This is the third and last of sacred cloths. What binds them together is a palm border and similar size. This composition gave me fits as well as the strong yellow of the momigami paper (party napkin). The two handled pitcher is Canaanite and the clay bowl has Hebrew letters inscribed...both ancient.
There are over a hundred daily blessings and this one of blessing hand washing is so simple and perfect to me. I've sat at large holiday tables and the pitcher & basin have been passed, giving each guest a chance to make ready for the holiday. At some tables the pitcher has been fine silver, porcelain and others clear plastic...it's the humble ritual , the coming together, the agreement to begin that I have always found so warming and rich.
In my own mountain of memories, I recall being called in for dinner with clear instructions to wash my hands first. In order to help, my father would take on the job with a warm wash cloth. I can still remember my hands in his big hands and after the wash up he might pull out his pocket knife and trim my nails. All this in preparation for a very ordinary dinner meal. My sons were a challenge in the washing up area and I do remember LAVA soap as one way I could get their little hands cleaned. I see young mothers in restaurants using squeeze bottles of hand sanitizer on their children's hands before beginning a meal...we are a people in a hurry but I guess it gets the job done. In my quiet life I prefer a big bar of soap and rinsing my hands while reciting the blessing...a way of setting myself right in a simple way.