5

Rav Yehuda HaChassid (circa 1200) writes in his will (39):

לא ימשח אדם מנעליו ביום שדעתו לילך לדרך

you shouldn't shine your shoes on the day you go on a trip.

What is the idea behind this?

  • Interesting, what substances did they use for shining in 1200? Maybe ask it on Shoes@SE forum or Quora. – Al Berko May 24 at 9:17
  • I think you're mistaking, translating ימשח as shine, it is about softening the leather, not making them shine. – Al Berko May 24 at 9:20
  • @AlBerko - I hear you. This translation was based on Rav Moshe Heinemann's understanding of it. Good point in where to pose the question! – NJM May 24 at 14:34
  • This is a pure and uneducated guess, so I'm not posting it as an answer, but maybe it's because doing is at best a waste of time (they'll get dusty again on the road) and at worst harmful (the fresh grease will make dust stick to them better). – msh210 May 26 at 11:28
-2

The sefer Tav Yehoshua about "Hanhagos haAdam" (how a person should conduct themself) quotes this line verbatim in "laws of keeping your body and soul healthy with clothing and shoes" siman 17: si'if 8th.

(see line highlighted in all yellow)

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Based on the sefer's placement of Rav Yehuda HaChassid's teaching in "laws of keeping your body and soul healthy with clothing and shoes" perhaps one could suggest that the reason for his teaching is health-related.

  • Kudos for finding. But I disagree with your conclusion, see #ט. The text lists precautions without any explanations. – Al Berko May 24 at 9:13
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    I'm not following this logic. How does this relate to shining your shoes before traveling? – ezra May 24 at 16:03

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