Ritual hand washing. Required before or after certain actions, e.g before eating bread, after waking up, etc.

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19
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7answers
2k views

Washing hands for eating pizza

How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza?
14
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4answers
318 views

Women and Mayim Acharonim

I very often eat at meals where after the meal, all of the men wash mayim acharonim, but none of the women do so. I am aware of a number of halachic sources that say both men and women should wash ...
14
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3answers
640 views

What is the source of netilat yadayim before eating bread?

From where do we learn that one must wash one's hands before eating bread? What does washing one's hands before bread symbolize? Why is ritual hand washing required for bread, but not other foods?
11
votes
3answers
227 views

What's the reason for the opinion that one must wash their hands thrice before eating bread?

Some sects of Ashkenazim (mostly Litvish) wash their hands only twice, while some Sephardim and some Hasidim wash three times. Based on this answer I know that the first splash gets rid of the ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Forgot to wash but said hamotzi

If I inadvertantly forget to wash and said the bracha hamotzi, and have just broken the bread, but not eaten yet, what should I do next?
10
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2answers
329 views

When I wake up before Alot Hshachar and won't go back to sleep, what can/can't I do?

If I wake up early in the morning, like any time from 2am to 6am, before Alot Hashachar, and I'm pretty sure I'll start my day and not go back to sleep, at least not before a possible afternoon nap, ...
9
votes
4answers
524 views

Can I wash and say “please pass the salt”?

After washing one's hands before eating bread, one is not supposed to talk until he has made Hamotzi and partook of the bread. I understand that general chatter is not allowed. But what about for ...
9
votes
1answer
304 views

Should you greet a non-jew after washing netilat yadayim?

If you wash netilat yadayim and then a non-Jew says "hello" to you, should you: say "hello" back and wash again? try to acknowledge him without actually talking? or ignore him (doesn't seem right)? ...
9
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4answers
202 views

Washing for bread before Kiddush. Convenient for sukkos?

There is a custom followed by Jews of German extraction to wash for Hamotzi before making Kiddush. See OC 271 (12) MB{61}. This is very convenient for those who have an outside sukka and don’t want ...
8
votes
2answers
227 views

Does one need dry hands before washing?

I've always noticed people that make sure their hands are perfectly dry before washing (i.e. washing for eating bread). Why do people do so? Where does this apparent stringency come from?
8
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2answers
192 views

What is the source for washing Mayim Acharonim with only a few drops of water?

OC 181 (4) MB [10] says that when washing mayim acharonim one must wash up to the second knuckle and using a few drops does not fulfill the mitzvah at all. Shulchan Oruch HaRav 181 (4) says there is ...
8
votes
2answers
110 views

If one hand gets dirty, do both require washing?

I'm in middle of davening, and scratch a usually-covered place using my little finger (pinky) on my right hand. This requires me to wash my hand before continuing. Do I have to: wash both my hands? ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Does the Levi who washes the hands of the Kohanim have to be over bar mitzvah?

The Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people. If a Levi is not available a first born (to the mother) can wash (according to the Askenazi custom) instead, Orach Chaim ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Do you have to do netilat yadayim for a brief waking?

If a person wakes up in the middle of the night to perform a small, brief action (say putting a pacifier back into a baby's mouth) is she required to do netilat yadayim (washing her hands ritually)?
7
votes
2answers
255 views

Remove rings to wash?

Do I need to remove my wedding-band, which I wear every day, to wash for Hamotze or morning Negel vasser? What about other rings?
7
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1answer
867 views

What should you do if you accidentally talk between Al Netilas Yadayim and Hamotzi?

Assuming one has the minhag not to speak between netilas yadayim and hamotzi...What should one do if one accidentally speaks during this time? Should one wash again? With or without a blessing? --Or ...
7
votes
1answer
339 views

Do I need to wash and bentch on oatmeal?

I was reading in Artscroll's The Laws of Brachos that if someone eats an amount of mezonos equal to the amount of bread he would have eaten during a meal then he needs to wash and bentch. For some ...
7
votes
2answers
213 views

Is Mayim Achronim required before Al Hamichya?

As the title asks: is it required or recommended before Al Hamichya (or for that matter, borei nefashos as well). And if yes or no, why or why not?
7
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2answers
322 views

Why when washing for bread do we splash twice?

Is there any particular reason the procedure for washing hands for bread includes pouring the water twice on each hand? Isn't once enough?
7
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2answers
192 views

washing your hands and forgetting

If you wash your hands and your mind goes blank and you dont remember if you said a bracha or not. do you make a new one? Do you wash again and then make a new one?
7
votes
2answers
68 views

Does Ruach Ra'ah transfer between people

If one washes netilays yadaim in the morning and thus eliminates their ruach ra'ah and then someone who has not yet washed their hands touches you do you have to wash again?
6
votes
3answers
361 views

What's the deal with all the washings?

Sometimes we wash with a cup, sometimes not; sometimes we wash twice, sometimes thrice; and not everyone agrees on method or pattern in all cases. Who says which ways we are supposed to wash, in ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Washing Kohen's Hands

Following kedusha during mussaf on a day when there is birchas kohanim (duchening), the Leviyim and Kohanim assemble at the sink and a Levi washes each Kohen's hands. What procedure of hand-washing ...
6
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2answers
234 views

What is Ruach Rah

Right in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch we see this idea of "Ruach Rah". In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
6
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1answer
40 views

Licking fingers for Mayim Acharonim?

Since saliva is one of the seven "liquids" (a subcategory of water, cf. Machshirin 6:5), would licking or sucking on one's own fingers fulfill the obligation of Mayim Acharonim?
6
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1answer
232 views

Why do the Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people?

When the Kohanim washed their hands and feet in the Beis HaMikdosh they did not have anyone to help. Why then do the Kohanim need others to wash their hands when they go up to bless the people? Why ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

Water from hydroelectric plant for netilat yadayim?

The Shulchan Aruch OC 160:2 rules that water with which one has done "melachah," is disqualified from netilat yadayim. Does this include water which has flowed downstream from a hydroelectric plant?
6
votes
2answers
50 views

What if, when the Kohanim washing their hands, less than ten remain?

Before Birkas Kohanim, the Levi'im wash the Kohanim's hands. In many communities, this occurs during the chazzan's repitition of Shemoneh Esrei, and in a room outside the main shul. Normally, there ...
6
votes
1answer
283 views

Kiddush on Bread: When to Wash?

Many (most?) rishonim, with the notable exception of the Rabbeinu Tam, hold that if there is no wine (or if you prefer bread) then you can make kiddush, on Shabbos/Yom Tov evening, with bread. At ...
6
votes
0answers
186 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
6
votes
0answers
219 views

Can you fulfill Netilat Yadayim by dipping your hands in a sink?

According to the Gemara in Hullin on 107a, if there's a vessel with a hole in it, and there's a "stream" (more than a drip but not necessarily the "sheffoferet hannod" required for a real mikveh) ...
5
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2answers
186 views

What do you do if there is no Levi or Bechor to wash the Kohain's hands?

What do you do by Duchaning when there is no Levi or Bechor to wash the Kohain's hands?
5
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2answers
163 views

What is a source that allows one to treat one's house as all within four amos?

I am after a source that allows one to treat one's house as all within four amos l'chatchila, with respect to nagel vasser (hand washing in the morning).
5
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1answer
80 views

Mitzva of Netilat Yadaim

Does anybody know what word Netilat exactly means and how it refers to the mitzva of Netilat Yadaim?
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Wash without saying a bracha and it's not pesach?

Inspired by this SMS Shut Bread without Water Q: I am stuck in a place without water. How can I eat bread? A: In extreme circumstances, one my wrap both hands with plastic bags, or gloves, in ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

Touching the forearm when putting on Tefilin

If one has touched his forearm while placing the arm-Tefilin (I see that it's a very common case), is he obligated to wash his hands immediately, as he has to say a Beracha on the head-Tefilin? If so, ...
5
votes
2answers
171 views

Washing for bread with bandages covering the hands

If someone has bandages completely covering both hands, what does he do before eating bread? Normally with a bandage covering part of the hard, I've heard that you wash the rest, but in this case ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

Washing after the bathroom from a running faucet — any point?

After using the bathroom some folks let the water run (without opening and closing the faucet) and pass each hand under the faucet 3 times alternating between the right and left hands. Since there's ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Can you use carbonated water for washing?

Inspired by this question but I believe different because its not related to drinking. Can you use carbonated, and even flavored clear water (seltzer) to do things that require water such as washing ...
5
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1answer
101 views

Sleeping Tumah Transfers

If someone wakes up and touches another object before washing his/her hands, does that object get some level of tumah as well?
5
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3answers
264 views

What are the parameters for washing after excusing one's self in the middle of the meal?

If I recall correctly from Chayei Adam and elsewhere, if you're in the middle of a bread-based meal and excuse yourself to defecate, first of all you should wash with soap and water for hygienic ...
5
votes
1answer
475 views

If I wake up before dawn, do I wash my hands with a blessing?

If one wakes up in the middle of the night or at least before dawn, does he wash and make al netilat yadayim? Also, at what point can one say birkot hashachar? I'd like to wake up extra early to do ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Using an electric hand dryer after netilas yadayim

Is there any issue with using an electric hand dryer to dry your hands after netilas yadayim either for a seudah or to remove ruach rah?
5
votes
1answer
89 views

After cutting my hair, how many times must I wash my hands?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 4:19 says: One who takes a haircut or shaves and does not wash his hands, will be scared for three days [...] and [...] will not know what he is scared of. ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

Mayim Acharonim with a cup?

(Asked because it seems to have been neglected from the answers to this question.) Is one required to wash Mayim Acharonim from of a cup (or vessel that is kosher for Mayim Rishonim)? Must one use ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

Can a Kohain do Birchas Kohanim if he did not wash his hands?

Suppose a Kohain for some reoson forgot to wash his hands or was unable to, can he still do Birchas Kohanim?
4
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1answer
142 views

New Al Netilas Yadayim after washing after Defecating During Meal

Should one make a new bracha of al netilas yadayim upon washing his hands after defecating within a meal?
4
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2answers
69 views

Can you use 1 instance of hand washing for 2 different things?

Can you use one instance of hand washing, say after leaving a beis hakvaros, to cover you for another, say using the bathroom?
4
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1answer
94 views

Bakery workers washing Negel Vasser

In my local bakery there are Jewish non religious workers. Is there a concern that perhaps when they are handling the baked goods they have not washed negel Vasser (morning n'tilas yadayim)?