Although technically a word based on Rechitza would be the best choice you or I would offer, the fact of the matter is our Rabbis in general chose a much less common word for hand washing which was Netila. So why wouldn't that word be used here?

It's true that Netila is a curious word who's etymology is not so clear, but this actually strengthens the question. Once they chose this word, why not use it here?

Someone suggested that the word Netila would be associated with a washing with a bracha so Urchatz was chosen to make a distinction. This suggestion however would again intensify the question why have Rachtza to mean washing with a bracha, choose Netila!

  • 1
    Note many Rishonim had other words like נטל קדש טהר in their Sedder Simanim, or even just words like ידים.
    – Double AA
    Apr 3, 2015 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Likutei Taamim Uminhagin describes that it is to allow the steps to rhyme.

Kadesh Urchatz
Karpas Yachatz
Magid Rochtza
Motzi Matza

  • 1
    Indeed some Rishonim had צפון נוטל. ברך הלל. probably with similar intent.
    – Double AA
    Apr 6, 2015 at 18:58
  • @msh210 no problem. I realized afterwards that the question was asking about urchatz vs another washing word, whereas the source was discussing why there is a connecting vav in urchatz but no other steps. But I think the source still stands as it discusses why the word Urchatz is used.
    – andrewmh20
    Apr 8, 2015 at 0:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .