“For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.”
King James Version (KJV)
Mr 7:3 Except they wash [their] hands oft, eat not. The duty of washing before meals is not inculcated in the law, but only in the tradition of the scribes. So rigidly did the Jews observe it, that Rabbi Akiba, being imprisoned, and having water scarcely sufficient to sustain life given him, preferred dying of thirst to eating without washing his hands. Tradition of the elders. See PNT "Mt 15:2".