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      Judaism: Spirituality in the Parsha: Vayakhel-Pikudei

      Published: Friday, March 16, 2012 9:02 AM
      LIfe is a blessing - Torah from the hesder yeshiva at Otniel, in the hills of Hevron.

      In Judaism, the morning begins with netilat yadayim, pouring water on the hands with a cup.

      The source of this practice is the ancient practice of the Kohanim in the temple, who daily sanctified their hands and feet

      .In the temple this practice was part of a reenactment of the process of dedicating the Kohanim, imbuing them with their special status. The daily reenactment guided them to live every day as a fresh beginning and to raise their consciousness to who they are and what their role is.

      The Bible describes the entire children of Israel as a nation of priests.

      Applying to all  the practice of pouring water reflects this Biblical idea that we are all  priests and that the world around is like the temple, an arena in which we are called forth to serve.

      Another meaning of netilat yadayim emerges from the Kabbalah.  The human realm parallels the divine and thus sanctifying the hands reflects the belief that human endeavor can be divine.