Speaker: Rabbi Nasan Maimon. This halakha is based on Likutey Moharan 44. Recorded in Uman, Ukraine. Explaining the Breslov tradition of clapping hands quietly at points during prayer; bringing the holiness of Eretz Yisrael into our meals; customs of washing hands before a bread meal. The kedusha (holiness) of Eretz Yisrael is the source of all blessing sent by Hashem into this world.
00:00 – Dedications.
01:03 – HALAKHA 2. Purifying the air to a state of Eretz Yisrael through the 28 sections of the two hands which correspond to the first 28 letters in the written Torah. This is done through clapping 3 or 4 times (quickly tapping the right hand together against the left) but this can be done silently – there’s no need to make a sound.
08:13 – The mitzvah of washing one’s hands before eating bread or matzah is related to the kedushah (holiness) of Eretz Yisrael. Eating and praying are related concepts.
08:40 – Both during eating and during prayer, we are involved with refining and elevating “sparks” of the material world, returning them to their spiritual Source.
09:57 – All blessing comes into this world through Eretz Yisrael. Reference to Likutey Moharan 62. Washing hands before eating bread unites the person’s daas with Eretz Yisrael and the true source of the blessing in the food he’s about to eat.
14:16 – Repairing the sins that led to the mabul (flood) is done through eating in holiness. This repair also corrects the sin of Adam.
19:24 – QUESTION about “bringing hands together.” RESPONSE: joining hands together is referring to clapping hands during tefilah, not to eating.
*19:55 – QUESTION: Is there a specific point during prayer that we clap hands? RESPONSE: No. Clapping hands can be done at any point, but it’s done quietly or even silently, to prevent disturbing those around us. Reference to כָּ֥ל עַצְמֹתַ֨י | תֹּאמַרְנָה֘ יְהֹוָ֗ה מִ֥י כָ֫מ֥וֹךָ “Kol atzmosei tomarna, Hashem, mi c’mocha…” (Tehillim/Psalms35:10). Tefilah is a “full body” experience.
21:35 – QUESTION: When people leave Eretz Yisrael to collect tzedakah, is it only money they’re bringing back to Israel? RESPONSE: No. “Shefa” (bounty) includes other kinds of wealth, too – health resources, goods, know-how.
22:08 – QUESTION: Why did Rebbe Nachman say he accomplished all he needed to accomplish after taking four steps in Eretz Yisrael? RESPONSE: reference to Kesuvos/Ketuvot 111a: “One who walks a distance of four cubits (approximately 6 – 8 feet) in the Land of Israel is assured of being a ben olam haba – heir to the World to Come.”
23:19 – QUESTION about the mabul.
*24:22 – QUESTION about clapping hands during tefilah. RESPONSE: even in Eretz Yisrael a person can be “outside” the Holy Land if his mind is elsewhere. We are wherever our consciousness is, so clapping hands brings one into the consciousness of Eretz Yisrael, no matter where we are, even at the Kosel (Western Wall).
25:12 – The spiritual effects of washing our hands before a bread meal.
29:45 – Why the washing cup must be unbroken.
32:45 – The sins of the mabul are rectified through mayim tahorim – “purifying waters”.
33:34 – מקוה ישראל מושיעו בעת צרה – “Mikveh Yisrael Hashem, moshiah b’eys tzara” (Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 14:8).
37:37 – QUESTION about washing hands. RESPONSE: Rabbi Rosenfeld z”l used to set the cup down after washing the right hand, before washing the left.
39:04 – QUESTION: how does the second pouring of water over the hands relate to the mabul?
41:19 – Alternatives if a person can’t go to the mikveh – the Ben Ish Chai brings washing netilas yadayim 39 times with kavanah (intent) that one is doing this as if they’re immersing in a mikveh. [Note: this substitution does not apply to immersion for taharas hamishpacha – family purity.]
42:50 – QUESTION: At which point do we say the blessing “al netilas yadayim”? RESPONSE: After washing the hands, before drying the hands.
44:08 – Parshas Ki Savo. Story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the dove.