Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

A Sparkling Countenance

During Shemoneh Esrei we come face to face with Hashem, and in respect to His grandeur, we should take every precaution that our presence is befitting while speaking to Him. A person’s face is literally the interface between himself and Hashem, and one should make sure that his appearance is fitting for this conversation. At night while sleeping one’s face can get dirty, and the Rambam writes that it is proper to wash it off before praying (Hilchos Tefillah 4,3).

It is interesting to note that the Shulchan Aruch does not cite washing one’s face as an obligation before tefillah. However, many Rishonim and poskim cite this as the halachah (Eshkol Hilchos Tefillah p. 6, Ra’avad ibid., Magen Avraham and Mishnah Berurah 4,1). Certainly if a person’s face got dirty during the night, he should wash himself beforehand in honor of Hashem.

After washing off one’s face, he should dry it well, for the Shulchan Aruch writes that “washing one’s face without drying it properly causes the skin to crack.” In a scenario where the skin has already cracked, the Shulchan Aruch recommends that one “should wash his face with beet juice and this will heal the cracking” (Shulchan Aruch 4,20). According to the Zohar, one should first dry off his hands before washing his face (Artzos Hachaim 4,72).

Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



View Complete List

A Beginning With No End
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Great Expectations
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

- 5768


Chaos From The Beginning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

A Mate, not a Maid!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Nobody Ever Promised We'd Understand
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Cherish the Memories
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Know that you Know Nothing
Shlomo Katz - 5755

A Walk in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

> The Children of Parents
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Adam Regrets His Gift to Dovid
- 5768

The Final Letters Spell 'Emes'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Eating from the Tree; A Deeper Look
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Knowing This World and Using it Well
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

The Nature of Human Behavior
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

What are We, Dirt?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information