> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Kindness Hacks

Transforming the Mundane

Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8 )

by Shoshanna Dresner

Amongst the flow of names mentioned at the end of this week's Torah portion, one person is highlighted with a special quality. "And Chanoch walked with God" (Genesis 5:24).

The Midrash relates the Chanoch was a shoemaker. As he stitched the shoes his mind was occupied with elevated thoughts. Rabbi Yisroel Salanter explains that these elevated thoughts were not of a mystical nature, but thoughts that ensured that each stitch was perfect in order not to cheat his customers, and to ensure that he provided them with comfortable shoes.

His main motivation was to help others, rather than merely make a living. This was how he attached himself to God. (Michtav MiEliyahu)

With his mind, he transformed each stitch. A mundane job became an act of loving kindness. This is a life changing concept.

Actions that we don't usually look at as being acts of loving kindness can be imbued with meaning simply via our intentions.

An accountant is helping people to manage their accounts, a surveyor is ensuring safe and comfortable living conditions, and a grocery owner is providing the public with nutrition. Once realised, a day to day job can take on a new meaning.

The same principle applies also to smaller daily actions such as handing something to someone, or even emptying the rubbish on behalf of the household.

With the correct thoughts the actions become beautiful and fulfilling acts of giving, benefiting both the giver and recipient.

A changed mindset can transform the mundane into a mitzvah.

Shabbat Shalom!


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