I'm curious about the name assigned to the 1st hand washing in the Seder, the one just after Kiddush. It is called ורחץ . This seems to translate as which seems to translate as "and wash".

The 2nd washing which occurs prior to eating Matzah is called רחצה meaning "washing". This is a noun form.

The 1st format seems to be a verb form and it also starts with a vav which implies that it is somehow connected to the Kiddush, just before it.

Why are there two forms for the two different washings (Would there be a problem or confusion if we called them both רחצה ? WHy is one a verb and the other a noun? And, is the 1st washing connected to the Kiddush - If so, how?

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14604
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:27
  • @mbloch Thanks. I edited. I get confused, sometimes with the way this editor changes directions when there's a Hebrew word in the middle.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:36
  • not response but a linke with your question if washing connected to Kiddush in Sefer Hachinuch (mitsva 21) """בתחלה מביאין מים ונוטלין יד אחת בשביל כוס של קדוש שצריכין לטל. והכי איתא בברכות בפרק כיצד מברכין, (מג, א) שבכוס מספיק נטילת יד אחת, ואין מברכין על נטילה זו. ואם רצה לטל שתי ידיו לכוס נוטל בלא ברכה. ואחר כך מברך על היין ומקדש ואינו מברך על היין לאחריו. ואחר כך נוטל שתי ידיו ומברך על נטילת ידים, ומטבל בירק (הירק בדפוס וילנא)"""
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:41
  • @kouty actually, that may be a partial answer, as I did ask that question. I think you should consider that and, if possible, translate or paraphrase the above. You should also provide a link, if possible.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:46
  • I you want to read the chinuch with a beautyfull and pashut perush see this
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


andrewmh20 cites Likutei Taamim Uminhagin as saying that it is to allow the steps to rhyme:

Kadesh Urchatz
Karpas Yachatz
Magid Rochtza
Motzi Matza

That doesn't explain the "and" vav on urchatz. I've no explanation for that (and hope someone else will post such), but note that some even modern-day hagados don't have the vav.

  • I'm not sure that that's the only reason or the main reason, either. The rhyme, also, is not there at the end - "Tzafun barech, Halel Nirtzah".
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:30
  • @DanF Many old versions had Tzafun Notel (ie נוטל mayim achronim), Barekh Hallel. (Nirtza isn't really a "step". Some old lists end with things like גמור or יצא at the end. It fills out the poem.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:39
  • 3
    @msh Perhaps the vav fills out the syllable (and the meter). R'chatz is in some sense only one syllable.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:46
  • 1
    @DanF the end does rhyme. The rhyme scheme is "AABBCCCB", with nirtza rhyming with matza and rochtza as "B".
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 19:48
  • kadesh urchats both in imperative form. Karpas broke the continuity, and magid & rachatsa are not verbs but names as Rachatsa.
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:16

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