Hiddur mitzvah

So this Wednesday in Hebrew school we learned about hiddur mitzvah—that’s making all your Jewish stuff look as pretty as you can because it shows God how much you like being Jewish and making God happy. And anyway, so I decorated my very own shabbos candlesticks, with gemstones and yellow paint, and I worked really hard at it, and at the end of class my teacher smiled and said, “Good job!”

Last night Friday, while Daddy was driving home he stopped at the light on top of the hill, and after he stopped Mommy said, “Look at that sunset!” And then we all looked, and it was bright pink and my favorite color orange with just a little bit of sun halfway set, and the clouds looked like carnival cotton candy.

Then the light turned green and Daddy kept driving and I whispered to God, “Good job!”



They all entered into the flow, constricted by the walls but refreshed, red with excitement and propelled forward by a force they could not control.

They came trudging in at the end of the cycle, fatigued and stumbling along, demanding replenishment, needing energy before they could do it all again—

And then they joined together, pulled by an irresistible desire—and with an uprising of might they crushed through, crossed the barrier into a new realm—which was the same realm they had entered thousands of times before.

Past the electric, frenetic crush, the sweetest part came—when they entered the red-walled chamber, the treasure-room where fresh air and new energy were freely given to all. They lingered for a moment, luxuriating, before they began the cycle again.



Dear SK—
I don’t go to this much trouble for most people, you know.
Heck, I wouldn’t do this for anyone else.
I baked bread for you.
I was actually standing there in the kitchen, up to my elbows in flour, dough digging under my fingernails, because I know how you feel about fresh-baked bread on the table.

And did I tell you that the phone rang?
Yeah. And because I was expecting a call, I went digging through my bag with powdery hands, so my stuff was left covered with smudges from the flour, from the dough for the bread that I wouldn’t be making for anybody else.

So I hope you appreciate the effort.
Because I don’t do this for just anybody.