Torah.org 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 Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

No Fear, No Fair
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Great In His Own Times
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Communication Brings Unity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Too Perfect
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Taking the Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

ArtScroll

Raising Children: The Secret of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Did The Animals Come Or Did Noach Have To Bring Them?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Hide the Shame
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

Leisure Time
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Language Barrier
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

> Resilience is Key
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Improving Our Own World
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

When the Illegitimate Becomes Legitimate
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758



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