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 HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Safely Carried on the Wings of Eagles
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

Repentance and Changing History
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Kinder and More Truthful Nation
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

No Threats, Just Decisions
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

You Cannot Hide
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Allusions to Elul
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

High Holidays & Sound Investments
Jon Erlbaum - 0

A Matter of Perspective
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5756

> Elul
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5755

Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Listen Up! Here's the Brochah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

ArtScroll

The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Be a New Person
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Thoughts for Pre-Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

The Sound of True Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763



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