40 in 40 · Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Why My Laundry Is Holy

“Shavuot … is a calling to bring transcendence and spirituality into this world. We don’t aim to escape this world, we aim to transform it.”

Rabbi Shmuel Reichman

One of the things that most appealed to me when I was first learning about Judaism was the way it touched every aspect of life.

Something as commonplace as making dinner, eating, or even going to the bathroom, instead of just another moment that passes by mindless, becomes a chance to bring more holiness into the world.

There is not a separation between holy and mundane (though we do find it between days designated for greater holiness, Shabbos and Yom Tov), but rather taking the mundane and infusing it with holiness.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and I often struggle to remember to be mindful about making blessings over food, especially after food, and to have intention when I do holy things. It’s easy for habit to take over, but I do strive to make new habits to be more mindful and more appreciative of this opportunity to take my daily living and elevate it.

And so, when I really think about it, even washing and folding laundry can become holy when I contemplate how clothing the next generation is an act of loving-kindness, how it helps with the middah of neatness or cleanliness, how it gives honor to Hashem by dressing His children respectfully (and yes, I consider my 5-year-old wearing pajamas as fulfilling that mission). I can additionally elevate it by listening to a class, or contemplating the six constant mitzvos, or on focusing on being grateful that I have laundry to do, that I have a laundry in my home to do it, and the energy (sometimes) to do it.

All that holiness, just in laundry.

-Featured Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Why My Laundry Is Holy

    1. I feel like it’s a life-long challenge, but when it does happen, when I do have some amount of kavannah, it feels really rewarding. Hatzlacha to all of us!

  1. The family guru would say, “When you are washing that pot, you are doing your tafkid.” He passed away recently, and think of those words often.

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