“And a person if/when he will sanctify his house holy to G-d, and the Kohen will evaluate it whether good or whether bad . . .” (Vayikra/Leviticus 24:17). Ostensibly, the Torah discusses the process for donating a house to support the Holy Temple.
This coming Sabbath we complete the book of Vayikra/Leviticus by reading a double Parshah, Behar and Bechukosai. In Behar, we learn about the shemitah or sabbatical year and the yovel or jubilee year, laws about selling land, and how to prevent poverty.
Bechukosai gives the blessings and the curses that will befall the Israelites depending on whether they follow G-d’s decrees and commandments. The rest of the parshah deals with gifts to the Temple and how they are redeemed, how houses and fields are redeemed, and tithes.
Maybe it is because I spent so many years appraising real estate, but when I think of evaluating a house as a donation the words more or less valuable, not good or bad, come to mind. Truly there are bad houses, like the haunted ones that torment their inhabitants, but I doubt that is what the Torah has in mind. There must be something more.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk comments that it is comparatively easy for a person to be in a sanctified state when he is engaged in spiritual matters. But to be truly holy, a person must sanctify the mundane, daily activities of managing a household and act properly even when only G-d is watching, such as in his house.
This sounds good in principle. But how do we do it?
Do you speak to your family as nicely as you to do to your commanding officer, supervisor, or customer? Do you take as much care with household chores as you do with your job? A home should be a place in which you can be yourself, but is it proper to expend your better self on co-workers and then subject your family to the leftovers?
Perhaps you will think about orienting your day so that it begins when you get home. Click here to learn how.
When we consider how difficult it can be to connect with G-d through prayer, the challenge of elevating run-of-the-mill tasks may seem insurmountable. Yet, if we truly wish to improve our relationship with Our Creator we must strive to elevate our home life so that when the Kohen comes to evaluate it his unavoidable assessment is good.
Question – What ideas do you have for sanctifying your home?
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