Redefining Purity

I just read a book in that awful Mussar (sub-)genre of: “explaining” the “48 Kinyanin of Torah”.

From this Braisa:

גדולה תורה יותר מן הכהונה ומן המלכות, שהמלכות נקנית בשלשים מעלות, והכהנה בעשרים וארבע, והתורה נקנית בארבעים ושמונה דברים, ואלו הן, בתלמוד, בשמיעת האזן, בעריכת שפתים…

In the chapter titled “Purity”, the author managed to go through all forms of supposed “purity“, except the plainly true intention: going to the Mikveh for Keri before learning!

He mentioned:

  • Thoughts of illicit pride, illicit hatred, illicit relations.
  • Touching parts of the body which require Netillas Yadayim.
  • Morning Netillas Yadayim.
  • Torah study “Shelo Lishmah” (!).
  • The Maharsha on Rabbi Chiya’s teaching preparations (with the wrong reference).
  • “Impure” funding.


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