Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Coming out Clean

Chazal find a source for the mitzvah of netilas yadayim in the verse, “I will clean my hands and then circle the altar of Hashem” (Tehillim 23,6). Aside from alluding to the simple act of washing one’s hands, David Hamelech is advising us how to succeed in our tefillos. Washing one’s hands symbolizes repentance, for after one has done teshuvah he is fitting to perform the service in the Beis Hamikdash (Metzudas David). Repentance for transgressions is the first step before approaching tefillah. Cleansing oneself from sin, however, is not enough. Only after washing his hands clean of all worldly endeavors can one focus completely on Divine service (Seforno).

The verse continues, “To proclaim thanks to Hashem, and to speak of His wonders.” After one has separated himself from transgression and worldly matters, he is no longer obligated to bring sin offerings. At that point, he can concentrate on the Korban Todah, a sacrifice offered to Hashem in gratitude for His infinite kindness (Malbim).

David Hamelech teaches us that washing our hands symbolizes a three-step process of teshuvah, focusing on spiritual matters, and then thanking Hashem. We start our day with this powerful reminder of our purpose in life as Jews. With that thought firmly planted in our hearts we are ready to approach the mitzvah of tefillah.

Starting our day with netilas yadayim, Cleanses our body and soul for prayer.


Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Errant Deification
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Heads Up!
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Cloned Stone
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

> Lots More To The Story
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Amalek - Blinded by Nature
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

The Generous of Spirit He will be Blessed
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Higher than Sinai
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Bucking the Trend
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Flaming Desire
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

ArtScroll

Washing Hands
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

The Birthplace of Idolatry
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Esther's Lesson in Nature
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Complete Dedication
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

Parashas Parah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

From Rags to Riches
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

A Matter of Choice
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760



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