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 '19 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 '19 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 '19 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 '19 at 11:28

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)

enter image description here

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 '19 at 9:13
  • 1
    I'm not following this logic. How does this relate to shining your shoes before traveling?
    – ezra
    May 24 '19 at 16:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .