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



View Complete List

Perspective on Possessions
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Not Good Enough
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Honoring Parents: Parental Guidance
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766


Our Brother, Eisav
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Ask Me No Questions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

> In G-d We Trust
Shlomo Katz - 5776

Yaakov vs Eisav Throughout History
- 5774

Majesty Resides Within!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Human Effort and Supernatural Help
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Know With Whom You Are Dealing
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775

To Win By A Hairsbreadth
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

On A Wing and A Prayer
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

A Few Small Jugs
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Profit from Loss, Light from Darkness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

God Watches Over Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

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