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  • Halacha
  • Netilat Yadayim - Hand Washing

sephardic handwashing

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Rabbi Daniel Kirsch

Adar I 28, 5782
Question
which is the correct sephardic way to use the handwashing cup: a) fill the cup, pour it three times on one hand then three times on the other b) fill the cup, pour it one time on one hand, one time on the other, then one time on one hand, one time on the other, then one time on one hand, one time on the other? thanks!
Answer
Thank you for your question. In the morning washing we wash the hands like the second option you mentioned meaning that we pour it one time on one hand, one time on the other, then one time on one hand, one time on the other, then one time on one hand, one time on the other. (see Kaf Hachaim 4;12 who mentions a different opinion that we should pour three times on one hand and then three times on the other like the first option that you mentioned. However, the Kaf Hachaim's conclusion is that the second option you mentioned is the more accepted opinion, as it has a source in the gemara masechet shabbot 109, Zohar and arizal, and the Ben Ish Chai. The Kaf Hachaim writes that if someone wants to be machmir (stringent) about it he can wash first three times like option a, and then three times like option b). When we wash before eating, we wash like the first option you mentioned, meaning we fill the cup, pour it twice on one hand then twice on the other. According to the Arizal we fill the cup, pour it three times on one hand then three times on the other (see Kaf Hachaim 162;2). All the best
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