Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 128:5
The Month of Elul

5. From the Sunday before Rosh HaShanah until Rosh Hashana itself, [it is customary to] rise early (1) to recite Selichos (special prayers for forgiveness). When Rosh HaShanah falls on Monday or Tuesday, however, we begin reciting Selichos on the Sunday of the preceding week.

When we rise [before dawn], it is necessary to wash one's hands (2) and recite the blessing for that washing ("al netilat yadayim") (3), as well as the blessings for Torah study. After Selichos, one should wash one's hands a second time without a blessing (4).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) In most Ashkenazic communities, it is customary to recite Selichos either shortly before or shortly after dawn, because the end of the night is seen as a time of favor ("es ratzon"). On the first night, however, Selichos are begun directly after midnight (that is, "chatzot"). Many Sephardic communities begin reciting Selichos at the beginning of the month of Elul.

(2) Three times alternatively on each hand.

(3) There are two opinions as to why we have an obligation to wash our hands in the morning with a blessing:

a) According to the Rosh, since, during the night, our hands have almost certainly touched parts of the body which are considered dirty, the Sages required us to wash before morning prayers.

b) According to the Rashba, we are considered like a new creation in the morning, and therefore have to purify our hands before serving God, just like the Cohen in the Beit Hamikdash ("Temple") had to wash his hands before beginning the morning sacrificial service (Mishna Berura, O"H, 4:1).

In general, the procedure in the morning is to wash one's hands immediately upon arising from bed (to remove the "ruach ra'ah"), then one uses the bathroom, washes again, and then recites the blessings for washing the hands ("al netilas yadayim") and for going to the bathroom ("Asher Yatzar"), and then the rest of the morning service (Mishna Berura 4:1- 4).

(4) There is an opinion that at dawn, the "ruach ra'ah" (spiritual impurity) returns to one's hands; therefore, we wash a second time, but without a blessing, because the Sages did not require a blessing just for the removal of the "ruach ra'ah" (Shulchan Aruch, O"H, 4:14).

Back  Paragraphs 3 & 4  Table of Contents  Paragraph 6 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

Getting Our (National) Act Together
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

With Your Own Ears
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Switching Gears
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

> The Long Journey to the Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Military Tactics
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

How Can We Be Comforted?
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Twice the Responsibility
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Cling to Hashem
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Moshe's Prayers (and Ours)
Shlomo Katz - 5762

ArtScroll

Torah Study - Review vs. New
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Desire of the Fire Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Seeing the Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

For The Very First Time
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

The Good, the Bad and the Beloved
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Harpstrings of the Heart
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information