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Cleanliness is next to G-dliness!
The great sage Hillel used to be very careful to take proper care of himself. When the time for eating arrived, he would excuse himself and leave his students. One day, his students asked, "Why do you leave us every day?" He replied, "I have to perform an act of mercy with a guest in my home."
Hillel's students were clever. "Does that mean you have a guest in your home every day?" Hillel smiled, "Yes. It's the soul within my body. For the soul comes to this world for but a short while, and then must return to its true home. " Therefore Hillel was making sure his "guest" would be comfortable by not eating or drinking improperly.
Another time when Hillel stood up to leave, his students asked, "Master, where are you going?" "To fulfill a mitzvah," he replied. "Which mitzvah?" they asked.
"To bathe," he answered.
The students were very surprised. "Is bathing a mitzvah?"
"It certainly is," he answered. "Stop and think for a moment. If workers are paid to clean public statues which are only stone figures of kings, how much more should we take care of our bodies which were created in the 'image' of the King of Kings, G-d!"
PS: Of course, G-d does not have an "image." However, according to Kabbala, the human form reflects the Divine wisdom in Creation.
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