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The Talmudic Rabbis understand the verse: ‘Ye shall not make yourselves abominable’ (Leviticus 11: 43) as forbidding anything from which normal people recoil in disgust–eating from dirty plates, for example, or eating rotten food, or leaving the body unwashed. Passing water and movement of the bowels must be attended to as soon as the need becomes urgent and there are even instructions in the Talmud about wiping thoroughly afterwards.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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