but why do you call it a great mitzvah? Wherein lies its great importance?”
Hillel listened to his students and replied: “My children, you surely know that in the stadiums and the circuses there are many statues of the Caesars. Is that not so?”
“Yes, it is so,” replied the students.
“And what do they do with these statues every day?” continued Hillel.
“Every morning, they wash and clean them from the soot and dirt that have soiled them the day before.”
“Consider then,” said Hillel. “If people are so careful to cleanse and keep spotless the figures that are the work of mere mortals, how much more so must we be careful about the appearance of our bodies that is the work of the Holy One, Blessed Be He?”