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How can you not “feel” like washing for bread?

challah breadDespite the fact that our community has been becoming more religious over the last 20 years or so, I’ve noticed an ill that beacons our attention. I’ve noticed that we, as a whole, have moved to the right, more people wear the levush of a frum person than ever before. More people keep completely kosher, by avoiding cholov stam and pas akum. More women cover their hair without letting a strand of ervah show, more mehcitzas are taller than the requisite 30 tefachim that has become assur in the last decade or so. Despite all of these ways in which our community has begun to replicate the pre-war klal that we lost in the shoah, less and less people are willing to wash for bread.

I know that some of you are probably reading this as satire, but let me reiterate that this is no laughing matter. The slope is quite slippery, just look at the modern orthodox community, they started with coed youth groups and now they’re members are demanding Torah readings at the Kosel. It is not merely that people aren’t washing for bread, it’s the fact that they refusing to eat bread, because they don’t “feel” like washing. How can one not “feel” like serving the Lord who provided them with this bread in the first place. God also provided you with the water to wash and those “feelings” of laziness towards avodah.

How many times I myself have refused to eat bread for I didn’t want to wash. How many times I have made the “pizza excuse” and said that the pizza I was eating was merely a snack. I have tried to make that excuse when “snacking” on challah. We are all guilty, but I feel it my duty as spokesperson to the disenfranchised cynical-yet frum community that it’s time to change our evil ways.

We should begin to rethink our laziness and begin to eat bread despite the lengthy process involved.

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  • Nachal

    People are also blowing through their 3 ashreys for the day a little too quick for my liking and clearly not davening nor saying the words with true kavoynah. saddening.

  • dbry

    that’s just gross. it’s the whole eastern-european thing rearing its head. it’s like, the more eastern european you are, the more frum you are. it’s an ass-backwards way of thinking that has resulted in the adding of all sorts of nonsense to judaism, while neglecting the actual halakah that seems too “middle-eastern”. washing your hands before a meal is basic sanitation and that’s why it’s halakah, it’s a mitzvah to make something holy and desirable out of something that you should just do all of the time it’s an incentive not to be a nasty-ass and wash your damn hands. if it’s a matter of “well, i already washed my hands but i don’t want to do it”, that’s just stupid. it takes like 10 seconds to grab the wash cup and say a quick blessing.

    i think a big problem in orthodoxy is refusing to admit that there is a reason for any of the mitzvot, there’s this idea that G-d just made up a random list of 613 things you are supposed to do just to torture us, and if you dare apply any logical purpose to the mitzvot you’re an apikorsus. DUH! wash your hands! the CDC says to do it, that’s obviously proof that G-d gave us that information WAY before anyone else had the technology to understand what bacteria are. don’t eat pork! in addition to being unsafe to eat, they’re one of the most intelligent animals out there and killing them is showing no respect to sentient animals! why is it so wrong to recognize the fact that G-d gave us this 21st century knowledge thousands of years ago, and “holier” to think that G-d just likes to mess with us?

    • G*3

      The less grounded in reality a ritual is, the more likely it is to survive. Partly because it makes people feel special to be doing something holy, and practical things just arent perceived as wholly. Mostly, though, its because things with practical reasons are too easy to circumvent.

      Take washing your hands. If youre washing for cleanliness, then if youve been, say, digging in the garden and you wash your hands with soap, why bother with the washing-cup ritual? Do that enough times, and you lose the habit of washing your hands with a cup.

      If washing your hands before a meal is a zechor lmikdash that also cleans off tuumah and prepares you to nourish your neshoma as well as your guf, well, then you have to wash the right way, with a cup, every time, and the ritual survives. So the more esoteric the ritual, the more likely it is to survive, and therefore those rituals which we perform tend to be divorced from practical considerations.

      • Micah T

        I agree, religion begins where intellect ends. The more irrational a ritual is, the more potentially spiritual it is. If religion (Judaism, in our case) is only to be rational, then we should call it philosophy, not religion. This is the mistake Reform makes, the emphasis is too heavily on reason. They got rid of everything that couldn’t be explained rationally. The result is that Reform has been reduced to social action and summer camp for kids. (Both good in their own way, but not the whole picture.) A Jew has obligations to his fellow man (e.g.social action and summer camp for kids) and obligations to G-d. All together it equals religion.

      • ahg

        As long it is a Zexhor, I’m fine with that stuff. The whole ruach rah for the morning washing ritual blew right past me. Don’t touch anything at all or you’ll give the morning cudies. Oh, Please. Teach the real reason, you might have grabbed you junk or your wife’s butt in the middle of the night, and now you need to wash before saying prayers.

      • Devin

        Great point.

    • Puzzled

      Fine, but what has this to do with splashing water from a dirty cup?

  • Rob

    it’s not just 10 seconds of washing and a bracha. it’s the extra 2 minutes to say birchat hamazon that’s the killer. that’s 2 minutes of bittul torah!

  • anon

    @DBRY – bitches dont wanna to wash cuz they’ll have to say bircas hamazon

  • zach

    Eh, just tell people you’re starting the wheatbelly diet.

  • bec

    if you think that’s bad, i’ve seen people refuse to eat anything containing flour, out of concern that it could lead to eating bread.

    • Anonymous

      He he he!!!!

  • tesyaa

    Wash or don’t wash, but why are you spending so much time watching what others are doing? It’s between them and God… or did God appoint you washing kapo?

    Or maybe they all have psoriasis and water aggravates their condition, but they’re embarrassed to say they got a heter not to wash. You’re making all those people with skin conditions feel bad.

    Get a life! And yes, I know it’s FrumSATIRE!

    • Because the entire point of being frum is to outdo your neighbor, why do you think there’s a levush, so you can say your hat or sheitle is better than your neighbors. I don’t wear the levush and so I have to show off and judge people for more halachic things like washing the tumah off your hands. Actually I have a skin condition so there….psoriasis.

      • tesyaa

        Better you should wear the levush and stay out of others’ business.

  • Devin

    I guess part of it is how repetitive it is to bench. You say the same old thing over and over and it gets stale. I know we need to find new meaning but after the 100000000 time it gets old. Major problem I have with Judiasm is how rote it is and there is very little way around it. I like the Christian method of actually thinking for yourself about what you are thankful for rather than what the rabbis tell you to be thankful for.

    • Baruch Atta

      I haven’t finished p’sukai d’zimra in years. I start out saying, but get caught in a pasuk that sparks my interest. I think about it, re-read it, meditate on it.
      Am I a slacker for not reading the whole megilla and skipping most of it?

      • Devin

        Well we know what the evil rabbis would say. I personally think its more what you get out otherwise what’s the point. Quality of Quantity. The Matisyahu new way.

  • You wash, you eat, you bench. We’re willing to keep kosher, but washing your hands is just a bit too much work? Maybe I’m quite not understanding. I got mad at my friend who left the student center one Sunday morning after eating without benching (he insists he was doing a mitzvah and he did bench back at home, but blargh), but this? Just pure laziness.

  • There aren’t really kosher restaurants where I live, and the non-kosher ones don’t have those little sinks out where you can wash, so you have to go to into the bathroom to do it. That’s my excuse.

  • ahg

    I don’t understand a new trend I’ve seen a lot of recently. Sheitle wearing women with very low cut tops. What’s the point?

    • G*3

      To wear fashionable shirts, no?

  • Seth

    Can you be frum and have a favorite part of the New Testament? If you leave a comment a week after posting will anyone see it? What the heck. Your post reminded me of my favorite part of the New Testament. Shortly after Jesus multiplies 5 loaves of bread and two fishes into enough food to feed “about five thousand men, besides women and children,” the “Pharisees and scribes” have a question for Jesus. Can you guess what it was? “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” Makes me laugh! I can imagine some frum people nowadays who would ask a question like that after seeing an open miracle. Now of course there are parts of the New Testament that are grossly anti-Jewish and that have led to incredible suffering for our people over millenia, but could it be that other parts of the New Testament were originally written as Second Temple Frum Satire?

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