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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Netilas Yadayim v

Washing Before Davening

There is a Halachic requirement to wash one’s hands before davening. This applies to all three prayers. There are two reasons for this cited in the Rishonim. One is that if your hands are dirty they must be washed before prayer. Additionally we suspect that one was distracted throughout the day and touched places that necessitate hand washing.

For Shacharis, if one was careful not to touch anything that would necessitate handwashing after his morning Netilas Yadayim then he need not wash again. The same applies to washing for Maariv if one davens Mincha and Maariv together.

If no water is available, and he definitely touched an area of the body that requires him to wash his hands, he must travel 18 (and sometimes up to 72) minutes to procure water, if by doing so he will still be able to Daven at the proper time.

In other situations he may wipe his hands on a cloth or something that cleanses if there is no water.

One should not wash in a bathroom, but if there is no choice he may do so, provided that he dry his hands outside the bathroom. (Igros Moshe EH 1:114)

When a Cup is Needed

The only times one must use a cup is in the morning and before eating bread. Rav Ben Zion Abba Shaul (Ohr litzion vol.2 1:5 in notes) infers from the Rambam that before prayer one should also use a vessel.

Although for all other items a cup is not needed, the Kaf Hachaim recommends using a cup for all the various required washings.


Posted on 02/04 at 06:05 AM • Permalink
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Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

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