It is known that the Sefer Halakhoth Gedholoth codifies that since only the descendants of Aharon HaKohen were strictly commanded regarding netilath yadhayim with a keli, it is therefore enough for a yisrael to simply immerse their hands/fingers in a vessel containing water without the need to pour it over the hands.

I have also read that in a sha^ath ha-dohaq one may use a faucet to wash before prayer.

Are there any other sources from Geonim or Rishonim that permit washing for prayer without the use of a keli? Are there sources that discuss the difference in obligations for washing as they apply to a kohen or a yisrael?

  • 1
    "It is known that ..." by whom? Where?
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 17:23
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    Ithere seems like you are asking about teffilah,but you also bring reasons for washing for bread? The first washing in the morning has three reasons,the Rosh,Rashba, and the Zohar (Rauch raah) for bread we do it because of serach tumah,so which are you asking?
    – sam
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 18:04
  • possible dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/79306/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 23:44
  • See this post may be that the answer to your question is entirely included in it.
    – kouty
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 1:23

2 Answers 2


Washing for bread, or for Tefilla? Bread is more stringent, but tefilla would seem to be fine from a tap.

Sources (Based on Beis Yosef OC 4:22)

Rosh (Brachos 9:23) writes that netilas yadayim of shacharis (which he himself rules is for the purpose of tefilla) does not need a kli.

Mordechai (Brachos 192) and Ran (Chulin 37b [dapei HaRif]) also write that a kli is not necessary in the morning.

[I presume that this would apply to all other tefillos, as at least part of the morning washing is to prepare for shacharis, even according to the Rashba.]

Rashba (Teshuvos 1:191) writes that only netilas yadayim of shacharis needs a kli, as it is "like a Kohen washing". Other tefillos do not need.

The only source I have found who would require a kli for tefilla is the Gra* (Bi'ur HaGra OC 4:7) who comments that lechatchila a kli should be used for tefilla, not just in the morning. However, the simple reading of the Shulchan Aruch there, and the Beis Yosef himself, imply that only the morning has such a halacha, in order to fulfill lechatchila the opinion of the Rashba mentioned above.

*I know, not a Rishon...

  • the question sought "sources from Geonim or Rishonim"
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 23:27
  • @DoubleAA, SA isn't a Rishon?
    – AKA
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 20:40
  • That's debatable. Plus MB definitely isn't
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 20:41
  • @DoubleAA, true... I was just quoting him for clarification. Suppose you're right though.
    – AKA
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 21:04

For netila before prayer of Mincha or Arvit, nobody seems to require a keli.

For netila see SA OC 4, 18. see Kaf Hachayim. Several cases needs threefold netila but the Kaf Hachayim sk 61 in name of Eliahou Rabba says that there is no need of keli (but I understand that we need Koach gavra). See Shaare Teshuva sk 12 who mentioned also threefold but not Keli.

In conclusion keli for netilat Yadaym of meal only is obligatory; for netilat yadaym of shacharit it's needed lechatechilla, and for the last prayers , even lechatechilla no keli is needed. Several cases need threefold netila and coach gavra but not keli. Keli for morning prayer is addressed in Shut Harashba (for details see this post which cites also Rabenu Yerucham and the Rosh against the opinion of the Rashba), needing 3 fold for the last cases is addressed in Acharonim.

All the Rishonim cited in Bet Yosef (OC 4) didn't require keli for Mincha and Arvit. All this Rishonim except the Rashba didn't require a keli for tefilat shacharit.


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