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Ideally, one would always do ritual handwashing (netilas yadayim) and say Asher Yotzar after going to the bathroom. (Source: Shulchan Aruch OC 4:18 for handwashing; here for asher yatzar) However, in practice this can sometimes be hard to do--especially in public restrooms, and/or without a washing cup. Is it better in these cases to skip the blessing altogether, or to say it with (ritually) unwashed hands?

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Yalqut Yosef - Qizur Shulhan 'Arukh (Orah Hayim 3:2) states (my translation):

צריך ליטול ידיו כדי לברך אשר יצר... [אבל] מעיקר הדין מותר לומר דברים שבקדושה אחר ניקוי ידיו במידי דמנקי

One should wash one's hands in order to recite "Asher Yazar"... But, strictly according to the letter of the law, one is permitted to say devarim shebiqdushah after cleaning one's hands with midi dimnaqe'i (i.e. items that clean).

Therefore, later (Orah Hayim 6:14) he states (translation):

בשעת הדחק [יכול] לנקות ידיו במידי דמנקי כדי לברך אשר יצר

In a pinch, one may clean one's hands with midi dimnaqe'i (i.e. items that clean) in order to recite "Asher Yazar".

In short, ascertain that your hands are clean of visible dirt, rub them gently along the wall (if running water is unavailable), and recite "Asher Yazar".

  • Washing in a sink is probably way better than rubbing against a wall. – Double AA Feb 2 '17 at 22:24
  • @DoubleAA You're right. I described an extreme case (e.g. urinating in the wilderness) from which one could learn a fortiori that a sink would be better. – Lee Feb 2 '17 at 22:36
  • @SAH Is this answer insufficient? If so, please indicate how so that I can improve it. If it or another one is sufficient, please consider "accepting" an answer. – Lee Feb 5 '17 at 10:58
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If there is no other faucet available, then let him wash in the lavatory, exit, dry his hands, and bless asher yatzar. He should not skip it.

If even he has no water at all, let him rub his hands on something and bless.

  • Hi Michael. How do you know this? We don't know you that we should trust you. Please edit in some justification. – Double AA Feb 2 '17 at 18:10
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    This answer would be improved if you could provide sources. It reads as though it is a quote... – Isaac Kotlicky Feb 2 '17 at 18:22
  • consider reading this beginners' guide: meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/3887/8775. not in particular that this site places significant emphasis on sources. Stating your sources and whether or not you are quoting something is of paramount importance here. hopefully you choose to stick around and continue enriching the site. – mevaqesh Feb 2 '17 at 19:37

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