Daily Zohar # 3800 – Vayeshev – Wash them!
Daily Zohar 3800
115. כְּשֶׁהַנְּשָׁמָה חוֹזֶרֶת לַגּוּף, עוֹבֶרֶת אוֹתָהּ הַזֻּהֲמָה, וַהֲרֵי נִתְבָּאֵר שֶׁבִּידֵי הָאָדָם נִשְׁאֶרֶת זֻהֲמַת הַטֻּמְאָה, וְעַל כֵּן אַל יַעֲבִיר יָדוֹ עַל עֵינוֹ, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁאוֹתָהּ רוּחַ הַטֻּמְאָה שׁוֹרָה עָלָיו עַד שֶׁנּוֹטֵל אוֹתָם, וּכְשֶׁנּוֹטֵל יָדוֹ כָּרָאוּי, אָז מִתְקַדֵּשׁ וְנִקְרָא קָדוֹשׁ.
116. וְאֵיךְ צָרִיךְ לְהִתְקַדֵּשׁ? צָרִיךְ כְּלִי אֶחָד לְמַטָּה וּכְלִי אֶחָד מִלְמַעְלָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְקַדֵּשׁ מֵאוֹתוֹ שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה, וְאוֹתוֹ שֶׁלְּמַטָּה שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב בַּזֻּהֲמָה שֶׁטֻּמְאָה בּוֹ. וְזֶה הַכְּלִי לְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה, וְזֶה לְהִתְקַדֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ. זֶה בָּרוּךְ וְזֶה אָרוּר. וְלֹא צָרִיךְ לִשְׁפֹּךְ בַּבַּית אֶת אוֹתָם מַיִם שֶׁל הַזֻּהֲמָה, שֶׁלֹּא יִקְרַב אֲלֵיהֶם אִישׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי בָּהֶם מִתְכַּנְּסִים הַצַּד שֶׁלָּהֶם, וְיָכוֹל לְקַבֵּל נֵזֶק מֵאוֹתָם הַמַּיִם הַטְּמֵאִים.
Continued from previous DZ
“אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי וַאֲסֹבְבָה אֶת מִזְבַּחֲךָ יְהוָה.”
“I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O YHVH,”
Rabbi Shimon explains that the secret of this is that every person in the world experiences the taste of death during sleep, and the impure spirit connects to his body. Because the holy soul leaves the body during sleep, the impure spirit can come and defile the person’s body.
When the soul returns to the body, the impurity leaves it, but the hands still hold a spirit of impurity until washed.
For that reason, one should not touch his eye or other body parts before he washes his hands and sanctifies himself. Then he can be called ‘holy.’
To be sanctified with the washing of the hands, we need two vessels, one vessel below and one vessel from above. The lower vessel receives the impurity from the washed hands.
The vessel from above has the aspect of ‘Blessed,’ and it is the one that sanctifies the hands. From it, we pour water on the hands over the lower vessel that has the aspect of ‘cursed.’ The water in the lower vessel is impure and should not be poured into the house because they attract unclean spirits from the other side that could harm the people who make contact with these waters.
When we wake up from night sleep, we should immediately wash our hands to remove the impure spirit from them.
We use a vessel with two handles, but any vessel would be fine. We hold the vessel with our right hand to fill it with clean water (tap water). The right hand represents Chessed, and we wish to draw Chassadim into the vessel with the clean water that also has the aspect of Chessed. Then we transfer the vessel with the water to the left hand to make the Left serve the Right. With the left hand, we pour some of the water over the right hand from the wrist down on both sides of the hand. Then transfer the vessel to the Right and pour water over the left hand in a similar way. We move the vessel back to the Right and repeat the process three times (1. right, left, 2. right, left, 3. right, left). If the water vessel is small, we can leave the water running and refill the vessel during the wash. The holy Ari explains that the impure spirit jumps from one hand to the other, but when we alternate the washing over the hands, the spirit leaves the hands. After the washing, we raise our hands to the level of the face and say the blessing while rubbing the hands together and drying them.
Some people keep a water vessel and a bowl next to their bed to wash immediately as they open their eyes, but since the home is one unit, it is okay to go to the sink and wash. If one uses the bathroom for hand washing, he should not say the blessing until he leaves the bathroom. If one uses a bowl as a lower vessel then the water should be immediately flush in the bathroom. These waters should not be used for any purpose or cleaning floor or water plants, etc. They should not be disposed of anywhere people walk. To wash the driveway, use a hose and clean water.
The morning blessing for the hand washing is:
“בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם”
“baruch attah Adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu bemitzotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim”
If one needs to use the bathroom immediately after washing, he can do that and wash again with the vessel or just run water from the faucet over his hands as described above. In such a case, we can skip the use of the vessel because the main impurity that had the death aspect from the night washed away earlier.
The hands should be cleaned from any ‘physical’ dirt before washing away the spiritual negativity.
It is essential to wash hands before touching a sacred book, even if we do it just under running water.
Touching your spouse and loved ones is an act of transferring energy, and we should treat it with pure hands and minds. Babies can be easily affected by hands with negativity.
To buy such a vessel, search the internet for “Washing cups with two handles”. There are many fancy ones, but even a cheap plastic one is good for this purpose. The water cleanses the hands, not the vessel.
You can find more explanations about handwashing in the daily prayer books and online, including demonstration videos. Some of them may be different from my explanation above, which is correct according to the Zohar and the Ari.