Sunday, November 23, 2008


It is a known fact that many Jews have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder). They are constantly cleaning themselves from germs, and bacteria. Why is it that these people, have been mentally convinced, they are in the danger of being infected. Lets look into the many reasons.

A common Jewish ritual is, to cleanse oneself in a pool of water, that so many others have cleansed themselves in already. (hey! whats the worst thing in a mikveh?..... Traffic). This practice is known as "going to the Mikveh". One of the more dreaded Mitzvahs, for those who don't normally go. There are two ways of looking at this. One is; since, many have the Minhag of dipping everyday, they are always feeling unclean, during the rest of the day. The other is; that, they feel contaminated after diving into a pool, where "uncleanlies" (sometimes really are) have gone to; therefore, they feel the need to keep hand sanitizers with them.

There are other places that may cause you to go into an OCD type syndrome. A Yeshiva is among the worst. I did a post on that a while back (link here). Basically, you can go crazy over, the filth that practically grows there. From the food to the rooms, its all disgusting. Then there is the restaurants/pizza stores; which have so many health code violations, (link here) I am amazed that I havent gone OCD.

Going back to the first reason. We are supposed to wash our hands: When we wake up, after we
go to the bathroom (hope everyone does anyway), Before you eat bread, and some, after you eat bread, after coming from a funeral, or just visiting a cemetery; all because of the Ruach Ra (evil spirit) that rests upon you. That is a good reason why Jews have OCD, it seems like you always have to be clean. It doesn't take a genius to figure out, why so many Jews have OCD.

10 people gave their 2 cents:

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

wow, right when I was so happy that I'm finally catching up on commenting a bit, you go and post another post!

Funny, I was just reading a little bit of it, and I saw it said OCD and Jew, and reminded me of the speech I heard by R' Feinhandler, that I wrote a post about, and he said he was going to be writing a book about Jews and OCD.

But the ones who go to the mikvah every day, go because they believe in the spiritual reasons, that it's getting rid of tumah. So they don't feel that they are literally dirty the rest of the day.

umm hand sanitizers don't really help you after going into a contaminated pool.

But also, what it really means, are those that feel they have to wash negal vasser every minute. For those that can't afford going to the mikvah, they wash their hands 40 times instead, now I would call that a waste of water, and crazy!

Mikeinmidwood said...


I meant through going everyday, they will eventually have OCD.

Ookamikun said...

Mikvas are dirty. At least half the people don't bother showering.

Lion of Zion said...

i'd like to see more shuls/yeshivot/etc. that actually have soap by the sinks. negel vaser sans soap may still do wonders for רוח רעה but it doesn't help that much in terms of bacteria

not all mikva'ot are dirty. some of the women's facilities--although by no means all--are quite nice (so i've been told).

"One of the more dreaded Mitzvahs"

it is not a mitzvah בזמן הזה for men

Ookamikun said...

I'd like to see more eating establishments, especially pizzerias, and especially when there's a sign that employees must wash hands, to have the actual soap that the employees are supposed to use. At least then I can pretend that they wash their hands.

The women's mikva on E 15th and J is open for men erev Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur. I went there once, same crap. The one on Ocean and L is supposed to be very good.

Lion of Zion said...


the syrian mikvah on ave S (or ave R?) is supposed to very nice. i've also heard good things about ocean/L.

personally i can't comment on mikva'ot, as i restrict my own dunking to brighton beach in the summer time.

Anonymous said...

hey, don't knock hand washing. It saved us from getting the bubonic plague! Anyway, women's mikvah's are way cleaner! I have a mikvah lady friend who goes crazy after the men have been to her mikvah (a small out of town mikvah). She has told me the grossest stuff.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Lion O Zion

Dunk in the winter, when ever that Polar bear thing goes on, why you chicken? :)

Mrs Lakewood Falling Down

Hey, you guys have it clean.

Sally Hazel said...

I agree with LOZ and Moshe- let there be soap!

MIM- OCD can be observed not just in hand washing but also in one's attempt to 'perfect' mitzva performance. It get quite sad at times...

Mikeinmidwood said...

Sally Hazel

Sadly it can.