Supplement to Episode 32

In this episode we discussed how the right hand is primary and represents kindness which is why in Jewish law we generally prioritize the right side before the left.

Another interesting expression of this is in Hebrew writing. The 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, known as the Temach Tzedek, writes that the reason why Hebrew goes from right to left is because we always want to write on the right-most end of the paper. Once that spot is filled, we go to the next right-most spot and continue on like that going from right to left. (Source: Responsa Tzemach Tzedek OC 1:67:5 here)

Partial list of Mitzvhas in which we prioritize the right side: A metzorah (leper) is sprinkled on his right thumb and big toe, Mezuzah is placed on right side of the doorway, a Sofer (scribe) has to write with his right hand, we cover our eyes for Shema with our right hand, we wash our right hand first for Netilas Yadayim, hold kiddush cup in the right hand, blow shofar out of the right side of the mouth, carry a Torah scroll on our right shoulder, hold food in right hand when making a blessing on it, in the temple the priests would always turn right, when the priests bless the nation (birkas kohanim) they turn rightwards to face the congregation, a chalitza (process when a man refuses the levirate marriage) uses the right shoe, one should dress and undress their right side first, one should bathe the right side first, if you are lost and not sure which way to go – you should turn right.

If you have any more examples email me or leave them in the comments below!

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