My question is closely related to this one. However, that question has an unsourced assumption. So, I'm asking my question, here, hoping that I can get a clearer answer.

Most washing cups (for netilat yadayim) seem to have two handles. Is this required by halacha or is it for convenience or decoration?

I'd like your answer to address all the areas of netilat yadayim as it is done in 4 areas that I know of. (May be others):

  • Morning washing upon awakening
  • After using the rest room
  • Before entering shul
  • Before eating bread

Perhaps, each of these has different rules where one would warrant the two handles and others don't.

  • +1 but note a cup is not necessarily required after using the restroom or before entering shul, see e.g., here
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 5:10

1 Answer 1


It's so one hand doesn't touch the other when passing between them.

If an unwashed hand touches a washed hand while wet, the washed hand needs to start over (Shulchan Arukh OC 162:4; there are various details there about when exactly this rule applies, but the cups are designed to just avoid any issue).

  • Your answer isn't addressing the details enumerated in the question. Additionally, this idea in your answer relates to a minor level of tumah and we are all tameh anyway. Why is it relevant today in practice and does that have anything to do with the 2 handles? Why are you not distinguishing, as asked, between washing in the morning and for bread? And what about the details asked about in connection before entering shul and upon exiting the rest room? This answer needs a lot of work. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 16:05

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