Mendy Kaminker

You know what’s holy? Your kitchen is holy!

Today I will show how I can read your mind!

This is we are going to do it:

Think about your kitchen. Now, think about one word to describe your kitchen. Have a word? Good. Remember which word you chose.

Now, think about your workplace (it can be a current or a previous one). Think about one word to describe it. Again, remember the word you chose.

Finally, if you have a car, think about one word that describes your car. Remember that word, too.

Okay, I think I have figured it out. No, I don’t know the words you chose, but I am pretty certain I know one word you DIDN’T choose.

The word is “holy”.

Was I correct?

That was pretty neat, no?

Well, to be honest, it was quite easy. Because we might use all kind of words to describe our kitchen, workplace and car. We might think of “messy”, “fun”, “challenging” or “inviting”, but we will never describe it as “holy”.

In our mind, the Kotel is holy. Yom Kippur is holy. The Talmudic sages are holy.

But the kitchen?

Let’s reconsider this notion.

When G-d told us “you are a holy people”, he didn’t say “you will be 10% holy” or “once a year holy”.

He defined holiness as our identity. Something that we are, 24/7.

Simply put, as holy people, we have the ability to bring holiness wherever we go.

And yes, we can bring holiness to the kitchen, too.

Here is one example. The Rebbe suggested hanging a charity box (aka “Pushkah” or “Tzedakah box”) on the kitchen wall, and to place a coin into it before you start cooking.

Other times, the Rebbe suggested to people to bring the Pushkah into their workplace. He even asked El-Al pilots to bring it to their cockpit!

Think about the power of this Mitzvah.

Let’s say you are in the kitchen, about to fry an egg or roast veggies. But right before that, you take a coin – it can even be a penny – and place it in the Pushkah.

Or you are sitting in the office, responding to emails, answering the phone that doesn’t stop ringing. And right there, in middle of the day, you simply grab a coin and put it in the charity box.

Or you are entering your car with some change in your wallet from your shopping spree, and place some of the coins in the Tzedakah box in your car.

On that exact moment, when your hand is placing the coin in the charity box, you are doing a Mitzvah.

You are opening a channel to the holiness.

You are bringing down the beautiful and divine light from above.

As we prepare the enter the Jewish New Year, I highly suggest to adopt these suggestions and place charity boxes in our kitchens, workplaces and cars.

And then, on Rosh Hashanah, we can say to G-d: we bring holiness into your world, please bring blessings into our lives.

May we all be always on the giving end.

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
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