1) HALACHAH: PERSONAL HYGIENE AFTER GOING TO THE BATHROOM
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that after a Kohen goes to the bathroom to urinate ("Mei Raglayim"), he must do only Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim (wash his hands and feet). After urinating, one is required to remove any droplets of Mei Raglayim that might have fallen on his legs, so that he not be suspected of being a Kerus Shafchah (a man with an anatomical disorder which disqualifies him from marrying into the Jewish community; Devarim 23:2). Since he must rub off any droplets, he is required to wash his hands afterwards for cleanliness. This reason obligates not only a Kohen to wash his hands (Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim) after urinating, but every Jewish male (Netilas Yadayim).
The Gemara implies that if not for this reason, there would be no obligation to wash the hands after urinating. Does this mean that if one does not rub off any droplets, he does not need to wash his hands? Does a woman, to whom the law of Kerus Shafchah does not apply, need to wash her hands?
Moreover, since one is obligated to wash his hands after urinating, must he recite the blessing of "Al Netilas Yadayim"?
(a) The Tosfos Yeshanim cites RABEINU TAM who rules that just as a Kohen does not need to do Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim if he did not touch the Mei Raglayim, so, too, a non-Kohen does not need to wash his hands if he did not touch the Mei Raglayim. The requirement to wash one's hands is solely in order to clean them if they became soiled. The act of urinating itself does not obligate one to wash his hands. For this reason, even if one's hands touched the Mei Raglayim, he does not recite a blessing of "Al Netilas Yadayim," because the act of washing is not a Mitzvah unto itself, but rather a means of hygiene. It is no different from anyone else who washes his dirty hands in order to clean them.
(b) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH agrees with Rabeinu Tam that one who does not touch the Mei Raglayim does not need to wash his hands. However, he argues with Rabeinu Tam and says that if one does touch the Mei Raglayim and must wash his hands, he must also recite a blessing of "Al Netilas Yadayim" for that washing. The Tosfos ha'Rosh compares this act of washing to the Mitzvah to wash the hands in the morning upon arising. The Halachah requires that one recite a blessing when he washes his hands in the morning, even though that act of washing is done only because he might have touched an unclean part of his body. That Halachah implies that whenever the Rabanan instituted an act of washing, even for the sake of cleanliness, the act of washing requires a blessing.
However, the Rosh limits the requirement to recite a blessing to one who washes his hands in order to pray (Shemoneh Esreh). It does not apply to one who washes in order to learn Torah.
The argument between the Tosfos ha'Rosh and Rabeinu Tam with regard to washing one's hands with a blessing may be based on another argument with regard to washing the hands. The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 4:1) rules that upon arising in the morning, one must wash his hands. The Rishonim give different reasons for this requirement.
The ROSH maintains that one must wash his hands upon arising because the hands might have touched an unclean part of the body. As mentioned above, the Rosh understands from this Halachah that one should recite a blessing when he washes his hands after urinating if his hands become soiled.
The RASHBA, however, maintains that the reason for washing the hands in the morning is similar to the reason for why a Kohen must wash before he enters the Beis ha'Mikdash in the morning: it is for the purpose of Kedushah, to sanctify himself. Similarly, before one begins to pray at the start of the day, he must wash his hands for the purpose of Kedushah (see Mishnah Berurah OC 4:1). Perhaps Rabeinu Tam maintains, like the Rashba, that the morning washing requires a blessing not because its purpose is to clean the hands, but because of Kedushah. In contrast, the washing done after urinating is not for the sake of Kedushah but in order to clean the hands, and thus one does not recite a blessing for that washing.
(c) The Tosfos Yeshanim cites RABEINU ELCHANAN who says that one must wash his hands after urinating even if he did not touch any droplets. He infers this from the Mishnah (28a) which states that "a rule in the Beis ha'Mikdash was that every Kohen who urinated requires Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim" and does not differentiate between one who touched the droplets and one who did not. The enactment that the Kohanim wash their hands was an all-inclusive enactment. Similarly, every person is required to wash his hands after urinating even if he did not touch the droplets.
The RITVA suggests another reason for why one must wash his hands even if he did not touch any droplets. The verse says, "Erchatz b'Nikayon Kapai" -- "I shall wash my hands with purity" (Tehilim 26:6), which teaches that one should prepare for Tefilah by sanctifying himself with the washing of his hands (see Berachos 15a). (This reason applies only when one washes before prayer.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 7:1-2) rules that one must wash his hands even if he did not rub off any droplets. One does not recite a blessing of "Al Netilas Yadayim," but only the blessing of "Asher Yatzar."
2) THE KEDUSHAH OF THE MIKVAH ATOP THE BEIS HA'PARVAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that the Kohen Gadol would immerse in the Mikvah which was in a "sanctified area" atop the Beis ha'Parvah. Rashi says that the Mikvah was on the roof of the Beis ha'Parvah.
How could the roof be a sanctified area? The Gemara in Pesachim (86a) teaches that the roofs above the Azarah were not sanctified.
(31a, DH v'Chulan) answers that the Beis ha'Parvah was built underground, and its rooftop was level with the ground of the Azarah. Rooftops which are level with the ground of the Azarah are
sanctified, as the Gemara in Pesachim says. (See Insights to Yoma 25:1:b
(b) The RA'AVAD (Tamid 30b-31a) says that the reason why the rooftops in the Azarah were not sanctified is because when the structures were built initially, prior to the sanctification of the area, the roofs served as Mechitzos, partitions that prevented the Kedushah of the Azarah from reaching the area above the rooftops. The rest of the airspace of the Azarah (inside the rooms that had roofs, and in the outside areas that had no roofs) was sanctified.
When the Beis ha'Parvah was built, the airspace above it had already become sanctified (since it was built some time after the rest of the Beis ha'Mikdash was built), and thus the roof did not serve as a Mechitzah. Consequently, the area above the Beis ha'Parvah remained sanctified. (Alternatively, when the Azarah was initially built, the builders had positive intent to leave the rooftops unsanctified. All other areas, though, became sanctified, including the airspace. As a result, when any structure was built later the airspace above its roof remained sanctified.)
This approach explains why the Beis ha'Parvah was named for the person who built it (see Insights to Yoma 35:1
), while no other part of the Azarah was named for a particular person. Since the Beis ha'Parvah was built later and was not part of the original construction of the Azarah, it had an independent identity and assumed the name of the person who built it. (M. Kornfeld)
(c) The EZRAS KOHANIM (Midos 5:3, DH Shalosh #1 and DH v'Al Gago) suggests that the roof of the Beis ha'Parvah was sanctified because it contained a door which led to the sanctified area of the Azarah. Since the roof opened into the sanctified Azarah, the roof itself became sanctified.