hiddur mitzvah

Alternative Spellings

hidur mitzva, hiddur mitzva, hider mitzva, hidder mitzva, hidur mitsva, hiddur mitsva, hider mitsva, hidder mitsva, hidur mitzve, hiddur mitzve, hider mitzve, hidder mitzve, hidur mitsve, hiddur mitsve, hider mitsve, hidder mitsve, hidur mitzvah, hider mitzvah, hidder mitzvah, hidur mitsvah, hiddur mitsvah, hider mitsvah, hidder mitsvah, hidur mitzveh, hiddur mitzveh, hider mitzveh, hidder mitzveh, hidur mitsveh, hiddur mitsveh, hider mitsveh, hidder mitsveh

Definitions

  • "Literally, 'beautifying the mitzvah.' The tradition of putting extra time, style, or resources into a mitzvah so that it is performed as beautifully as possible" (JPS).

Example Sentences

  • "This year I want us to make the sukkah with real hidur mitzvah." (Glinert)
  • "I wish your son could put a bit more hidur mitzvah into the way he cleans his teeth." (Glinert)
  • "It may interest you to know that Rav Ernest Weill, who was an important Orthodox “Grand Rabbin” in Alsace in the first half of the 20th century and who penned a French-language “Choul’hâne Aroukh abrégé”, wrote that electric lights were actually a hiddur mitsva for shabbat and chanukka candles because their light is so much more beautiful." (https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/09/more-on-electricity-shabbathavdala-candles/)
  • "The musical beautification of sacred texts also speaks to the issue of hidur mitsvah, the adornment of a sacred obligation, as a necessity for making prayer work" (https://yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Music/An_Overview)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

הידור מצוה hiddur mitsva 'beautification of the mitzvah'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

"Hiddur mitzvah is often given as the reason for traditions such as creating handcrafted Judaica or decorating the bimah with flowers on holidays. It is why Jews recite Kiddush over a fancy goblet instead of a paper cup" (JPS).

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