It were better to cut the hands off than to touch the eye, or the nose,
or the mouth, or the ear, etc., with them without having first washed
them. Unwashed hands may cause blindness, deafness, foulness of breath,
or a polypus. It is taught that Rabbi Nathan has said, "The evil spirit
Bath Chorin, which rests upon the hands at night, is very strict; he
will not depart till water is poured upon the hands three times over."
THE TALMUD, _Shabbath_ fol. 109, col. 1.