THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) TOUCHING PARTS OF THE BODY IN THE MORNING WITH UNWASHED HANDS
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a person should not touch his eye, nose,
mouth, ear, scab, Amah, rectal area (Pi ha'Taba'as), or a beer-barrel
before washing his hands in the morning upon arising. The TUR (OC 4) cites
only the first four. Why does he leave out the other four?
(a) With regard to touching the Amah and Pi ha'Taba'as, the BEIS YOSEF
explains that the Tur may understand the Gemara like RASHI (DH Ma'aleh),
who explains that touching the Amah and Pi ha'Taba'as has nothing to do
with unwashed hands in the morning. Rather, touching those areas is
*always* forbidden, either because doing so leads to Keri (touching the
Amah), or because it can cause rashes (touching the Pi ha'Taba'as).
Therefore, the Tur had no reason to discuss those parts in this Halachah.
Similarly, the Tur did not mention touching a scab, because it, too, should
not be touched at any time for health reasons.
As for why the Tur omitted touching a barrel with unwashed hands, the Beis
Yosef writes that this, too, has nothing to do with being touched with
unwashed hands. Rather, touching a beer barrel anytime causes the beer to
go bad. Therefore, it is not relevant to the Halachah of touching things in
the morning with unwashed hands.
(b) The BACH, TAZ, and VILNA GA'ON disagree. According to the Beis Yosef,
they ask, why does the Gemara say that "the hand that touches a barrel
should be caught off." Just because a person ruins his beer is no reason to
say that his hand should be cut off! (It could be that the Beis Yosef
understood the Gemara as referring to touching and ruining *someone else's*
beer.) They therefore state that a barrel *should* indeed be listed with
the other things a person should not touch with unwashed hands in the