, all of your material, mundane actions should be intended primarily for the glory of heaven, elevating the holy sparks to their Source. For every material object contains love, fear, and beauty (Corresponding to Chesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet); when you desire to eat, drink, or engage in some other mundane activity, and you intend it for the love of God, you elevate the material desire to a spiritual one, releasing the holy sparks in these corporeal objects.

This is the mystery of the ritual washing of the hands before eating bread. The word “Netilah,” implies raising, as is seen in the verse, “And he bore them and carried them, vaYenattelem (Isaiah 63:9).” In washing, Netilat, the hands, one raises and elevates them; the Three hands, namely, the Great Hand, the High Hand, and the Strong Hand, which refer to the Three Attributes mentioned above. With the correct intentions, one raises them and returns them to their Source.

This is also the secret of the blessing, “Who brings forth the bread from the earth.” Bread signifies holiness, for the mystery of bread consists of its numerical allusion to the Name of God (The Tetragrammaton is numerically equal to 26, and the numerical value of Lechem, bread is 78). “The earth,” symbolizes the mundane and material. “Brings forth bread,” implies that the sparks of holiness are lifted up from “the earth” of the material.

When you conduct yourself in the aforementioned manner, you demonstrate your mighty love of God. There is no greater way than this, for it enables you to serve your Creator whereever you go and whatever you do, even in the most material aspects of the physical world. (Kedushat Levi; Vayeishev)

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