Is excess water after Netillath Yadayim usable for other purposes? For example, you wash for bread, and you leave water in the cup - can someone use that water, or do they need to empty and refill the cup? Another example, you wash for bread with a normal drinking glass instead of a designated washing cup - a little bit later, but soon enough that there's still some water left in the cup, you want a drink of water. Can you use the cup without pouring out whatever is left at the bottom, or should you pour it out (or even wash it out) before using it?

Taking a more serious case (at least as I understand the Shu"'A), what about after washing in the morning upon waking up?

  • re 1 he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 19:38
  • 1
    How musical....
    – Seth J
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 20:07
  • This question seems to take for granted that it's not permissible to use the water that you poured over your hands for netilat yadayim. Is that indeed the case? This is practical in my office because I don't have a sink. Can I purposely wash into a plant so that I'm also watering the plant? Can I wash into a large cup and then drink that water? Moderators, if this would be better as its own freestanding post, please let me know.
    – ArghMo
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


It has to be that you can reuse, for washing, the water left in the cup after washing, as otherwise you would have to refill the cup after each pouring on each hand.

Moreover, I found in memoirs of Rebbetzin Chana, the wife of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, that when he went into exile he did not have enough water to wash his hands. He would trade food with someone for water, would wash (morning) negel vasser, and the remaining water ("drops of water") he would drink. [This implies that water left after Netilas Yadayim is potable.]

  • Ishayahu, welcome, and thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, I can't understand what you mean. Clearly English isn't your native language. Can you perhaps get someone to help translate your answer better? Or perhaps post it in your native language, and maybe someone here can translate it?
    – Seth J
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 2:16
  • По логике вода должна быть разрешена, так как если бы она становилась посульной, кружку перед омовением каждой руки надо было бы наполнять заново. Кроме того, я увидел в мемуарах ребецн Ханы, жены р. Леви Ицхока Шнеерсона, матери ребе Менахем Мендела Шнеерсона, что когда он (Л.И.) ехал в ссылку и в вагоне не было достаточно воды, то он обменивал еду на воду, делал утреннее омовение рук, а оставшуюся воду ("капли воды") выпивал
    – Ishayahu
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 6:17
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    @Ishayahu, I've edited. Please check whether the new version matches your intent. (I don't know Russian.)
    – msh210
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 18:59
  • @msh210, thanks, that's a lot easier to understand. I hope it's what Ishayahu meant.
    – Seth J
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 19:38
  • yes, that's what I mean
    – Ishayahu
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 13:10

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