Ask the Rabbi

  • Halacha
  • After Toilet or Bath

Needing to use the bathroom several times a night


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Kislev 4, 5779
When one wakes up several times a night to bathroom, should one wash neigel vasser each time one awakes before using the bathroom? And should one wash and say asher yatzar after each time or are these all combined and covered when saying asher yatzar in morning brochos? Years ago I was taught one way, and in discussions with a friend about the problems of getting older I found out her had learned everything the opposite. Thank you.
ב"ה Shalom One of your questions I've already answered on this site. . See: I will repeat it again. The Mishna Brura (4:4) says that upon getting out of bed in the middle of the night even to go to the bathroom requires netilat yadayim without a bracha before using the bathroom because of the "ruach ra'ah" on his hands. However, the Eshel Avraham (4: 1) says that one who wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom with the intention of returning to sleep, does not have to do Netilat Yadayim because the requirement for Netilat Yadayim is meant for one who gets up in the morning." We see two opinions on the same matter. Therefore, some say, that it is best to do netilat yadayim= neigel vasser when waking up at night this way one can touch any body orifices when needed at night without question. However, one may rely on the opinion not to negal vasser , and only was the hands after bathroom use. (See Below) As far as skipping Asher Yatzar at night and saying it with the morning Brachot, the Mishna Brura (4:4) mentions that opinion but finds it questionable, and therefore suggests to say it even when getting up in the middle of the night after washing the hands after bathroom use as usual. In response to your final remark, I should add that to every issue there are many opinions and what one person was custom to doing following his Rav and upbringing does it make it wrong when hearing another opinion and other customs. Furthermore,(I say this without knowing your background and to all other the readers) today the availability of sefarim and learning is so much easier. Many sefarim are translated into English for those with limited knowledge of Hebrew and are abundant in bookstores or online, and some even downloadable to phones. Studying Halacha is so much more enjoyable and understood when you see the references with your own eyes. Of course, when unsure always ask a Rabbi to get clarity on the issues you are pursuing. All the Best
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