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Daily Mitzvot

Every day offers numerous opportunities to do mitzvot and elevate the humdrum monotony of daily existence. Here's the how-to...

Modeh Ani
The day’s first battlefield is your bed, and the first shot is fired when the alarm clock rings. “I Want” reaches out to hit the snooze button; “I Should” is ready to jump out of bed and take on another day . . .
Morning Hand-Washing
Get Your Hands Wet!
In the Holy Temple, the priests would wash their hands before their daily service. And every individual is a priest in the temple of his or her home and heart...
The Shema
Declare Your Belief
The Shema starts with Judaism’s defining statement: “Hear O Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One.” It then discusses some of Judaism’s basics, such as love of G‑d and Torah study.
Fringe Judaism
Most people don’t think of Judaism as a fringe religion. Yet that’s our uniform. Under their shirts, Jewish men and boys wear a poncho called a tallit katan, with fringes hanging from each corner . . .
Shacharit–Morning Prayers
Rise and Climb
It’s time to climb a ladder, to ascend to the heavenly spheres and fortify our sensitivity for G‑d and spirituality. After this daily booster we descend, equipped to tackle the day and the struggles it will present . . .
To Love G-d
Spread Your Wings
As a bird soars the skies on its two wings, so a mitzvah is carried upward upon wings of love and reverence. Problem is, how do we grow wings? If you don't love, what does it help to have a mitzvah to love?
Awe of G-d
Fear, Awe & Wonder
The Torah liberates us by declaring there is only one thing to fear—not failure, not others, not even death. The only thing to fear is G‑d.
Be Happy!
For a joyful person, the toughest tasks are a cinch, the strongest adversaries easily vanquished . . .
What Is a Kippah (Yarmulke)?
Traditionally, Jewish men and boys wear the kippah at all times, a symbol of their awareness of, and submission to, a "higher" entity.
Torah Study
Lighten Up Your Mind
A Jew is always studying Torah—24/7/365. We take breaks to eat, sleep, pray, make a living and reenergize. The remainder of the time we connect to G-d through studying His wisdom.
Blessings Before Eating
Say Please!
The world is a temple and the food is divine—as long as you bless its Creator before you eat or drink...
Meal Hand-Washing
Beyond Pasteur!
Do the ritual washing of hands, say a blessing on the food and then dig in, to elevate all those carbs and proteins into a divine experience . . .
Grace after Meals
No Free Lunch
Enjoyed the meal? Don't forget to thank the host. You are the host? No, no…you are the guest—in G‑d's world. So when you're finished eating, don't forget your Grace after Meals!
Meat & Dairy
The laws of kashrut require that in addition to not eating them together, we wait a specified period of time between eating meat and eating dairy.
Minchah - Afternoon Prayer
Time Out!
You’re in the middle of it all, the traffic rages, the phones won’t leave you in peace, and adrenalin races through every vein. It takes courage to tell the world to stop while you chat with its Maker.
Maariv – Evening Prayer
Even in the Evening
The third of the three daily prayers, called the maariv (or arvit) prayer, is recited after dark (the first two are recited in the morning and afternoon). This prayer was instituted by our Patriarch Jacob.
Bedtime Shema
All’s Well That Ends Well
We all know that how we slept at night determines a lot of how we perform the next day. That’s one good reason to get into the “Bedtime Shema” routine . . .