After using the bathroom some folks let the water run (without opening and closing the faucet) and pass each hand under the faucet 3 times alternating between the right and left hands. Since there's no cup involved, is this futile?

With a cup you get koach gavra (human power) but with water running, does passing your hands under the water multiple times have any effect?


2 Answers 2


Rav David Yosef (Halacha Berurah 7:3) is lenient to not require koach gavra or a kli (however he says that one who is machmir to use a kli should be blessed).

He also mentions (ad. loc.) that it's sufficient to wash each hand once, but it's appropriate to be machmir and wash 3 times alternating. The language that he uses to describe this chumra seems (to me) slightly stronger than the language he uses to describe the chumra of koach gavra.

According to this opinion, this "charade" is not "futile", and seems to be a reasonable middle-ground if you can't be machmir for both. (Finding a kli in a public bathroom is not always easy, so I totally understand not being machmir for both.)

(Note: certain things require you to wash with koach gavra, and 3 times alternating, so what I've written doesn't necessarily apply to anything other than using the bathroom. The halacha I've quoted comes from the siman about the beracha of Asher Yatzar.)

  • "is lenient to not require koach gavra or a kli" = after using the bathroom?
    – MTL
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 3:49

Perhaps it is futile, but considering that there is no real source to wash one's hand three times after leaving the bathroom, there is probably nothing lost. Once is enough.

At best some achronim, Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky in the Emes Liyaakov on Shulchan Aruch comes to mind, say washing three times after the bathroom is a nice thing to do.

  • 1
    The Ben Ish Chai says to wash three times alternitavely (like in the morning).
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 19:54
  • @HaLeiVi And why does he say that?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 21:41
  • they need no keli but they need Koach gavra. See SA OC 4
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 23:08
  • @kouty I see nothing there that corroborates your claim. Do you have a more specific maareh makom?
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 23:53
  • @user6591 I checked, you are right.
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 2:40

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