Since many authorities permit wiping the hands if one does not have water to wash with (when washing for bread), is one forbidden to wipe their hands on Tisha b'Av?

  • Inspired by this question.
    – yoel
    Jul 19, 2012 at 8:27
  • 2
    Your saying, since wiping=cleaning it should be forbidden to wipe? I don't follow why it should be assur. It's permitted to clean dirt off one's body even with water!
    – Double AA
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:04
  • 1
    @DoubleAA nu so you're not covered in dirt - the question is should one be careful not to wipe the hands on a towel or the pants or something on Tisha b'Av, just as one would be careful not to wash one's hands.
    – yoel
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:13
  • 1
    If you're not wiping off dirt, then why are you wiping? For pleasure? I don't even know what that means.
    – Double AA
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:17
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    @DoubleAA if there needs to be a reason for the wiping or washing and accidental or non-functional actions aren't a problem, answer that with a citation :)
    – yoel
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


See here,

One may dry his hands on a towel and then use the damp towel to clean his eyes and face, as the towel isn’t wet enough to impart enough water to wet something else (tofach al menat le-hatpiach) (Shulchan Arukh 554:11). (If one must actually clean one’s eyes in the morning, it is permitted to do so normally, as it is no different than washing any other part of the body which has become soiled.) Furthermore, the Rama (ibid. 14) writes that one may pre-soak cloths before Tisha Be-av, remove them, and then use them to clean his face, hands, and feet. Even if one’s intention is for pleasure, this is permitted because he already squeezed the water out of the cloths.

The text in bold implies that one may wipe one’s hands on Tisha b'Av.

  • See also the Rama 613:9 regarding Yom Kippur.
    – Double AA
    Jul 19, 2012 at 15:55

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