Hyssop is an herb that has been around since ancient times. It is native to Europe and the Middle East, and it has been touted with many properties.
If you have heard of hyssop, you are probably familiar with a famous verse from the Bible, Psalm 51:7, in which David cries out to God, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow,” after his episode with Bathsheba.
Hyssop has been traditionally associated with cleansing. Specifically, spiritual or ritual cleansing. In the ancient Hebrew culture, it was used as part of their Passover ritual. A bundle of hyssop was used to dip the lamb’s blood and mark the doorway prior to God’s judgement.
Hyssop was also used in ancient Levitical law to purify someone if they came in contact with a corpse or with leprosy. Interestingly, the ancients also associated hyssop with healing of leprosy, which may have come from the law.
What is common about these examples of Hyssop in the Bible is its purpose – restoration. People who had leprosy or came into contact with a corpse were considered “unclean.” They were distanced from their community. They were cast out.
When it was time for them to be re-integrated into society, hyssop was legally required to be a part of that process. The “cleaning” was more of a reinstatement of their place into society.
When David was crying out to God to be cleansed with hyssop, he was asking to be restored back to God after his mistake.
Let me explain why this is all so very important: this is the heart of Hyssop Tree.
In the physical, Hyssop Tree is a soap company – the soaps are true soaps (not cosmetics), which clean skin.
When a soap is purchased from Hyssop Tree, a second soap is donated to someone in need. That someone in need has been distanced from our modern society in some way, shape or form. Either from a mistake she made or a mistake made against her.
Just like hyssop in the Bible, this soap becomes a part of her healing – her restoration into society.
I believe we were made to live in community with each other. At the end of the day, every one of us has made mistakes. And we all appreciate a second chance. Some of us have been blessed to extend a hand to help our neighbors up.
It is my prayer that one day, our communities will be fully restored. But until then, Hyssop Tree exists to bring that restoration to others through everyday soap that we use to clean our skin.