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Washing before Prayer

Cleanliness Is Next to G-dliness

I was once consulting with Rav Moshe Sternbuch about bathing due to perspiration during the Nine Days. After our conversation, Rav Sternbuch’s shamesh confided, “I have been close to the rav for nearly twenty years. During all the time I have known him, I have never seen him perspire.”

Sweat is produced by the elimination of unnecessary fluids from the body. Therefore, under normal circumstances the extremely righteous generally sweat very little, for they are able to use every component of their being for serving Hashem. Great Rishonim like the Maharil are reputed to have only changed their linen once a year before Pesach, and then they were completely clean.

Even in more recent times, tzaddikim have been observed to be completely free of any sign of perspiration even on the hottest days of the year. However, most of us are not on the level of these righteous individuals and perspire freely. Let us see what we can do on our level to present ourselves before Hashem during our prayers, with the utmost demonstration of honor.

Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



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