Can you use one instance of hand washing, say after leaving a beis hakvaros, to cover you for another, say using the bathroom?

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    I think somewhere in Pesachim it says something about not being able to combine mitzvot (with respect to brachot). Let me check.
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:22
  • @rosenjcb 102b but it won't help you here
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:33
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    @DoubleAA How come? I'm just throwing a good guess, but wouldn't this count as bundling mitzvot? You're using the same act of handwashing to leave the beis hakvaros as to use the bathroom.
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:40
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    would it depend on whether each of the actions is a "mitzvah" and/or requires a bracha on the washing?
    – rosends
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:46
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    Note that washing after a graveyard isn't a halakhic requirement, but a superstition. Most early sources simply say that it isn't forbidden. See:judaism.stackexchange.com/a/57338/8775.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 20:01

3 Answers 3


Shulchan Arukh OC 165 rules one can just wash their hands once when wanting to eat bread after just leaving the bathroom. (He recommends a different practice because of issues related to in what order and when to say the various relevant blessings.)

Seemingly your case is parallel.


In accordance with the Shulhan `Arukh (cited in @DoubleAA's answer), Yalqut Yosef - Qizur Shulhan `Arukh (Orah Hayim 165:1) states (my translation):

אם הוצרך לנקביו ורוצה לאכול מיד, יטול ידיו בסירוגין ג' פעמים, ויכוין בנטילה זו אדעתא דהכי שרוצה לאכול, ויברך על נטילת ידים וינגב, ומיד יברך אשר יצר.

If one must relieve oneself and wants to eat [bread] immediately thereafter, one should wash one's hands three times in alternating fashion ("be'ssirugin"). And one should have in mind that this hand washing be for one's meal. And [after washing but before drying] one should recite `al nettilat yadayim, dry his hands, then immediately recite asher yazar.

ומה שכתבו בכמה אחרונים שיטול ידיו לעשיית צרכיו, ויברך אשר יצר, ואחר כך יחכך ידיו במקומות המכוסים שבגופו, ושוב יטול ידיו ויברך על נטילת ידים, אין זה נכון לנהוג כן לפי ההלכה, שמכניס עצמו בידים לספק ברכה שאינה צריכה.

And what some Aharonim wrote that one should wash one's hands after relieving oneself, then recite asher yazar, then rub one's hands in places on the body which are normally covered [and therefore unclean and render the hands unclean], then wash one's hands yet again and recite `al nettilat yadayim - it is not correct to do so according to the Halakhah since one is deliberately entering oneself into a situation in which one's blessing may not be required.


There is a concept of אין עושין מצות חבילות חבילות: One may not bundle mitzvot (Pesachim 102). The context of this quote from gemara is with reference to the question of whether one may use the same cup of wine for kiddush and for birkat hamazon. The reasoning being that it seems as if one is just trying to shrug off the mitzvot, instead of caring for them properly. Using this logic, you should do two hand washings.

Further reading: http://www.dafdigest.org/pesachim/Pesachim%20102.pdf

  • @DoubleAA Oh come on, at least tell me why it's wrong.
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:43
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    If I touch hundreds of dead lizards, must I dip in the Mikvah hundreds of times?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:48
  • @DoubleAA Don't be facetious now.
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:50
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    I'm not. That is the logical conclusion of your answer.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 20:52
  • @DoubleAA If you visit a cemetery, you wash your hands and you say asher yetzar (etchem badin), right? If you go to the bathroom, you wash your hands and you say asher yetzar (et ha'adam). If one leaves a grave, and then immediately goes to the bathroom, then shouldn't he wash his hands first and then go to the bathroom?
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 21:03

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