The zoo is an exciting place. But what makes it so great? Well, to tell you the truth, a lot of things. There are the live shows and demonstrations, the exotic animals from far off places, ferocious beasts that you can see up close, and of course the cute little penguins. It usually means a full-day family trip, coolers packed tight with peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, snacks, and juice boxes, and the bag of Cheerios that always gets left in the car.

What if those very same exotic animals lived in your home? Would you be so excited?

Seeing those animals, birds, reptiles and mammals that you’ve only read about can be extremely inviting and alluring. Furthermore, it brings Perek Shirah (an ancient text enumerating how each of G‑d’s creatures praise Him) to life! But what if those very same exotic animals lived in your home? Would you be so excited?

My family went on a trip to the zoo this week. While there, I saw a young boy talking excitingly to his parents about the grizzly bear that he had gotten so close to (even though the bear was a good 100 feet away). Oddly enough, only five feet away there was a grey squirrel eating an acorn. Yet no one was interested. Why is seeing the bear, lion, or tiger reminiscent of National Geographic Live while the squirrel and pigeon hardly evoke any emotion at all, except perhaps annoyance and irritation?

Those things which we only get a glimpse of once in a while inevitably appear striking and glamorous while those available to us on an everyday basis seem to be mundane and boring. As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” So how do we infuse the everyday with the once in a while? How do we transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, so it does not become laden with discontent? What about our day-to-day life? Is being Jewish, learning Torah, and doing mitzvahs exciting? After all, there are mitzvahs that are done on a daily basis—or even several times a day. Is there excitement in repetition?

So how do we infuse the everyday with the once in a while?

G‑d, in His infinite wisdom, gave us the answer in this week’s parsha. G‑d commanded the Jewish people to build a Bet HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) in which the spiritual would meet the physical, where heaven and earth would meet. It is there, in the Holy of Holies, that we would store our people’s most valued possession, the tablets with the 10 Commandments inscribed on them. It is there that we would bring our sacrifices and hear the Levites sing. The thought of attending services at the Bet HaMikdash is certainly awe inspiring, and one can imagine the sense of sanctity in the air.

G‑d tells Moses in Exodus 25:8, “They shall make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them…” The words “and I will dwell among them,” allude to not only the G‑d’s manifestation in the temple, but to each and every person, which can and must become a home for G‑d’s presence.

G‑d is teaching us a valuable lesson. Holiness is not a far off fantasy concept that only lends itself to excitement due to infrequency, suspense, and mystique. Rather, G‑d is involved in our day-to-day living, from large decisions in our life, such as where to live and whom to marry, to the most minute, such as tying our shoes and what to eat for breakfast. Our job is to reveal the sparks of holiness and unite the physical and the spiritual. Though there’s no admission charge for day to day life, and your cat may not be as exciting as a tiger, remember the world is as thrilling as you make it. Just don’t forget your cheerios.