Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: Chatzot...Purifying One's Hands

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 · Posted in , ,

Because a man rising in the morning from his bed is like a new creature in as far as the service of the Creator is concerned, Baruch Hu, it is incumbent upon him to purify himself and wash his hands out of a vessel, just as the Kohen was accustomed to purify his hands daily out of the wash-basin prior to his service (in the Temple). This washing may be supported by a Biblical verse; for it is said: "I will wash in innocence my hands, and I will compass Your altar O Hashem; That I may publish with a loud voice" etc. (Tehillim 26:6-7). There is another reason for this morning washing, when a man is asleep the holy soul departs from his body, and the unclean spirit comes down upon him. When he rises from his sleep the evil spirit departs from his entire body excepting from his fingers. From there the unclean spirit does not depart unless he spills water on them three times alternately. One is not permitted to walk four cubits without having his hands washed, except in extreme cases of necessity. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Laws Relating to the Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning) ============== Baruch Hu - Blessed is He Kohen - Priest Tehillim - Psalms

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: Chatzot...Up At Midnight

Thursday, May 11, 2017 · Posted in , ,

If one is able to rise at midnight and preform the midnight service, there is nothing more pious than this.

As it is said, "Arise, complain aloud in the night, in the  beginning of the watches" (Eichah 2:19); just as the HKB"H, laments at that moment, as it is written: "Hashem will cry aloud from on high, and from His holy habitation will he send forth His voice; He will cry very loudly over His habitation" (Yirmeyahu 25:30; and He then says: "Woe to my children on account of whose iniquity I destroyed My house and burnt My Temple, and them I exiled among the nations."

But if one is unable to rise at midnight, he shall at least make an effort to rise before dawn; as David HaMelech said: "I will wake up the morning-dawn" (Tehillim 57:9), which means I awaken the dawn, but the dawn does not awaken me.

One my perform the midnight ceremony even after midnight, and after that engage himself in the study of the Torah, everyone according to his knowledge. The study of a portion of the Mishnah is preferable to any other study, but if he is not so learned, he shall read Tehillim, Ma'amodot, or books of instruction. A little with devotion is better than much without devotion.

Rabbi Hiya taught: "The Ruach Hakodesh is in the presence of the one who studies the Torah at night; as it said: "Arise, complain aloud in the night, in the beginning of the watches; pour out like water your heart before the Face of Hashem." (Eichah 2:19); which means that the Ruach Hakodesh is then in your presence.

Our Rabbis, obm, said again: "He who engages in the study of the Torah at night is called 'a servant of Hashem' as it is said: 'All you servants of Hashem that stand in the house of Hashem in the night'" (Tehillim 134:1).

In the short nights, when it is impossible to rise so early, he shall at least try to rise early enough to have sufficient time within which to prepare himself to go to the Synagogue to pray together with the congregation.  (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Laws Relating to the Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning)


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Translation:

Eichah - Lamenations
Yirmeyahu - Jeremiah
David HaMelech = King David
Ma'amodot - a compilation of readings from the Bible and Talmud
Tehillim - Psalms
Ruach Hakodesh - Divine Inspiration
obm - of blessed memory

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: Run Swiftly to Do Good

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 · Posted in ,

Yehudah, the son of Tema, said, "Be strong as a leopard, light as an eagle, fleet as a hart, and strong as a lion, to do the will of your Father Who is in heaven." (Pirkei Avot 5.23).
"Strong as a lion" means that no man should be ashamed of the people who mock him when engaged in the service of G-d, B"H.

"Light as an eagle" refers to the vision of the eye, i.e. be swift in shutting your eyes not to look at evil things, because vision is the inception of sin - the eye sees, the heart covets, and the instruments of action complete it.

"Fleet as a hart" refers to the legs, i.e. your feet shall always run swiftly to do good.

"Strong as a lion" refers to the heart, because the seat of strength to do the service of G-d, B"H, is in the heart. It is the duty of man to strengthen his heart to do His service, and to prevail over his yetzer ra, just as the hero makes every endeavor to prevail over his enemy, subdues him, and throws him down to the ground. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Laws Relating to the Conduct Upon Rising in the Morning)

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Transliteration / Translation:

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers (literally "Chapters of the Fathers"), a section of the Mishnah.

B"H - Baruch Hashem - Blessed be/is His Name

yetzer ra / - evil inclination

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