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

Email this article to a friend

Destroying Impurity

Rav Avraham ben Avraham was born to a family of gentile aristocracy, yet he decided to relinquish his status and become a righteous convert. His family, who were very devout in their religious beliefs, ordered him to renounce his Jewish faith or be burned at the stake. Rav Avraham refused to compromise and chose to die al kiddush Hashem (sanctifying Hashem's Name).

Rav Avraham was very close to the Vilna Gaon, who told him that he could be extricated from his punishment by using one of the Names of Hashem. The righteous Rav Avraham refused the offer, explaining that, if he was released, people might think that he had agreed to renounce his faith, and he was not willing to risk such a misconception. Sefarim say that when Rav Avraham made the blessing on kiddush Hashem the entire universe shook as a result of the tremendous act of sanctification.

On the day that Rav Avraham was executed, a great fire came out of the Ma’aras Hamachpeilah in Chevron, where the Avos are buried. The Vilna Gaon explained that Rav Avraham’s act of dying while sanctifying Hashem's Name caused the forces of impurity to be reduced drastically. As a result, the tumah that rests on one’s hands every morning upon awakening was also weakened (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as cited in Ishei Yisrael 2,17). Netilas yadayim is the first daily mitzvah performed as we wake up each morning. Doing it correctly has the potential to ensure one's day an auspicious start, while doing it improperly could bring on spiritual dangers. Let us look into the halachos of netilas yadayim so we may appreciate the deeper meaning of this mitzvah.


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON BALAK:

View Complete List

Is Sincerity at Steak?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

You Can't Pick Your Cards...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

The Fourth Patriarch
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Bilaam... Reincarnated?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5768

Hear What You Want
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Behold! A Nation
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

ArtScroll

Bilaam's Obsession
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

A 'Well' Learned Lesson
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

G-d Doesn't Play Games
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

> Not Racist but Reishis
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

A Different Kind of Friend
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Symbolism Over Substance
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Making Time
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Reflecting on G-d
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5762

Die Like a Jew
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Donkey Talk
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759



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