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Can one touch a Tanach, not Torah scroll, before doing netilat yadayim?

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  • Todah @Kazibácsi Jan 12, 2023 at 13:34
  • According to Shulchan Aruch Harav (here and here), before washing you're not supposed to walk, learn, say blessings, or touch parts of your body, your clothes, food or drink. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say it would be inappropriate to touch holy objects. See also footnote 71 here.
    – shmosel
    Jan 12, 2023 at 20:59

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Yes (Berakhot 22a):

אָמַר לֵיהּ: בְּנִי, פְּתַח פִּיךָ וְיָאִירוּ דְבָרֶיךָ, שֶׁאֵין דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה מְקַבְּלִין טוּמְאָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הֲלֹא כֹה דְבָרִי כָּאֵשׁ נְאֻם ה׳״, מָה אֵשׁ אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טוּמְאָה אַף דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה אֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טוּמְאָה.‏

[Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira] said to him: My son, open your mouth and let your words illuminate, as matters of Torah do not become ritually impure, as it is stated: “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:29). Just as fire does not become ritually impure, so too matters of Torah do not become ritually impure.

See also Chullin 136b, Mishneih Torah Torah Tefillin, Mezuzah veSeifer Torah 10:8, Yoreh Deah 282:9.

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