Ki Tisa

Ki Tisa by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

And They Shall Wash Their Hands and Feet

In continuation of our study on the washing of hands and feet in the Temple, this week we will discuss more of the details of this washing. The Radbaz discusses the meaning of some of the laws in this washing. He explains that, on a simple level, the water for washing is meant to cleanse filth, considered dishonorable towards the sanctity of the Temple. According to this explanation, the water is used to wash specifically the extremities of the body that have a tendency to deal with the outside world and its filth. The washing is done in the morning to begin each day with a “clean start” and must be repeated in case of interruption of consciousness, i.e., sleep, or dealing with extraneous activities, for these matters express a lost conscientiousness to keep far from filth.
On a more esoteric level, the Radbaz explains that the reason for washing in the morning is because at night the attribute of judgment is prevalent, and at morning the attribute of mercy allowing for spiritual cleansing is prevalent. He explains that this is also the reason water is used, for water represents the attribute of kindness and mercy, allowing for this spiritual cleansing. He adds that this is also the spiritual meaning of the washing of hands outside the Temple for prayer and when arising from a night’s sleep. Why the hands and feet according to this explanation? The hands are the body’s furthest height when stretched above the head, while the feet are the body’s lowest extreme – when both these extremes are “sanctified,” the entire body between these two extremes is also sanctified. Also, the ten fingers of the hands represent ten “giving” sefirot, while the ten toes of the feet represent the ten sefirot which “receive” the spiritual “light” of the hands, thereby uniting the spiritual power of the hands and feet together. This unity is befitting to the Temple’s offerings – the “korbanot” – which literally mean “unifications/bringing matters close together,” for they unite the spiritual Divine lights together in the service of Hashem. Indeed, Hebron means unity – “hibur” – bringing about this unity through a constant “watering of kindness” and goodwill, stemming from our common roots, the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Hebron – “and He remembers the kindness of the Patriarchs and brings a redeemer for His Namesake with Love!”

Real Miracles:

A mortar blew out the windows of Avi’s bedroom in Gush Katif, scattering shards of glass on his bed. That night, he had decided to sleep at a friend’s house – something he had never done before. Irit was hanging laundry. Hearing the phone ring she went inside to answer it. A mortar shell landed in her laundry basket. No one was on the phone. Source:, Metzudat David – Radbaz, p 331


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