If someone has bandages completely covering both hands, what does he do before eating bread?

Normally with a bandage covering part of the hard, I've heard that you wash the rest, but in this case they completely cover both hands.

What about making the bracha of Al-Netilat-Yadayim?


2 Answers 2


One who has a bandage on his hand which is not easily removable should wash as much of his hand as possible (even if that amount zero) and take care that any skin which could not be washed not directly touch the bread.

Source: Shulchan Aruch OC 162:10, Magen Avraham sk 18, Mishna Brurah sk 68 and particularly 69

It would seem that the appropriate blessing would only be said if some ritual washing is taking place.

  • So, if the person washes none of their hard do they make a bracha? I was wondering if they should cover the bandage with a plastic glove, and wash over that (since they will be using the glove to eat with).
    – Ariel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:03
  • @Ariel What would you be saying the bracha on?
    – Double AA
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:05
  • On pouring water over the hand, even if it doesn't touch any skin.
    – Ariel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:06
  • @Ariel Why are pouring water over the covering on your hand? What mitzva is that that you would say a bracha on it?
    – Double AA
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:07
  • Since the Mitzvah is M'drabanan, it didn't seem to be only about Tuma. Netilat Yadim just means to lift the hands.
    – Ariel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:10

This would surely depend also on whether there is a specific medical reason that water should not touch the bandaged part. In any case, maybe bracha without shem and malchut would be preferable

  • +1 for "This would surely depend also on whether there is a specific medical reason that water should not touch the bandaged part", though a source for it would be most valuable.
    – msh210
    Sep 9, 2012 at 16:00
  • @msh210 Are you sure? Did you see the Magen Avraham I quoted in my answer?
    – Double AA
    Sep 9, 2012 at 17:45
  • @DoubleAA, am I sure a source would be valuable? Yes. Am I sure that's the halacha? No: that's why a source would be valuable. :-) And, no, I didn't look up the MA, though now I will bl"n.
    – msh210
    Sep 9, 2012 at 20:57
  • @DoubleAA, I checked MB first (because you linked to it), and :68 says that the bandage must be irremovable because of the wound. Lemme check the MA.... [After some time:] He says similarly. While this isn't precisely requiring that water be unallowed to touch the wound, it's saying that there's a specific medical reason not to remove the bandage: so I guess this answer needs editing, but is not wholly off the mark.
    – msh210
    Sep 9, 2012 at 20:59
  • @msh210 & Epicentre Could you clarify a bit? When you say "not to remove the bandage" / "water should not touch" are you implying that the halacha is different if the bandage can not be removed?
    – Ariel
    Sep 9, 2012 at 22:08

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