When it comes to washing the hands, we Jews sure are OCD.
That’s right …we Obey the Commandments of the Divine. The first thing we do when we get up in the morning is to wash our hands. When we go to pray, we wash our hands. Before eating bread at a meal, we wash our hands. Some even wash their hands after a bread meal as well (it’s a ritual called Mayim Achronim).
And the list goes on and on … as Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried ZT”L (1804-1886) writes in his Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (2:9):
“These following situations require the washing of hands with water: upon rising from bed [after sleeping], when leaving the lavatory or bathhouse, after cutting nails...
Throughout the centuries and millennia, it has been the hope and dream of many Jewish mothers and fathers that they merit raising a son who becomes a Talmid Chacham.
Talmid Chacham, lit. a “wise student”, is an honorific title given to a Torah scholar whose Torah knowledge both defines and refines him. [To learn more about the ethical refinement and good character expected of a Talmid Chacham, see Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Laws of Deyos (Ethics), Chapter Five, which can be accessed online at: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/910345/jewish/Deot-Chapter-Five.htm]
Everything about the Talmid Chacham is measured and balanced,...
Towards the end of this week’s Torah portion, G-d tells the Jewish people, “For My angel shall go before you and bring you to the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, and I will annihilate them” (Exodus 23:23).
It is interesting to note that the nations of Canaan – whose land was promised by G-d to Abraham’s descendants - are enumerated in Tanach (the Bible) twenty-three times, mostly in the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and in the Book of Joshua. Only three of these lists actually include all seven nations – twice in Joshua (3:10 and 24:11) and only once in the Torah: