Chagigah 18b. “Whoever washes their hands for fruit (even though they’re only obligated by bread) is from the haughty of spirit” Mishna Berurah 158:22 states that this is because he makes the statement about himself that he is careful with mitzvos even beyond the letter of the law. I don’t understand, isn’t that a good thing? Although I can’t quote off the top of my head aren’t there plenty of times where that is seen as a good thing.( I.E Women being stricter than letter of law by Niddah)??

  • 1
    Firstly there is a difference between being stringent on a lav vs bring stringent on adding extra asseh. Secondly, in the case of washing for fruit, there was never any Mitzvah and he’s adding a new idea from his own, basically making his own Torah
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 21 at 1:13
  • women being strict by niddah is not going stricter than what the law requires but being strict in the case of a doubt between two very similar cases of which one is necessarily more strict but hard to tell apart. What is the basis for washing for fruit? A stringency still needs to have a basis in halacha.
    – Dude
    Jun 21 at 2:03
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    There’s a rabbinic enactment to wash before eating bread. Either 1. Because it’s holy to wash before eating, and we only put it by bread. Or 2. So Kohanim who legally have to wash for Terumah would be used to it. Either one would be beneficial to wash by fruit too, and seems to be a stringency that would be to strict to force on the general pop Jun 21 at 4:14
  • As far as number 1 Is concerned see Aruch Hashulchan why it doesn’t apply. sefaria.org/… Once it’s not included in the takana then it’s like making your own Torah
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 21 at 14:20
  • ואין הקדושה ניכרת בזה כל כך Is not reason enough to refer to someone who still does it as “from the haughty of spirit” Jun 21 at 23:09


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