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Washing hands and touching clothes

Rabbi David SperlingIyyar 24, 5780
27
Question
I found your page on washing before prayer very helpful: https://www.yeshiva.co/midrash/28066 Thank you so much. I have a question that was not seeming to be there but relates to that. If I did laundry or cleaning earlier in the day, and my clothes are not soiled, but I am consciously aware that dirty things like the trash or the laundry may have brushed against them or I actually touched them during the day while I was cleaning, and then, once I’ve washed hands, I’d like to say a prayer or read a Tehilim, must I change my clothes first? And must I go and wash my hands again if they touched my clothes? What about if water has splashed on them and I touched the part with the water?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The laws of cleanliness for prayer are very important, and your question is a good one. There are several different levels of uncleanliness when it comes to prayer. When it comes to clothing, only if they are soiled with urine or feces, or if they give off a markedly bad odor, would they be forbidden to wear for prayer. In your question your cloths have been normally worn while taking out the garbage, cleaning the house etc – it is highly unlikely that there is any problem wearing them for prayer. As to washing your hands. Certainly if the clothing is fit for prayer (as we explained) touching it does not obligate hand washing. This is true even if the cloths are wet. Blessings.
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