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Should I ever say Kriyas Shema before washing Negel Vasser?


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tevet 10, 5780
I have a hard time waking up for shacaris, although I ussaly make zman Kriyas shema, but there are those days that I wake up, and its exactly 9:37, and the zman is 9:38, I know that if I got up and walked to the bathroom and washed Negel Vasser I would miss Kriyas Shema, which is a Diorysa, so in this circumstance, is it permissible to recite Shema before washing Negel Vasser?
ב"ה Shalom, First I will relate to practical issues. One way to solve your problem would be to have water right next to your bed. This way, within seconds you can do Netilat Yadaim, and say Ktiat Shema. Having water next to your bed for Netilat Yadaiim is also recommended the entire year not just when you wake up late. If that not option is not possible, the Shulchan Aruch (או"ח סי' ד:כב) says that a person who doesn’t have water for Netilat Yadaiim, can wipe his hands with a cloth, such as your quilt or blanket. This is actually , the recommended way for someone who sees lightning or hears thunder while in bed at night and wants to make the proper Bracha. If he were to get up and wash hands, the time to say the Bracha will have passed. Therefore, he can wipe his hands in his quilt while in bed and recite the Bracha. However, there is still another issue, which is that one is required to say the Berachot for torah learning before Kriat Shema in the morning, since Kriat Shema is considered torah learning. (שו"ע יורה דעה סי' רמו:א). However, Rav Elyashiv zt"l (קובץ תשובות ח"א סי' ט) says that a person who says Kriat Shema to fulfill the mitzvah of Kriat Shema, it can be said without Birkot Hatorah in this type of situation. (See also בצל החכמה ח"א סי' א ) To sum up, the best of course would be to get up on time, and if that is not possible you should have water by your bed ready to wash your hands. If there is no water available you can wipe your hands on a clean cloth and say Kriat Shema even without saying the Berachot of the Torah. However, Rav Bezalel Stern in his book says that the 3rd parsha of Tzizit should be said later when you get up to daven. I will conclude with the words of R. Yochanan in the gemara in Berachot (14b-15a) And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: One who seeks to accept upon himself the complete yoke of the kingdom of Heaven should relieve himself, wash his hands (do netilat Yadaiim, don his Tefillin, recite Shema, and pray, and that is acceptance of the complete Kingdom of Heaven. All the best
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