איסור רחיצה ביום כפור ובו יב סעיפים
אסור לרחוץ ביום הכפורים בין בחמין בין בצונן ואפי' להושיט אצבעו במים אסור ואם היו ידיו או רגליו או שאר גופו מלוכלכי' בטיט או בצואה או שנטף דם מחוטמו מותר לרחצם שלא אסרו אלא רחיצה של תענוג: “The prohibition of washing on Yom Kippur” - Containing twelve paragraphs.
It is forbidden to wash on Yom Kippur whether with hot water or with cold water, and even sticking one’s finger in water is forbidden. But if one’s hands or feet or the rest of his body is dirty with mud or with excrement or if one has blood flowing from his nose, he is permitted to wash them (those parts which are dirty), because the only type of washing that is forbidden is washing for pleasure.
נוטל אדם ידיו שחרי' ומברך על נטיל' ידים ויזהר שלא יטול אלא עד סוף קשרי אצבעותיו (ולא יכוין להנאת רחיצה רק להעביר הרוח רעה מעל הידים (הגהות מיימוני): A man washes his hands in the morning and makes the blessing over the washing of hands.97When hands are washed the following blessing is recited "Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast has sanctified us with Thy commandments, and commanded us concerning the washing of the hands". He should be careful not to wash his hands beyond the joints of his fingers.
Hagah: He must not intend enjoyment of the washing, only to get rid of the evil spirits98The washing of one's hands in the morning was not necessary because they were dirty and had to be cleaned, but rather the washing of one's hands in the morning was of a symbolic nature to remove the evil spirits which were believed to cling to the fingers at night while one was asleep. The washing of the hands rinses the evil spirits away so they can not enter the body, (Alexander Guttmann). on his hands, (הגהות מיימוני).99Hagahot Maiuniyyot, הגהרת מיימוני; see footnote 27.
אם הטיל מים ושפשף בידו או עשה צרכיו וקנח מותר לרחוץ דהוי ליה ידיו מלוכלכות (ורוחץ עד סוף קשרי אצבעותיו) ואם רוצה להתפלל אפילו לא קנח נמי מותר ליטול עד סוף קשרי אצבעותיו: הגה וכן כהן העולה לדוכן נוטל ידיו אע"פ שהן טהורות דכל רוב רחיצה שאינו מכוין בה לתענוג מותרת (הגהות מיימוני פ"ב מהל' י"כ ומהרי"ל) ולכן אפי' בא מן הדרך ורגליו כהות מותר לרחצן (ב"י בשם הגהות מיימוני וסמ"ג וטור הלכות ט"ב): If one urinates and handles it (his penis) with his hands or he goes to the bathroom and he wipes himself, he is permitted to wash since his hands are dirty. (Hagah: and he washes up to the ends of the joints of his fingers.) And if he wants to pray, even if he did not wipe himself, he is also permitted to wash (his fingers in water) up to the ends of the joints of his fingers.
Hagah: And so it is with a priest who goes up to recite the priestly benediction,100The priestly benediction, Birkhat Khohanim, ברכת כהנים, was also known as the Nesi'at Kapayim, נשיאת כפים, or the lifting of the hands. It was part of the daily service in the Temple every morning and evening before the thanks-offering the priests would raise their hands up and pronounce the three-fold priestly blessing from a special platform called a dukhan, דוכן. Therefore the ceremony has also been referred to as the dukhenen. The ceremony was transferred into the daily service in the synagogue. In Ashkenazi communities it is restricted to the Musaf, Additional Service (see footnote 166) of festivals but is omitted on Simḥat Torah because the Kohanim might be drunk and when the festival falls on the Sabbath. It is said during the Amidah (see footnote 43) of the Musaf Service during the fifth (of seven) benediction which calls for the restoration of the Temple Sacrifice Service where the priests served in performing the sacrifices for the people to God.
The Hebrew text of the blessing Numbers 6:24, consists of three short verses of three, five, and seven words respectively. It mounts in gradual stages from the petition for material blessing and protection, to that of a divine favor as a spiritual blessing, and it climaxes in a petition for God's most consummate gift of peace, which encompasses the welfare of all material and spiritual wellbeing. These fifteen words have a rhythmic beauty to them. They are introduced by a reminder of the Temple Sacrifice Service and a prayer for its reestablishment. The blessing was only spoken by Aaron but it was a blessing of God.
The words that the descendents of the priests chanted in front of the congregation from the ark covered by their prayer shawls with their fingers separated in the middle are as follows:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee:
The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord turn his face unto thee, and give thee peace.
And the congregation responds "Amen" to each blessing.
Hertz, op. cit., pp. 834-37. he washes his hands even though they are clean because the majority of (the instances of) washing which are not intended for pleasure are permitted, (הגהות מיימוני פ״ב מהל׳ י״כ ומהרי״ל).101Hagahot Maimuniyyot, chapter two from the Laws of Yom Kippur and Maharil, הגהות מיימוני פ״ב מהל׳ י״כ ומהרי״ל.
For Hagahot Maimuniyyot, הגהות מיימוני; see footnote 27.
For Maharil, מהרי״ל; see footnote 8. Therefore even if one comes from the street and his feet are dirty, it is permissible to wash them, (ב״י בשם הגהות מיימוני וסמ״ג וטור הלכות ט״ב).102Beit Yosef in the name of Hagahot Maimuniyyot and Sefer Mitzvot Gadol and Tur on the Laws of Tishah be-Av, ב"י בשם הגהות מיימוני דסס"ג וטור הלכות ט"ב.
For the Beit Yosef, ב״י; see footnote 20.
For Hagahot Maimuniyyot, הגהות מיימוני; see footnote 27.
Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, סמ״ג, is also known by its acronym SeMaG for Sefer Mitzvot Gadol. It was written by Moses ben Jacob of Coucy, a thirteenth century French scholar and tosafist. Moses of Coucy was the first French Jew to serve as an itinerant preacher, who wandered from town to town and from country to country trying to inspire Jews to renew their faith in God. He began his work in Spain in 1236 apparently after he received some mystical revelation. He excited people to renew their following of the commandments of tefillin (prayer phylacteries), mezuzah (Shema prayers placed on the doorpost), and ẓiẓit (garment fringes) which they had been lax in observing. He also spoke against a practice that had become common among Jews of Spain, having sexual relations with Gentile women. He stressed the value of the study of Torah and all positive commandments which had declined in Spain along with the allegorization of the Bible as a result of the philisophic writings of Maimonides which had become popular in the thirteenth century. Because of his vast sermonizing he received the name of Moses ha-Darshan, Moses the Sermonizer.
The SeMaG, Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, is Moses of Coucy's most extensive and important work, and it was first published before 1480 probably in Rome and again in Italy in 1547. The work is unique among the rabbinic writings of the period because of its style and arrangement. It contains the essence of the Oral Law, and it is arranged in order of the precepts divided into two parts, the positive and the negative precepts. Coucy based his work on the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (see footnote 59) and he quoted from it directly on almost every page. He basically added to the words of Maimonides using as his source the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds as well as many midrashim, halakhic and aggadic commentaries on the Bible. He also employed the works of French and German rishonim, early scholars (see footnote 16). Coucy changed the language of the midrashim to fit in with the style of Maimonides. The order to the SeMaG is different than that of the Mishneh Torah and even different than Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot (see footnote 59) which also lists the 613 commandments in positive and negative precepts because Coucy was not familiar with this work by Maimonides. At the end of his book Coucy included rabbinic precepts so as to instruct the people in the way of the Lord, which had been his original aim. To reach this aim, Coucy also separated those precepts which had practical value from those which were no longer applicable. The work of Moses of Coucy, because of his travels in Spain and his discovery of the works of Maimonides, helped bring Maimonides to the awareness of the French Jewish community. It is ironic that the allegorization of the Bible that Moses of Coucy fought so hard against was the result of the philosophy of Maimonides whom, as a halakhist, Moses of Coucy respected so much.
Moses of Coucy employed the following style in Sefer Mitzvot Gadol: he began with a scriptural verse touching on the subject, he then sighted interpretations of the verse found in the Talmuds and the halakhic midrashim. He then gave explanations based on commentators and halakhic scholars, and finally he summarized the halakhah. He weaved into the discussions aggadic and homiletic aspects, many of which were his own creation that displayed a love of God and his fellow man. The SeMaG became quite a popular and well known work among Jewish scholars for many generations. Isaac of Corbeil who had the title of "Head of the Yeshivot of France" compiled a book that was completely dependent on the SeMaG and he called it Sefer Mitzvot Katan, SeMaK, (see footnote 27), and he made it compulsory daily learning for every Jew. The SeMaG was the most accepted halakhic code among Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewry until its position was taken over by the Shulḥan Arukh. (For an explanation of the SeMaG and how it fits into the entire picture of codification literature, see the introduction to this thesis).
Israel Moses Ta-Shma, E. J., v. 12, pp. 418-20.
The Tur, on the laws concerning the Ninth Day of the month of Av, טור הלכות ט״ב.
Tishah Be-Av is a fast day which commemorates the destruction of both the first Temple (586 B. C. E.) by the Babylonians and the second Temple (70 C. E.) by the Romans in Jerusalem which traditionally occurred on this date, (M. Ta'anit 4:6). (Actually records show that the major destruction of both Temples was on the tenth of Av but the Talmud proclaimed the Ninth Day of Av as the official day of mourning). It is a national day of mourning for the Jewish people. The rules regarding washing one's feet only if they are dirty (for cleansing purposes) are the same on Tisha Be-Av as they are on Yom Kippur.
The Mishna, loc. cit., also points out other calamities that befell the Jewish people on the Ninth Day of Av. It was on that day that the children of Israel were told they could not enter the Promised Land following their exodus from Egypt. On the Ninth of Av Bethar, the last stronghold of the leaders of the Bar Kokhba revolt was captured in 135 C.E. and exactly one year later the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, established a heathen temple on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem and made the city a pagan city which the Jews were not permitted to enter. The Jews later were expelled from Spain in 1492 on Tishah be-Av. This day then became a symbol for the persecutions and misfortunes of the Jews throughout history.
Fasting on the Ninth Day of Av as a day of mourning might have even been in practice during the second Temple period, and it was certainly part of the Jewish life in mishnaic times. It is a fast like Yom Kippur, from sunset to sunset.
In some places it is customary to eat a boiled egg during the last meal before Tishah be-Av sprinkled with ashes to symbolize mourning. No meat or wine is to be included prior to the fast. It is a day of national fasting and mourning. The laws of fasting are very similar to those of Yom Kippur and the laws of mourning parallel those that apply to one who has just lost a close relative after the burial. Lamentations are read as part of the Evening Service. While studying is prohibited, the Book of Job, curses in Leviticus (26:14-42) Jeremiah 39, and stories in the Talmud on the destruction of Jerusalem (Git. 55b-58a) may be read.
Supposedly Tishah be-Av will eventually again become a day of joy as the Messiah is to be born on this day.
Meir Ydit, E. J., v. 3, pp. 936-40.
For thr Tur, טור; see footnote 23.
מי שהוא אסטניס ואין דעתו מיושבת עליו עד שיקנח פניו במים מותר: הגה ונהגו בזה להחמיר ואפילו ברחיצת העינים שהיא קצת רפואה נהגו להחמיר (מהרי"ל) ואסור לרחוץ פיו ביום הכפורים כמו שנתבאר לעיל סימן תקס"ז סעיף ג': One who is ailing and does not feel well until he rinses his face with water is permitted (to do so).
Hagah: It is customary for us to be strict in this (matter) for even the washing of the eyes which is a little bit medicinal, it is customary to be strict with this, (מהרי״ל),103Maharil, מהרי״ל; see footnote 8. and it was forbidden to wash one’s mouth on Yom Kippur as was explained above in section 567, paragraph three.104See footnote 94 for the explanation to this section which Isserles made reference to.
ההולך לבית המדרש או להקביל פני אביו או רבו או מי שגדול ממנו בחכמה או לצרכי מצוה יכול לעבור במים עד צוארו בין בהליכה בין בחזרה ובלבד שלא יוציא ידו מתחת שפת חלוקו להגביה שולי חלוקו על זרועו והוא שלא יהיו המים רודפים דאם כן אף בחול אסור מפני הסכנה אפי' אם אינם מגיעים אלא עד מתנים: One who goes to the house of study or to visit one’s father or his rabbi or one who is greater than him in wisdom, or for the need of performing a mitzvah (a good deed), is able to pass through water up to his neck going and coming provided that he does not take his hand from under the edge of his shirt to lift up the edges of his shirt over his arms and provided that the water does not flow rapidly, for if so, even on a weekday this would be prohibited because of the danger, even if the water only reaches his hips.
הא דשרי לעבור בגופו במים לדבר מצוה דוקא לעבור בגופו במים עצמן אבל לעבור בספינה קטנה יש מי שאוסר: The fact that it is permissible to pass bodily through the water to perform a mitzvah, this is only to pass bodily through the water itself, but to pass through water in a small boat, this is, according to some, prohibited.
הרב אסור לעבור במים כדי לילך אצל תלמידו: A rabbi is forbidden to pass through water in order to go to his student.
ההולך לשמור פרותיו מותר לעבור במים בהליכה אבל לא בחזרה: הגה וכל מקום דמותר לעבור במים אפי' היה לו דרך שיכול להקיף ביבשה מותר לעבור דלמעט בהילוך עדיף טפי: (א"ז) One who is going to guard his fruit is permitted to pass through water in his going, but not his return.
Hagah: In each instance where it is permitted to pass through water, even if there was a way for him to be able to circle around by way of dry ground, he is permitted to pass (through water), since to shorten his walk is more preferable.
אסור להצטנן בטיט לח אם הוא טופח על מנת להטפיח ואסור להצטנן בכלים שיש בהם מים אפילו הם חסרים בין של חרס בין של מתכת אבל אם הם ריקים מותר וכן בפירות ובתינוק: הגה ואסור לשרות מפה מבעוד יום ולעשותה כמין כלים נגובים ולהצטנן בה בי"כ דחיישינן שמא לא תנגב יפה ויבא לידי סחיטה (הגהות מיימוני פ"ב ומרדכי וסמ"ק ומנהגים) החולה רוחץ כדרכו אע"פ שאינו מסוכן (רמב"ם): It is forbidden for one to cool oneself in moist mud if he moistens it so as to dabble, and it is forbidden to cool oneself in vessels that contain water even if they are pottery, clay, or metal, but if they are empty, it is permissible and the same holds true for fruits and babies (to cool them).
Hagah: It is prohibited to soak a tablecloth when it is still day (before Yom Kippur) and to use it like a sort of moist vessel in order to cool off with it on Yom Kippur because we are afraid that it might not dry well enough and one might squeeze it (and squeezing is prohibited on Yom Kippur), (הגהות מיימוני פ״ב ומרדכי וסמ״ק ומנהגים).105Hagahot Maimuniyyot, chapter two, and Mordekhai, and Sefer Mitzvot Katan, and Minhagim, ומרדכי וסמ״ק ומנהגים הגהות מיימוני פ״ב.
For Hagahot Maimuniyyot, הגהות מיימוני; see footnote 27.
For Mordekhai, מרדכי; see footnote 24.
For Sefer Mitzvot Katan, סמ״ק; see footnote 27.
For Minhagim, מנהגים; see footnote 13. One who is sick washes as he usually does even though he is not dangerously ill, (רמב״ם).106Rambam, רמב״ם, Moses Maimonides; see footnote 59.
כלה כל שלשים יום מותר' לרחוץ פניה: A bride is permitted to wash her face all the (first) thirty days (of her marriage).
מי שראה קרי בזמן הזה ביום הכפורים אם לח הוא מקנחו במפה ודיו ואם יבש הוא או שנתלכלך רוחץ מקומו' המלוכלכים בו לבד ומתפלל ואסור לרחוץ גופו או לטבול אע"פ שבשאר ימו' השנ' הוא רגיל לטבול לתפלה: One who sees (his) semen at this time (Caro’s time and later) on Yom Kippur, if it is moist he wipes it off with a piece of cloth, this is sufficient; if it is dry or it made him dirty, he washes only the dirty spots and prays.107"One prays" meaning one may then pray the Morning, Shaḥarit (see footnote 17) Prayers for Yom Kippur, but one is not to recite the prayer that would normally be recited over washing and immersion which would have been required in this instance had it not been Yom Kippur, (see footnote 30 for the prayer required upon immersion in the mikveh. It is forbidden for him to wash his body or to immerse himself (inaritual bath),108Mikveh, מקוה; see footnote 30. even though on all other days of the year he used to immerse (in a ritual bath) in order to pray.109see footnote 107.
בזמן הזה אסור לאשה לטבול ביום הכפורים אפי' הגיע זמן טבילתה בו ביום: At this time it is forbidden for a wife to immerse herself (in a ritual bath)110Mikveh, מקוה, see footnote 30. on Yom Kippur even if the time for her immersion arrived on that day.111When a woman begins her menstruation regardless of how short a menstruation period she might have, she waits a minimum of five days from the time she begins her menstruation, and provided her flow has stopped, she begins to count seven days from the fifth day after her menstruation began, and on that day (provided it is not Yom Kippur) she must immerse herself in the Mikveh (see footnote 30). Therefore if her flow stops any time prior to the fifth day after she begins her menstruation she immerses in the Mikveh a minimum of twelve days after her flow has begun. If a woman's menstral flow should continue more than five days she must begin her counting of seven days from the day her menstral flow stops. Her required immersion, therefore could possibly take place on the thirteenth, fourteenth, and so on, day after her menstruation began provided it is seven days after the menstruation has stopped if the menstruation lasted for more than five days. Twelve days would be the absolute minimum in all cases.