THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YOMA 27, 28, 29 (16 Shevat), 30 - have been dedicated by Gitle Bekelnitzky
for the 38th Yahrzeit of Leah bas Mordechai Dovid and Chasya (Bikelnitzky),
mother of her late husband, Simcha Bekelnitzky.
1) HALACHAH: WASHING ONE'S HANDS AFTER GOING TO THE BATHROOM
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that after a Kohen goes to the bathroom to urinate
("Mei Raglayim"), he is only required to do Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim (to
wash his hands and feet). This is necessary because after going to the
bathroom, one is obligated to rub off any droplets of Mei Raglayim that
might have fallen on his legs so that he not be suspected of being a Kerus
Shafchah (someone with an anatomical disorder which disqualifies him from
marrying into the Jewish community). Since one must rub off the droplets, he
is therefore required to wash his hands. This reason requires that not only
a Kohen wash his hands (Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim) after urinating, but any
Jewish male (Netilas Yadayim).
2) THE KEDUSHAH OF THE MIKVAH ATOP BEIS HA'PARVEH
If not for that reason, though, it seems that one would not have to wash his
hands after Mei Raglayim. Consequently, if one does not rub off any
droplets, does he not need to wash his hands? Even if he does wash his
hands, is it necessary to recite the Berachah "Al Netilas Yadayim" upon
(a) RABEINU TAM, cited by the Tosfos Yeshanim, writes that just like a Kohen
does not have to do Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim if he does not touch the Mei
Raglayim, so, too, a non-Kohen does not need to wash his hands if he did not
touch the Mei Raglayim. The reason is because the only requirement to wash
one's hands is in order to clean them if they became dirty; the act of
relieving oneself in this manner does not obligate washing the hands. For
this reason, he writes, even if one's hands did become dirty by touching the
Mei Raglayim, no Berachah of Al Netilas Yadayim is required, because this
washing is not a Mitzvah unto itself, but it is being done just to clean
oneself. It is comparable to one who has soiled his hands with dirt and
HALACHAH: One must wash even if he did not rub off any droplets with his
hands. One does not recite a Berachah of Al Netilas Yadayim on this washing,
though. One does recite the Berachah "Asher Yatzar," though. (SHULCHAN ARUCH
(b) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH agrees with Rabeinu Tam that if a person does not
touch the Mei Raglayim, then he does not need to wash his hands. However, he
argues with Rabeinu Tam and says that if one does touch the Mei Raglayim and
must wash his hands, then he must also recite a Berachah ("Al Netilas
Yadayim") for that washing. The Rosh compares this to washing one's hands in
the morning. The Halachah requires that one recite a Berachah when one
washes his hands in the morning, even though that act of washing is done
only because he might have touched a dirty part of his body. We find, then,
that washing one's hands to clean off dirt *does* require a Berachah.
However, the Rosh requires a Berachah only when washing one's hands for
Tefilah (Shemoneh Esreh), but not for learning Torah.
It could be that the argument between the Rosh and Rabeinu Tam concerning
washing one's hands with a Berachah is based on another argument regarding
washing the hands. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 4:1) rules that upon arising in
the morning, one must wash his hands. The reason given by the ROSH is
because the hands may have become dirty. For the same reason, he requires a
Berachah when washing after Mei Raglayim if one's hands become dirty.
The RASHBA (see Mishnah Berurah ad loc.), however, argues and says that the
reason for washing the hands in the morning is similar to the reason a Kohen
must wash first before entering the Beis ha'Mikdash in the morning -- for
Kedushah, to sanctify himself. Similarly, before one begins to Daven at the
beginning of the day, he must wash his hands because of Kedushah. Rabeinu
Tam perhaps holds like the Rashba, that the morning washing requires a
Berachah not because one is cleaning off dirt from his hands, but because of
Kedushah. In contrast, when washing one's hands after Mei Raglayim, which is
not for Kedushah but to clean off the hands, one does not recite a Berachah.
(c) RABEINU ELCHANAN, cited by the Tosfos Yeshanim, says that one must wash
his hands after urinating even if he did not touch any droplets. He learns
this from our Mishnah which states that a rule in the Beis ha'Mikdash was
that *every* Kohen who went to the bathroom for Mei Raglayim must do Kidush
Yadayim v'Raglayim, without differentiating between those who touched the
droplets and those who did not. The enactment requiring that the Kohanim
wash their hands was an all-inclusive enactment ("Lo Plug"). Similarly,
after urinating, everyone must wash the hands even if he did not touch the
The RITVA suggests another reason one must wash the hands even if one did
not touch any droplets -- to fulfill the verse, "Erchatz b'Nikayon Kapai"
(Tehilim 26:6), which teaches that one should prepare for Tefilah by being
Mekadesh himself by washing his hands. (This would apply only when washing
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that the Kohen Gadol would immerse in the
Mikvah which was in a Makom Kadosh (sanctified area) atop Beis ha'Parveh.
Rashi says that the Mikvah was on the roof of Beis ha'Parveh.
How can the roof be Kadosh? We learned in Pesachim (86a) that roofs above
the Azarah are not Kadosh!
(a) TOSFOS (31a, DH v'Chulan) answers that the Beis ha'Parveh was built
underground, and the rooftop was level with the ground of the Azarah.
Rooftops which are level with the ground of the Azarah are Kadosh, as the
Gemara in Pesachim says.
(b) The RA'AVAD (Tamid 30b-31a) says that the reason why the rooftops in the
Azarah where not Kadosh is because when the structures were initially built,
prior to the sanctification of the area, the roofs acted as Mechitzos,
preventing the Kedushah of the Azarah from reaching the area above the
rooftops. The rest of the airspace of the Azarah (inside the rooms that had
roofs, and in the outside areas that had no roofs) was Kadosh.
When the Beis ha'Parveh was built, the airspace there had already become
Kadosh (since it was built some time after the rest of the Beis ha'Mikdash
had been built), and thus the roof did not serve as a Mechitzah.
Consequently, the area above the Beis ha'Parveh remained Kadosh.
(Alternatively, when the Azarah was initially built the builders had
positive intent to leave the rooftops unsanctified. Everything else, though,
became sanctified, including the airspace. Once again, this will result
result in the fact that if a structure is built later, the airspace above
its roof will remain Kadosh.)
Based on this suggestion, we can understand why the Beis ha'Parveh was named
for the person who built it, while no other part of the Azarah was named for
a particular person. Since the Beis ha'Parveh was built later, independent
from the rest of the Azarah, and was not part of the initial construction of
the Azarah, it was called by the name of the person who built it. (M.
(c) The EZRAS KOHANIM (Midos 5:3, DH Shalosh (1) and DH v'Al Gago) suggests
that the roof of the Beis ha'Parveh was Kadosh because it had a door on it
which led to the sanctified area of the Azarah, thereby making the entire
The Gemara in Pesachim (86a), though, implies that the only time it is not
Kadosh is when it is equal to ground level.