- General Questions on Brachot
If waking up during the night for a pressing bathroom call what are the Halochos as far as doing "Negel Vasser" if at all as one does intend, hopefully, to go back to sleep. In other words, does one say Al Netilas Yadayim before the bathroom call even if difficult to hold back or not? Does one just say Asher Yotsar at the end and go back to sleep without Al Netilas Yadayim? In other words does the intent to go back to sleep nullify the need for "Negel Vasser"? Also when eventually finally getting up in the morning with an urgent bathroom call, what order does one say these two Brochos? Does one do "Negel Vasser" with Al Netilas Yadayim regardless of the bathroom call urgency or is there another order of priority. Thank you
A person who wakes up from his sleep at night or in the morning and has to go to the lavatory urgently, should go immediately without washing his hands so he should not transgress the prohibition of "Bal Teshaktzu" (You should not be abominable - Mishnah Berurah 1, 2. Shulchan Aruch 3, 17). He should be careful not to touch with his hands, the mouth, nose, ears, eyes, anus and orifice of the penis, so he should not be harmed by the evil spirit which rests on his hands (Shulchan Aruch 4, sections 3-4 and Mishnah Berurah there). If one wakes up at night and does not need to use the lavatory urgently, he washes his hands three times alternately (some have the custom to pour water over each hand a fourth time in order to remove the impure water) and does not recite the blessing Al Netilat Yadayim, because the blessing Al Netilat Yadayim was instituted for the morning washing (Shulchan Aruch 4, 1-2. and Mishnah Berurah 1, & 10). If he used the bathroom afterwards, some opine that he does not have to recite Asher Yatzar at night, but can rely on the blessing Asher Yatzar which he will say in the morning. The Mishnah Berurah himself however questions this, because it often happens that in the morning one again has a need to pass water, in which case the blessing Asher Yatzar which he says in the morning is no longer able to relate to the passing of water of the night. Therefore the Mishnah Berurah rules that one who fears Heaven should be stringent with himself, and when he urinates at night he should wash his hands, put on pants or gird himself with something else to separate between his heart and his private parts and say the blessing Asher Yatzar (Mishnah Berurah, ibid 3). If one wakes up in the morning and does not need to use the lavatory urgently, he washes his hands three times alternately (some have the custom to pour water over each hand a fourth time in order to remove the impure water) and goes immediately afterwards to relieve himself. When he comes out of the lavatory, he should wash his hands again and say the blessings Al Netilat Yadayim and Asher Yatzar. Even though according to the law one may say Al Netilat Yadayim after the first washing, nevertheless it is more desirable not to say it until after he has performed the second washing, after coming out of the lavatory. This applies especially if when he performs the first washing he needs to relieve himself, as then he is definitely not allowed to say a blessing. There are others who are accustomed to defer saying the blessings Al Netilat Yadayim and Asher Yatzar until they come to synagogue and immediately after these blessings continue saying the rest of the morning blessings. It is important to note that one should not do so unless one goes immediately to the synagogue. Nevertheless if one studies Torah after washing his hands - and all the more so if he interrupts with idle talk - and goes to synagogue only afterwards and says the blessing Al Netilat Yadayim there, then, according to all authorities his behavior is not proper. For then there is a long interruption in between his washing and his saying of the blessing over it. The Mishnah Berurah notes that the Achronim agree that one should not make an interruption between the blessing Al Netilat Yadayim and the washing. Instead one must say the blessing immediately when he washes his hands. It is also preferable for one to delay the blessing Al Netilat Yadayim until after he has cleaned himself and wishes to pray. In addition, he should arrange his saying of the other morning blessings following the blessings Al Netilat Yadayim and Asher Yatzar (Mishnah Berurah ibid 4. and Shulchan Aruch 6, 2 and Mishnah Berurah 8-9).