Morning Blessings: Who Sanctified & Commanded
“Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the Universe, Who Sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us…” Did God not sanctify us with His Mitzvah? The text should read, “Who commanded us and sanctified us…”
The Vilna Gaon (Aderet Eliyahu: Vayikra 18:5) explains that God first sanctified us, meaning He created us with the ability to be spiritually elevated through each Mitzvah and with the ability to impact the Upper and Lower worlds with our performance of His Mitzvot, before He gave us the Mitzvah.
God commanded us with the Mitzvot only after imbuing both the Mitzvah and our souls with Sanctity.
We must have this in mind when reciting this blessing: That we possess the ability to be elevated and changed by the Mitzvah, and to impact the worlds through the Mitzvah, and that His commandment is to take advantage of these abilities.