Vayikra by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
And He Shall Wash the Innards and the Legs [of the Offering]
In continuation of our study on the washing of hands and feet in the Temple, now we will discuss the washing of the offering in the Temple, mentioned in this parsha, in relationship to the priests’ washing themselves.
Before continuing, we will circumvent our discussion to the washing of the goblet designated for the blessing upon wine for mitzva purposes, such as kiddush, after birkat hamazon, etc. According to halacha, one should wash this goblet from within and also on its external side. This matter greatly resembles the washing of the offering in the Beit Hamikdash in “its innards,” i.e, from “within”, and “its legs,” i.e on its external side. According to the Zohar (Pinchas 245b) the washing of the goblet corresponds to the concepts of “purity” and “sanctity” we discussed before in regard to washing. The Zohar says that the washing from “within” corresponds to purity, while the washing of the exterior corresponds to “sanctity.” This follows in concordance with the Arizal’s teaching that the exterior of the vessel is superior to that of the interior in regard to the spiritual light it receives.
Also, in regard to washing hands, we explained in previous issues that there is a dualism of the more internal concept of “sanctity” versus the more external concept of “purity.” In the Temple, this dualism can also be seen in concept of the washing of hands, representing a person’s more “internal” work, versus the washing of feet, which represent the more external work of a person, walking and travelling in the external locale.
In addition, in regard to matters that require a priest to wash his hands and feet, we can divide them into two internal states of the priest, 1. Loss/wavering of attention from his hands 2. Sleep, and two external states: 1. Going to the bathroom 2, leaving the Temple’s boundaries. There is also another situation that requires the priest’s washing, i.e the passing of night upon the priest, but this is not a matter related to the priest himself.
In Hebron, the internal and exterior are united, as this is the City of Unity – Hibur – Hebron, the City of our united Patriarchs and Matriarchs who cleanse us with their merit and watering kindness.
Syach, a Druze soldier in the Israeli army, was confronted one day by Rabbi Yakov Ades, who asked to be taken to pray at the tomb of Otniel ben Kenaz in Hebron. Generally speaking, access to this tomb is forbidden to Jews, except for rare occasions. Nevertheless, Syach, even though he did not know that he had been asked by Rabbi Ades, felt pulled to his compelling presence like a magnet. Therefore, with no rational explanation, he allowed the rabbi to pray at the Tomb. Afterward, the rabbi blessed Syach that he should be secure and safe. Two weeks later, the well-known battle at the Heroes’ Alley in Hebron occurred. Syach bravely fought at this battle. Numerous bullets flew through his casket hat, but unexplainably none hurt him. Syach attributed this miracle to what had occurred two weeks before.