Serving Hashem with Honor

In the section of davening dealing with the ketores (incense offerings), there’s a section that discusses what was mixed with one ingredient in order to give it a more pungent smell. A certain sort of wine may be used, but someone asks, “Urine is proper for this?” The answer is that we don’t use urine because of the concept of honor for the Beis Mikdosh, and urine is gross therefore it shouldn’t be brought into the whole area.

What can be brought out for those in terms of practical avodas Hashem is the concept of doing things in a kovodike (honorable) way. Rather than settling for an inferior form of avodah, such as a 15 minute Shachris in a non-extenuating circumstance, which though it may fulfill the barest function of tefillah, clearly isn’t such a kovodike way to daven, we should rather take real time to daven properly. This goes for all other mitzvos of the Torah. There are ways to perform mitzvos in that they should be honorable, in regards to aesthetics as well as kavonno (intent), time spent on the mitzvah, and general concepts of beautifying mitzvos that I don’t think need to be explained here. The key thing is to treat each mitzvah like it’s a precious jewel, rather than settling for something that is low grade and undignified according to any rational sense, we must seek to increase the honor and dignity of each mitzvah we perform throughout the day to the greatest of our ability. It sounds hard, but that’s only because of the yetzer hara many of us have to cut back on mitzvos and things directly connected to mitzvos, instead of reducing effort on unnecessary things.

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