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NEKIYUT (English)





By Yehoshua Lhungdim


Cleanliness is a very important part in Our Jewish Life. Without Cleanliness,Purity of the mind, body and soul is almost impossible. When One attains Purity he/she becomes holy. Ramkhal wrote in his work Mesillat Yesharim that The virtue of cleanliness is associated with a Person who has completely cleansed himself of all bad traits and all sin. Not only those sins that are clearly recognizable but also those that the heart has been seduced into thinking as permissible. In actuality when we look carefully in the matter we will discover that the only reason one consider these things permissible is because his heart is still afflicted by lustful desires and is not entirely cleansed of it enabling the yetzer to entice him toward leniency. [Mesillat yesharim chapter 6]


It is written in the Shulkhan Arukh that As one wakes up in the morning he/she should say the Modeh ani and after that one should wash his/her hands unless he needs to do his needs. We can learn from this that The jewish day starts with Reminding ourselves that We are under God's supervision at all times and We need to be clean. In the Book of Vayikra 19:1-2 we are commanded to be Holy For Holy am I, Hashem your God. And in parallel with the Ramkhal we see there that Like what is written in there, Holiness means cleansing ourselves from every abominations. A number of Midrashim pose the question, "Why do our Sages prefer that Children began learning the Khumash from the book of Vayikra which is a book about korbanot and Purity? And the answer to this is-In order for a Child to stay and safeguard his purity that is Cleanliness.


As is with everything, Cleanliness can also be classified down into many subjects and levels. Cleanliness from theft, Cleanliness in the sphere of forbidden foods. etc


The Tanakh begins with the story of God creating the heavens and the Earth. A Question is asked why God separates many things like the Heavens and Earth, The Angels and Man, Man and Animals. etc etc. The answer to this is Cleanliness. As a person becomes more and more clean in his every dealings between man and God so is he Elevated to a more and more higher spiritual levels.


Who may ascend the mountain of the Eternal and who may stand in the place of His Holiness? Only one with a Clean hands and a pure Heart. [Tehillim 24:3-4]When we talk about Cleanliness we should know that We are speaking about Cleanliness in any aspect. Then what does David Hamelekh meant to say by Clean hands and pure heart? Is Cleanliness of the hands so important than any other parts of the body? Yes Cleanliness of the hands is very important As it is the easiest way for the tumah to enter our body according to the Zohar.


Balak son of tzippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorite. [Bemidbar 22:2] Son of Tzippor meaning that he does not protect his eyes from evil making his eyes impure. It is written in the Holy Zohar that Balak practice his sorcery through a bird. What did Balak saw?The Midrash Rabah 20:7 told us that Balak was a great sorcerer more than Bilaam was.Balak saw through his sorcery that Am Israel will fall by his hands. But don't know how. So he seeks for Bilaam to curse them and even gave up his daughter. Sorcery and the likes are made up from unclean and impure forces. So Balak greater than Bilam in sorcery means that Balak was more impure than Bilaam.God does not rest His Divine Presence in unclean and impure ones. Then how did Bilaam merit a part of God presence? The mefarshim told us that Bilaam was blind in one of his eyes for it to become clean. And the Divine presence rested there.


ALL THAT ISRAEL HAD DONE TO THE AMORITE: What did Israel do? They only waged war with Sikhon and Og.Why do the Torah say All that Israel had done to Amorite? Let it write All that Israel had done to Sikhon and Og? To answer this The mefarshim told us that All the Amorites put their trust and security in Sikhon and Og so much that When Am Israel kill them It was like conquering them all.


All in all, the downfall of all of us that is written in Our Parasha chapter 25:1 that Israel commited harlotry with the daughters of Moav was because We were not entirely cleansed of our impurity. A curse from our enemy may not affect us even if we are not entirely cleanse of impurity and have some impurity. But It will be that some part of impurity we have in ourselves the object for the evil ones to make us fall. But is it really possible for us to be completely clean? The answer is that If One try as much as he can to cleanse himself here,He will be help from Above.


Nekiyut, Cleanliness [נקיות] has the same numerical value and the same letters (if rearranged) as Tikkun, Repair[תיקון].To teach us that The more one cleanses himself in every aspect One repairs himself and the world with him. Let us merit to cleanse ourselves from any impurity. Shabbat Shalom.

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