Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Holy Tools

by Reb Gutman Locks


     We have been formed and placed in this lower world by our Creator with the hope that we will live holy lives. This is our job. But how can we possibly live a holy life in a physical world? This is the primary question that we should be asking ourselves every day.
     The answer is easier than it seems. We live holy lives when we use the mundane, physical world for holy purposes. Then, as we elevate the mundane, the mundane elevates us.
     For example, what is the most difficult job a housewife faces every year? Spring cleaning! Yuck! Do you know what this entails? The house has been almost entirely closed up all winter. The windows were not opened, not even once. The place is stuffy. The rugs and floors have not been properly cleaned in months. The windows have not been washed in almost a year. The walls have not seen soap, not once since the cold weather came. There are clothes that haven’t been properly cleaned, and the chairs have not been washed…and on and on. Oy! What drudgery!
     But you know what? We can easily turn all this work into the holy service of Hashem. And if we do, it becomes easier, maybe even fun. How do we do it? We do it right after Purim with the intention to get rid of all the chometz (leavening) before Pesach (Passover). That house cleaning just became holy work. Every sweep, every wipe, every plate…it all becomes the holy service of cleaning the house for Pesach.
     We can do the same with all of our tasks in life. Even going to work can be made holy, if we do it for holy purposes. If our sole intention is to work to earn money, then no matter how much money we earn we will always feel that we need more. We will become enslaved by our job. But if we go to that same job to earn that same money, but with the intention to use that money for holy purposes, then those holy things become our goal, and our work will become holy, too.

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