We associate the color white with purity. In the Torah / 5 Books of Moses – the brother of Rivka and father of Rachel & Leah has a beautiful name – Lavan. Lavan means white in Hebrew. Although he had a beautiful name – he was wicked.
Wickedness of Lavan
We say it in the Passover Haggada – “Arami Oved Avi” – “An Aramean (Lavan) destroyed my father (Yaakov / Jacob).” Since Lavan tried to kill Yaakov – he is considered as if he actually did it. Thus we say “An Aramean destroyed my father.” and not “An Aramean tried to kill my father.” For certain – if they attempt to do an evil act — it is considered as if they actually did it.
At times the world of marketing – leads us to believe that certain things are pure and certain things are right. It may be so – it may not.
What is Purity?
There is a difference between Holiness and Purity. Holiness is one who is careful to follow the laws of the Torah with precision. He is loved my man and Hash-m / G-d. A Holy person can be impure. A pure person – can be unholy.
There are various kinds of purity – purity of the heart and purity of the body are two.
Purity of Heart
Purity of the heart – means a person is careful to guard their heart of hatred. They guard their eyes from seeing the prohibited – improper images – like those of idolatry, the face of wicked people, immodest people and images. They guard their mouths from speaking evil – they speak no evil about others – even if it is true (see laws of Lashon HaRa), they do not flatter, they have clean language. From their mouth emanates truth and kindness. They guard their ears from hearing bad about others. They keep their hearts far from grudges, animosity and controversy. They keep their mind pure as well.
Purity of the Body
A person’s body can become impure several ways. A person who touches an unclean animal – like a lizard, rodent or insect can become impure. A person who touches a dead body or who is in a building with a dead body or in a cemetery also contracts impurity. A menstruating woman or a man that has a seminal issue also contracts impurity. A person’s hands become impure when they sleep – thus we do netilat yadayim / washing of the hands in the morning.
To achieve purity of the heart one reads, learns and applies sefarim / Jewish books on Mussar / Jewish Ethics.
To achieve purity of the body one may immerse in a natural body of water, like a river, ocean, or mikve.
At times a person feels cloudy of mind. They feel depression. They may feel anger. Certain things that bring upon themselves impurity cause depression, anger and being unsettled.
The solution? Purify yourself.