Jewish people who follow the teachings of the Torah will know that hand washing cups, or Netilat Yadayim, are an everyday routine of their lives. They are used for mitzvahs that purify the hands of Jewish people when they wash their hands in them. They are used to wash the hands before eating bread, before prayer, and when doing other mitzvahs.
What Are Washing Cups?
Netilat Yadayim is an important tradition in Jewish culture and the washing cups are an important item found in Jewish households. Torah following Jews will usually have at least a single cup located next to every sink in the house in order to perform this tradition. It is used for rinsing in the morning, and all throughout the day to wash before eating bread. It is important that this tradition is maintained and Jewish hands are properly washed.
The law of washing hands goes way back to the times of the Temple, where the priests started this tradition in order to purify their hands before taking part in various sacrifices. It was believed that various grades of purity and impurity were in force before the temple itself was destructed.
In modern times, there are strict laws that say when and how Jewish people should wash their hands in order for them to stay pure. And the most popular one is the law of washing before eating bread by using Netilat Yadayim Cups. This law should not be confused with washing the hands for hygienic purposes, and should also be known that the hands must be clean before partaking the law. Jewish laws state that the hands must be properly washed before eating any kind of bread or matzah, and prayer should also be included.
The cups in question are supposed to be two-handed cups, but as laws state, any kind of vessel will do just fine. Many Jewish laws state how the water should be poured into the cup, but the most commonly accepted one is to pour two times from the right, followed by two times on the left side of the cup. The cup can be poured in reverse order for Jewish followers who are left-handed. Also, the law requires pouring three times on each hand and the hands must be clean before taking part in the law. Another important part of the law is to abstain from speaking until the prayer has been said and the bread has been blessed.
What Are The Origins of Netilat Yadayim?
The origin of this ritual was started by the ancient rabbis who believed that ritual impurity was important. This was in the time when the ancient temple in Jerusalem still stood, and it derivers from various practices. The priests who took part in the ritual were given various gifts such as oils, wine, and wheat, and they could be eaten only when the ritual of hand washing was finished. The rabbis then spread this teaching to all the Jews, and they made it mandatory in order for the ritual to never be forgotten, even after the temple was destroyed.
The practice itself was established during the Talmudic times and it was incumbent upon both women and men. It was then later included into the medieval codes of the Jewish law and it soon became a practice that all Jews took part in every single day.