This morning, the day after Yom Kippur, I found myself doing the laundry. Since my retirement, I engage myself in a variety of household chores, at least those that my wife allows me to do. Doing the laundry is one of the permissible tasks.
As I folded the freshly laundered articles of clothing, the title of a well-known book on spirituality popped into my mind-"After the Ecstasy, the Laundry." Smiling to myself, I recalled a full day of ecstasy at Rommemu during the Yom Kippur service-we prayed, we sang, we danced, we wept, we laughed, we embraced and most important of all, the gates of our hearts swung open to receive the joy of forgiveness and teshuvah- returning to our Source.
Now, I was folding clothes-no music, no elation, no praises soaring heaven ward-only the fresh touch and smell of socks and undergarments. The ecstasy was gone, or was it? Is there nothing remarkable, wondrous about being able to have clothes to cover our bodies? Can we not recognize the gift of laundering our clothes in a machine just a few steps away from us rather than walking miles with heavy bundles on our backs and pounding at sweat drenched shirts and trousers upon a rock along a stream filled with hundreds of other pounders?
At that moment,the sensation of the clean and the fresh felt like the cleansing process of the High Holiday period-the cleanliness of body and soul converged and I felt a subtle ecstasy the morning after the great holy day, realizing that every day and everything holds the holy sparks of the divine. In my heart, I knelt before the holy as I had fallen to the floor of the house of worship the day before, and lay prostrate in humble gratitude before the Awesome goodness of the Giver of all things.