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  • Halacha
  • After Toilet or Bath

Washing hands after bathroom

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Rabbi David Sperling

Adar 21, 5775
Question
Dear Rabbi, I was just wondering on the following: When washing hands after using the bathroom, is it advisable to wash in a sink located outside of bathroom, rather than using the sink in the bathroom? If there is no option but to wash in the bathroom sink is this permitted?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The traditional sources require washing outside the bathroom, as the bathroom itself is unclean and just entering it (even without using the facilities) obligates washing one's hands. However many modern Rabbis rule that our bathrooms have a different status, due to the fact that the waste is washed away when flushing the toilet, as well as the fact they are very clean, and the fact that we use our bathrooms for many other activities, such as brushing one's teeth etc. Based on these reasons they allow washing one's hands inside the bathroom. Therefore – there are Rabbis who rule that one should only wash their hands outside the bathroom. But, in my humble opinion the standard ruling should be that one may wash their hands after using the facilities in the bathroom itself. You may certainly rely on this if there is no other option. Of course the blessing should only be recited outside the bathroom. Many Blessings.
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