Are there any sources (from any period in time as long as they come from a respectable source please) that demonstrates the need to educate one's child in the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene?

So far I have only seen an indirect source in the Gemara in Chullin 24b which notes how the 80-year old Rabbi Chaninah attributed his strength and vigour as an old man to the baths and oil that his mother gave him when he was a child.

  • Pesachim (51a) עם הכל אדם רוחץ חוץ מאביו etc. One is not permitted to attend the bathhouse with his father, so presumably others would have to educate them in proper bathhouse etiquette. Jul 11 at 11:19
  • Thanks for this @IsraelReader! Although I am looking for specifically sources that point to the education of one's child in regular cleanliness and personal hygiene whereas this mekor is more highlighting the tznius element.
    – Dov
    Jul 11 at 11:35
  • Didn't Hillel say he was going to the bathhouse to honor God, as humans were created in God's likeness?
    – Shalom
    Jul 11 at 13:05
  • See Rabbi Yaakov Emden in "Mor U'ktzia" (OC 3, ד"ה ולא בעשבים יבשים) who describes following/accompanying his father (the Chacham Tzvi) into the בית הכסא, and his father's conduct there, with regard to cleaning himself. Jul 11 at 14:06
  • Can we infer from the halacha that allows bathing children during the 9 days that child hygiene is of high importance?
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 11 at 14:25

Shulchan Aruch Siman 616, Mishna berura 1 and 3

מותרים בכל אלו - ברחיצה וסיכה ואכילה ושתיה שלא גזרו על הקטנים. ומותר לגדול להאכילו ולהשקותו ולסוכו ולרחצו ודוקא רחיצה בצונן אבל לא ירחצנו בחמין כל גופו אפילו הוחמו מבע"י שהרחיצה בחמין אינה אסורה משום מצות עינוי בלבד שהרי גם בכל שבתות השנה אסור לרחוץ בחמי

דסתם תינוק הוא כחולה אצל חמין אבל אסור לומר לעכו"ם שיחמם אותן וכתבו האחרונים דעכשיו שאין נוהגין לרחוץ ולסוך את הקטן בכל יום ואין מניעת הרחיצה והסיכה נחשבת לו לעינוי כלל אין לרחצו ולסוכו ביוה"כ אפילו ע"י עכו"ם:

So for Yom Kippur it was allowed for children as they needed it.

  • 2
    thanks for this, but this doesn't answer the question - it just tells us that since children require such things we are lenient with them. It has nothing to do with teaching them the importance of hygiene and the like.
    – Dov
    Jul 11 at 17:25
  • The source for this is the Talmud in Yoma 78b דְּאָמַר אַבָּיֵי, אֲמַרָה לִי אֵם: רְבִיתֵיהּ דְּיָנוֹקָא — מַיָּא חַמִּימֵי וּמִשְׁחָא. גְּדַל פּוּרְתָּא — בֵּיעֲתָא בְּכוּתָּחָא. גְּדַל פּוּרְתָּא — תַּבּוֹרֵי מָאנֵי. כִּי הָא דְּרַבָּה זָבֵין לְהוּ מָאנֵי גְּזִיזֵי דְּפַחְרָא לִבְנֵיהּ, וּמְתַבְּרִי לְהוּ. It seems that washing and bathing are in the same category as giving then things to break to let them get their wildness out
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 12 at 3:30

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