Netilat Yadayim

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Which waters are fit for Netilat Yadayim?

  1. Waters that changed it’s color are unfit for Netilat Yadayim. The same law applies whether the color because something fell in, or because of the container. [1]
  2. If dye changed the color of water even if it didn’t dissolve the water is unfit. [2]
  3. If dirt fell into water it’s not considered water that changed colors. [3]
  4. If water that changed it’s color changed back to it’s normal state it’s considered fit. [4]
  5. If one does Tevilat Yadayim in a mikvah, the waters are fit even if the waters changed colors unless dye, red wine, or fruit juice fell in and dissolved. [5]

Going to the bathroom before a meal

  1. If one goes to the bathroom and then wants to have a bread meal, according to Ashkenazim, one should wash as one leaves the bathroom however this washing should be done without a kli (straight from sink), (preferably, also rub touch one’s shoe or rub one’s scalp), say Asher Yatzer, and then wash again with a Bracha of Netilat Yadayim. (Ashkenazim have what to rely on to follow the next method of washing). However, according to Sephardim, one should wash once, make the Bracha of Netilat Yadayim, and then make the Hamotzei. [6]
  2. If one goes to the bathroom during a meal, one should wash his hands without a Bracha. [7]


  1. S”A 160:1 writes that the law of waters that changed it’s color is the same whether the color changed on it’s own, because of something falling in, or because of the container. Mishna Brurah 160:2 writes that the Achronim point out that the S”A merely copied the language of the Tur, however, we hold like the Rambam and so it’s permitted.
  2. Mishna Brurah 160:2
  3. Mishna Brurah 160:3
  4. Mishna Brurah 160:5
  5. Mishna Brurah 160:4
  6. S”A 165:1 writes that for someone who’s leaving a bathroom and wants to have a bread meal should either wash twice, washing once, making Asher Yatzer, and then washing with a Bracha or to wash once, make a Bracha Asher Yatzer, and then Al Netilat Yadayim. Mishna Brurah 165:2-3 writes that it’s preferable to do the first practice in S”A, but adds that one should make sure that the first washing isn’t a complete washing, otherwise, there’s no need for the second washing.
    • Halichot Shlomo 26:26 writes that Rav Shlomo Zalman’s minhag was to wash without a kli.
    • Kesot HaShulchan 33:14 suggests another way to make the first washing not considered effective for eating bread and that’s to wash one hand, touch it with the other, wash the other hand and touch it with the other again.
    • Magan Avraham writes that if one doesn’t usually touch one’s shoe or rub one’s scalp before washing it’s improper since it’s a way of causing oneself to make an unnecessary Bracha, the Ben Ish Chai (Shemini 9) and Kaf HaChaim 165:4 hold that it’s justified and so writes the Piskei Teshuvot 165:1.
  7. S”A 164:2 writes that if during a meal, one accidentally touched an area on the body that’s usually covered or rubbed his scalp one needs to make a new Bracha. The Maharshal argues on S”A and holds that no new Bracha is needed. The Taz, Pri Megadim, Derech Chaim, Magan Giborim agree with the Maharshal, while Mamer Mordechai, Mateh Yehuda, Bigdei Yesha, Bet Meir, (Nahar Shalom, Chemed Moshe 170) agree with S”A. Even though the Mishna Brurah 164:13 makes a compromise and writes that after going to the bathroom, touching a area of the body that’s dirty, or making a long interruption by walking, one needs to wash with a Bracha, since many achronim argue (S”A HaRav 164:2, Ben Ish Chai Kodshim 21, Kaf HaChaim 164:16, Kitzur S”A 40:16) one shouldn’t make the Bracha. Piskei Teshuvot 164:5 writes that the minhag of the world is not to make a new Bracha.