From what I understand, there are three times when one should wash their hands in the method used for negel vasser that occur every day

  1. in the morning (negel vasser)
  2. between going to the bathroom and saying asher yatzar
  3. before davening

Are you supposed to do all three of these every morning or can one washing count for two or all of these?

  • I'm not sure your assumptions are so accurate. See here. Your second two are for cleanliness not ruach ra.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


Washing 3 times is in order to gert rid of Ru'ach Ra'a - the evil spirit - whatever that is.

So no matter how many oblogations of evil spirit you have, one set of 3 times would suffice.

That said, in the Shulchan Aruch seems to say that one only needs to wash 3 times after awakening (and possibly again after dawn). For all other purposes once (or maybe twice for bread) is sufficient.

Though the custom is to wash 3 times when leaving a cemetary.

See סימן ד - דיני נטילת ידים:

יח: אֵלּוּ דְּבָרִים צָרִיךְ נְטִילָה (יט) בְּמַיִם. הַקָּם מֵהַמִּטָּה וְהַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּית הַכִּסֵא. וּמִבֵּית הַמֶּרְחָץ. וְהַנּוֹטֵל צִפָּרְנָיו. וְהַחוֹלֵץ מִנְעָלָיו. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּרַגְלָיו. וְהַחוֹפֵף רֹאשׁוֹ, וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים אַף הַהוֹלֵךְ בֵּין הַמֵּתִים. וּמִי שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמֵת. וּמִי שֶׁמְּפַלֵּא כֵּלָיו. וְהַמְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּכִנָּה. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּגוּפוֹ בְּיָדוֹ. ‏

באר היטב (יט) במים. ואין צ גריך פעמים. סדה''י: ‏

  • This idea of "ruach rah" isn't mentioned in the gemara. Washing hands after sleeping is really because of a chashash that one touched unclean places. Other than that netilas yadeim in the morning is for the purpose of tefillah (The lashon of the Shulchan Aruch in beginning of Siman 4 seems to be mashmah like that.)
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 18:01

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