Torah Riddles Test #73

1.  Question: If a person is standing in water without any clothes and wants to make a blessing why is he allowed to put his arms around his waist to separate his heart from his bottom, isn’t he touching unclean normally covered places which also prevent him from making a blessing?


A. There are a number of conditions that have to be met in order to speak or do Holy matters like making blessings: 1. Private parts must be covered. 2. There must be a separation between private parts and one’s heart. 3. One must have clean hands that have not touched normally covered places on one’s body which tend to sweat.

 B. The Mishna Berura (74:3:14) gives a solution for one standing in water, for example a woman going to the Mikva who must make a blessing, that is that the water is considered covering her private parts and by clenching her arms around her waist which is not normal to do, that can be used as a separation between her heart and bottom, just like a girdle.

C. Question is why is this allowed if you are not allowed to touch covered areas and the waist is normally covered?

Answer: Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (footnote 16 in Dirshu) says that the body can’t be dirty with sweat if you are inside the water so there is no problem of dirty hands if you touch your waste when making the blessing.