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I heard rumours that after walking into a bathroom, nowadays, you're required to wash you're hands three times (as in, I've seen some Rabbi do this: after just walking into a bathroom to get something, he washed his hands 3 alternating times).

I also heard (and experienced) that if there's a partition between you and the actual bathroom, you can wash your hands there, even for bread and davening. I'm not sure though as to the extent of the partition required. In the bathroom at the shul where I go to, they have the netilas-yadayim cup in a sink that's inside the actual bathroom, with only a partition separating between it and the urinal, and the other toilet is right next to it (but that is fully partitioned off). Would something in that case still be considered a valid partition, even though it only blocks the urinal from one side, but you can still see it in the front, or does the partition have to block it from all directions, or is only a closed door sufficient?

Basically: what is the extent of the partition needed to wash your hands in a bathroom for bread or davening without any halachic concerns whatsoever?

  • I thought you only said the bracha of al netilas yadayim after washing your hands before eating bread. – ezra Nov 2 '18 at 2:59
  • @ezra I don't mean the bracha I just mean washing your hands before davening – bluejayke Nov 2 '18 at 4:32
  • I changed the title to reflect your question, feel free to edit further or rollback if you feel this is in error – mbloch Jul 28 at 4:56
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First of all, it is not clear one cannot wash hands in a clean modern-day bathroom (see e.g., here). But since there are opinions which require washing outside a bathroom and you ask for an option "without any halachic concerns whatsoever", I found two relevant solutions

  1. R Daniel Mann from Eretz Hemda (here, speaking of making blessing in the bathroom which is a higher level of requirements) writes that "if one can cover the toilet all around or get a 30 inch partition in front of it and smell does not emanate from it, this problem is solved" (based on SA Orach Chaim 76:1)
  2. dinonline (here) mentions a "halachic partition" formed of 2 vertical wooden beams on opposite sides of the wall with a string joining them

Of course, consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here.

  • @Alex yes there are such opinions and I refer to them in my first link. Still I wonder how many follow R Abadi and bring a humash in the bathroom... – mbloch Jul 28 at 17:34
  • Would you say that a single partition blocking a urinal, say, would suffice, even if it is open in front, and no smell emanates from it? (And the sink is on the side of the wall, so technically you would be blocked from it, even though it is open on another side?) – bluejayke Jul 28 at 19:09
  • @bluejayke there are indeed many reasons to be lenient: the fact many allow to wash, the partition in front (mentioned by R Mann) and the fact you are only looking to wash, not say a blessing. But remember this site doesn't offer decisions for specific personal circumstances. For this you should ask a rav – mbloch Jul 28 at 19:12

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