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Are gloves a barrier for tumah water and food if one didn’t do morning netilat yadayim?

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  • See: Shulchan Arukh Orach Chayim 163:2, Chullin 107b:3, Mishneh Torah, Blessings 6:18
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 20:02

1 Answer 1

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I’d like to offer a few disparate halachos in the Mishnah Berura to conclude with an answer to this question.

Background:

Not washing netilas yadayim in the morning causes a problem to touch certain spots on the body. The Mishnah Berura in 4:14 brings an additional issue of touching food as well.

The Mishnah Berura in 46:6 when discussing the Halacha that one should put his hands on his eyes when saying the bracha of פוקח עורים, which the Mechaber holds should be done before washing your hands, he adds that it should be done with a cloth or some other barrier.

על עיניו - פי' ע"י החלוק דאסור להניח ידיו על עיניו קודם הנטילה כמ"ש סימן ד

This would indicate that there is no problem of Ruach Ra if the hand isn’t directly touching the food or the body part and there’s a barrier in between.

Now for the question:

I understood your question to be about gloves specifically, since it could be considered an extension of the hand and therefore wouldn’t count as a barrier, while a cloth that is entirely separate, would.

Answer:

The Mishnah Berura in 183:15 seems to indicate that gloves would be considered a barrier just like anything else.

כתב השל"ה ע"פ הקבלה נכון שיעמיד הכוס על כף ימינו והאצבעות יהיו זקופים סביב. לא יטול הכוס בבתי ידים רק יסירם מקודם

(Note, this may be an issue of kavod for the Bracha and not about barriers)

However, in 651:13 he says that it’s actually a machlokes but that it seems we pasken that it’s considered a barrier.

או שכרך סודר - וה"ה אם לבש בתי ידים על ידיו ומה שכתב המחבר דין זה בלשון י"א משום דעת הר"ן דס"ל דיצא דבטל לגבי היד אבל בכרך סודר על הלולב גם לדעת הר"ן לא יצא דלא הוי לקיחה תמה -מ"א

So in conclusion, it should be permitted to touch food with gloves on before washing in the morning.

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