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Get Clean

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 31/8/2019

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Get Clean

The Izbitza[1] teaches that the idea of the Kohanim washing their hands and feet (from the Kiyor) is removing נגיעות; bias. This idea is illustrated by theעגלה ערופה; the axed heifer, as it says ירחצו...לא ראו[2]; …our hands have not spilled this blood and our eyes did not see, meaning they had nothing to do with this murder. So too, a Kohen who does the Avoda needs to do רחיצה- that is, to remove the ‘self’ and completely submit to Hashem as he should only do what Hashem wants. For the same reason, we wash our hands before we daven.


With this, we can understand a deeper reason why we wash our hands before we eat a Seuda as we are now taking part in the physical world. We therefore want it to be with the proper intentions (to serve Hashem) and not to just fulfill our desires.

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] מי השלוח, Ki Sisa, s.v. ורחצו. The Izbita was the Rebbe of the famous R’ Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin.

[2] Devarim 21:6-7

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