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Hiddur Mitzvah


Hiddur Mitzvah

Hiddur Mitzvah means the beautification of the commandments. We carry out the Mitzvot, commandments, some of them automatically even without reflecting on what we do. Most of the commandments are easy to fulfill; Netilat Yadaim, for instance, just needs us to wash our hands thoroughly, lighting the Shabbat candles we just have to use two candles and light them, and the Kiddush cup must hold a minimum amount of wine. As we should not be satisfied with minimum standards while fulfilling the Mitzvot and do it consciously it is the Jewish tradition to encourage the addition of an aesthetic dimension to the objects of the Mitzvot. It is important to perform each commandment in the best way possible, sparing no expense or trouble. It is the beauty of the ceremonial objects that enhances the fulfilling the Mitzvot as they add an aesthetic dimension that appeals to all the senses. The concept of Hiddur Mitzvah is derived from Exodus 15:2. This is my G-d and I will glorify Him. The Lord is my strength and my strong helper, he has become my salvation: He is my G-d and I will give him praise; my father's G-d and I will give him glory. It is common knowledge that beautiful things contribute to human enjoyment and by adding the aesthetic dimension to the commandments, Hiddur Mitzvah, we add depth and meaning to the religious requests and make it more than just a command but an act of love and understanding.

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