Yom Kippur, the day of spiritual elevation has come and gone. Those of you, mothers, who spent most of the day taking care of young children at home, may feel somewhat deprived. You may feel lacking in being part of the unique and most uplifting Yom Kippur "experience". I feel, however, that it is important especially during such times, to remind ourselves of the holy task we have as mothers: that of raising the children of the next generation.
I would like to ask you to tell yourself, over and over again, that your "service" in your own mini "Beth Miqdash" (temple), is likened to that of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. If our Tefilloth are considered to be in the place of the sacrifices, our daily activities in our home may be substituted for the Qorbanoth (sacrifices) as well.
Now that our thoughts and preparations are directed towards Succoth, we should approach the upcoming holiday with this same idea in mind and look for opportunities for spiritual growth. We can learn a profound lesson from the Succah itself. Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu writes (Dibre Mordechai), that as long as the Holiday of Succoth has not yet started, we are permitted to do whatever we want with walls of the Succah, the branches of the Sekhakh and the decorations. Once the holiday starts, the very same walls, branches and decorations, become sanctified and are not permitted for any use other than the Succah.
If wood, leaves, fruit and paper may be elevated and sanctified, how much more so we, who were created in the image of G-d, can elevate and sanctify ourselves.
As you prepare for the Holiday, dressing your children, cooking and even washing the floor, think to yourself: "What I am doing is special and important. This is my unique way of serving my Creator." Say to G-d: "This is my way of serving You, and drawing myself closer to You."