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Different Types of Netilat Yedayim


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Adar II 19, 5774
Shulchan Aruch OC 4:18 writes: These are the circumstances that one is obligated to wash ones hands: waking from sleep, after toilet, after shower, after nail cutting, after touching shoes or feet, after washing hair, after visiting the cemetary, after sexual intercourse, after blood letting or donating, after cleaning clothes from lice, and after touching sweaty and covered areas of the body. Can you please go one by one and clarify which of these require washing by vessel (right-left 3x), as opposed to simple washing with soap from faucet? Also, which ones require the netilat yedayim bracha? Thank you very much in advance!
B"h Sometimes the Shulchan Aruch relies upon what he said before or elsewhere and leaves to the reader to piece the puzzle together. In most cases the commentaries do the work for us. In regard to this particular clause, the Shulchan Aruch includes the cases when Netilat yadayim is required without going into more detail. Getting out of bed in the morning requires three times on the right and left hands alternately as explained in clause 1 of this chapter . Waking from day rest, the Shulchan Aruch himself (clause 15) is in doubt if it requires washing the hands like waking in the morning and stipulates that one wash his hands three times on the right and left hands alternately but without a bracha. On the rest of the issues, there is no beracha and washing the hands is required only once. However, the Mishna b'rura explains that there are those who are stringent and require 3 times after visiting a cemetery and after sexual intercourse. There are those who require 3 times after using the toilet, however, the Magen Avraham disagrees and says that once is sufficient. Shabbat shalom
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