As noted elsewhere on the site, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 164:2) rules that someone who, in the middle of a bread meal, touches his thigh must then wash his hands and say the blessing "al n'tilas yadayim" before continuing to eat.

Does that apply even if he's not going to eat any more bread? (On the one hand, the SA doesn't seem to differentiate.[1] On the other, we don't normally wash hands and say "al n'tilas yadayim" before eating non-bread foods.)

[1] As Double AA points out in a comment, SA OC 177:2 indicates that "we're not accustomed to sever ourselves from bread until" the end of the meal: they always had in mind that they might eat more bread. Thus, the case I ask about, where someone had in mind that he would not eat more bread, didn't exist in the time of the SA, which may explain why the SA didn't differentiate that case from the opposing case.

  • Assuming that my logic here is correct, perhaps that question can answer this one. If washing is independent of eating afterwards, it shouldn't matter whether you want to eat more bread.
    – DonielF
    Aug 10, 2016 at 5:05


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