Beautify ALL Your Mitzvot
Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16 )
After the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, the Jewish people sang a song of praise to God. "This is my God, and I will glorify Him…" (Shemot 15:2). The Talmud says in reference to this verse that when we do a mitzvah we must glorify it. For example, having a beautiful sukkah, shofar, Torah scroll etc.
We find the same concept in reference to charity, "When you give food to a hungry person give him your best and sweetest food….give him your best clothes" (Rambam Laws of Isurai Hamizbaiach 7:11).
Being careful with mitzvot between man and God is of utmost importance. But do we apply the same stringency and caution to mitzvot that are between man and man?
One Passover the men in charge of baking matzah in their town approached the great sage Rabbi Yisroel Salanter and asked him what they should be extra cautious of with when baking the matzah.
The Rabbi answered, "Be careful not to hurt the feelings of the widow who worked in the bakery."
It can be easy to serve a delicious meal in honor of Shabbat and keep its laws to perfection, but at the same table to speak gossip and speak badly about people, or to buy the most beautiful etrog, but ignore the charity collectors on the street outside the shop.
Someone following the Torah in its entirety will glorify all mitzvot, and will bake matzah to halachic perfection, as well as treating those around them with the same care.
Torah ideas adapted from Love your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin