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Right in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch we see this idea of "Ruach Rah". In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, not touching orifices of the body without washing ones hands. All done in order not to cause a danger to someone. Is there any explanation that can be given to understand better what Ruach Rah is, where it comes from. What sources could be quoted about this.

My reason for asking this is because I am learning with someone now for a half hour a day and he would like a better explanation in this inyun of Ruach Rah (like I stated above, where it comes from, why, how does it "work", etc.)

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Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik explained to me that "Ruach Rah" is referring to things like bacteria and germs.

Our Chachamim, Sages, were very advanced thinkers. They must have seen certain cause and effect. If you don't wash your hands disease etc is transferred. They obviously did not have a microscope to see the bacteria or germs, however they identified a physical cause to the harm. They referred to this as Ruach Rah.

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Hmm, maybe...... –  Yehoshua Mar 5 '13 at 22:58
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@Yehoshua Do you have another working theory? –  RCW Mar 5 '13 at 23:39
    
@Yehoshua You're not going to find much else that isn't almost entirely metaphysical. –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 1:10
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!!! I'm not an apikorus?! W00t! –  Seth J Mar 6 '13 at 1:46
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@SethJ I am glad we can help you with that burden! –  RCW Mar 15 '13 at 0:35
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I assume the popular practice of "negel vaser" falls under this category right? http://www.atranet.co.il/gordon/netilat.pdf I personally and I know other people, respected people as well, who don't hold by negel vaser. It contradicts pshat holochoh on so many levels, that I can't see how big rabbonim go for this.

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How does this answer the question? Ruach Ra'ah is concept that shows up multiple times in the Talmud. All this answer says is some people think hand washing violates halacha. –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 22:53
    
No hand washing doesn't violate holochoh. Nege vaser does, netilath yodoyim doesn't. The more rationale schools don't believe in RuahH Ro or Ayin Horo or any other things like that. –  MoriDoweedhYaa3gob Mar 6 '13 at 23:01
    
How does negel vaser violate halacha? Why don't you believe in Ruach Raah: it's in the Talmud not the Zohar. –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 23:03
    
"In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, not touching orifices of the body without washing ones hands. All done in order not to cause a danger to someone." There is no danger in walking or touching ones body in the morning. It contradicts the gemoroh that says when you wake up you should say Alokai Nashomo and not modah ani. It also contradicts the gemoroh that says when rubbing your eyes to awaken you should say pogeahH 3wareem. –  MoriDoweedhYaa3gob Mar 6 '13 at 23:05
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I'm still laughing because you said you do Arabic voodoo. ;-p –  Seth J Mar 7 '13 at 3:49
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