Netilat Yadayim upon Waking Up

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When should one wash and make the bracha of Netilat Yadayim?

  1. If one needs to go to the bathroom, then, according to Ashkenazim, if after going to the bathroom one will be ready for davening, one should upon waking up wash without a bracha and after having gone to the bathroom wash again with the bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim. [1]
  2. However, if after having going to the bathroom one will still not be ready for davening and will have to go to the bathroom another time before davening (as is common when one wakes up a long time before davening), according to Ashkenazim, one should upon waking wash without a bracha, after having gone to the bathroom the first time wash without a bracha, and after having gone to the bathroom a second time wash with the bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim. Some say that one doesn't need to wash before going to the bathroom, after having gone to the bathroom wash without a cup and without the bracha, and then when one is ready for davening wash again using a cup and make the bracha. [2] according to Sephardim one should make the bracha of Al Netilat Yadyaim after having gone to the bathroom and it's preferable to wash without a bracha before going to the bathroom if the need isn't urgent. [3]

What is permissible before washing hands?

  1. It is permissible to say Modeh Ani before washing hands. [4]
  2. It's not permissible to learn or even think Torah before washing one's hands. [5]
  3. One should wash one's hands before walking 4 amot. [6] However some are lenient in this regard. [7]
  4. If the water if further than 4 Amot some say that it's better to walk less than 4 amot at a time while others say it's better to go there quickly if it's still in the same house. [8]
  5. It’s permitted to get dressed prior to washing one’s hands. [9]

Walking 4 amot prior to Netilat Yadayim

  1. It's preferable that one is strict not to walk more than 4 amot prior to Netilat Yadayim. [10]

When does one need to wash hands?

  1. Before Shacharit or Mincha (specifically the Shemona Esreh) one should wash hands if one had a long interruption between the original washing upon rising. [11] If water isn't available one doesn't need to wash one's hands, but only to rub it upon something hard. [12]
  2. If one actually touched a unclean part of the body or went to the bathroom, one must search and find water to wash hands for Shemona Esreh. [13]
  3. However, just to say Brachot, Kriyat Shema, or learn Torah one doesn't need to wash hands. [14]

Someone who stayed up all night

  1. If one slept less than 30 minutes [15] or slept in a temporary fashion (putting one’s head on the table) [16], in the morning, one should wash without a Bracha. [17]
  2. If one woke up and has in mind to go back to sleep, should wash without a Bracha and then when one wakes up the second time one should wash with a Bracha. [18]
  3. If one woke up after Chatzot, if one still needs to go to the bathroom before davening, one shouldn’t make the Bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim until after one went to the bathroom and then it should be said together with Brachot HaShachar, however, if one knows that one doesn’t need to go to the bathroom before Davening, one should make the Bracha of Netilat Yadayim as close as possible to waking up. [19]
  4. If one washed with a Bracha before Olot HaShachar, one should wash again at Olot without a Bracha. [20]
  5. If one wakes up before Chatzot, one should wash without a Bracha, and then after Olot Hashachar one should dirty one’s hands (by touching a or by going to the bathroom) and then wash with a Bracha. [21]
  6. If one stayed up all night, one should wash in the morning without a bracha. [22]

When to make the bracha

  1. The minhag is to make the Bracha of Al Netilat Yadiyim after washing before drying one’s hands. [23]
  2. If one forgot to make the Bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim before drying one’s hands, according to Ashekazim one is permitted to make a Bracha of Netilat Yadayim until one makes the Hamotzei. However, Sephardim hold that once one’s hands are totally dry one may not make the Bracha. [24]


References

  1. see next footnote
    • The Mishna Brurah 4:4 quotes the Magan Avraham as saying that one should wash with the bracha and then go to the bathroom but it's preferable upon waking up to wash without a bracha and after going to the bathroom wash with the bracha.
    • However, if one is not going to be ready for davening after having gone to the bathroom the first time, the Biur Halacha (4:1 D"H Afliu) presents two opinions about when it is preferable to wash one's hands with the bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim. The Chaye Adam holds that it's preferable upon waking up to wash without a bracha and when one's ready for davening to wash again with the bracha, while the Shaarei Teshuva holds that one should wash with the bracha after going to the bathroom even if one isn't totally ready for davening. The Biur Halacha rules like the Chaye Adam that upon waking up one should wash without a bracha and when one is ready for davening to wash again with the bracha.
    • Rav Shlomo Zalman is quoted in Halichot Shlomo (Tefilla 2:23, pg 23) rules like the Chaye Adam and states when one is washing one's hands after having gone to the bathroom in the morning if one knows that one will need to go to the bathroom again before Davening the first time one should wash without a bracha and after going to the bathroom the second time when one is ready for davening one should wash with the bracha.
    • Rav Mordechai Willig in Am Mordechai (Brachot, Siman 11, pg 45-8) writes that one should go to the bathroom, wash without a cup, and then when one is ready for davening to wash again with a cup and make the bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim.
  2. Halacha Brurah 4:4 writes that if one needs to go to the bathroom one should first go to the bathroom and then wash one's hands with a Bracha of Al Netilat Yadayim. However, some are strict to wash twice, once before going to the bathroom and once afterward and only make the bracha the second time. If the need to go to the bathroom is urgent then certianly one should go to the bathroom and only wash afterwards.
  3. Mishna Brurah 1:8, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1:6
  4. Mishna Brurah 1:8, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1:6
  5. Mishna Brurah 1:1. See also Piskei Teshuvot 1:7 who writes that the minhag is that one should wash one's hands even before putting one's feet on the ground.
  6. BeYitzchak Yikrah 1:2 comments that the tradition from the Gra that the Ruach Rah on hands was nullified with the death of Rabbi Avraham the Ger applies only to laws of the Zohar and not the Talmud Bavli and since this law is sourced in the Zohar, there is what to be lenient.
  7. Mishna Brurah 1:2
  8. Yalkut Yosef (vol 1 pg 7), Sh”t Yabea Omer 5:1, Sh”t Otzrot Yosef 1:1
  9. The Tolat Yacov (Seder Netilat Yadayim) quotes the Zohar saying that it’s forbidden to walk 4 amot prior to washing Netilat Yadayim. (1) The Bach (beginning of 4) writes that S”A didn’t quote the Zohar because many people wouldn’t be able to fulfill the law. Sh”t Shevut Yacov 3:1 defends the minhag by saying that either the entire law of the Zohar isn’t applicable since the Talmud Balvi argues on it, or that the entire house is considered within 4 amot. The Eliyah Rabba 1:4 argues on the Shevut Yacov but defends the minhag by saying that perhaps the law doesn’t apply nowadays. So writes the Lechem Mishna (Shevitat Esor 3:12) and Yam Shel Shlomo (Chullin 31). (2) On the other hand, the Chida (Birkei Yosef 1:1) writes that it’s a serious halacha, most are strict about it, and if the water is far away one should walk less than 4 amot at a time to get the water. So writes the Shalmei Tzibbur 18c, Chesed LeAlaphim 4:12, Ruach Chaim 4:1, and Petach Dvir 4:1. However, the Shaarei Teshuva 1:2 and Siddur Bet Ovad 6:3 argue that if the water is far away one should rush to get to the water as soon as one can. (3) In conclusion, Sh”t Otzrot Yosef 1:2 writes in name of Rav Ovadyah Yosef that in cases of need one may rely on the lenient opinions especially if one went to sleep after chatzot. So too, Mishna Brurah 1:2 writes that one may rely on the Shevut Yacov (that a house is like 4 amot) in cases of great need.
  10. S"A 92:5 writes that if there was an interruption between the washing upon rising in the morning and praying, one should wash hands if water is available. This is brought down in Yalkut Yosef (Tefilah pg 330).
  11. Mishna Brurah 92:26 writes that since one can't find water for Stam hands one doesn't need to wash them, but only to rub them against something that can clean them.
  12. Mishna Brurah 92:27 writes that only if one has Stam hands is S"A lenient that one doesn't have to search for water if it isn't around, however if there is a certain impurity such as if one touched an unclean area or went to the bathroom, one certainly must wash hands.
  13. Mishna Brurah 92:25 writes that implied from S"A is that only does Shemona Esreh need clean hands but for learning Torah, Kriyat Shema or Brachot stam (they are in doubt, they aren't certainly clean or unclean) are sufficient. However, Mishna Brurah also quotes the Pri Megadim 4 writes that Kriyat Shema does need washed hands.
  14. Kitzur S”A 2:8, Dinei Nieyor Kol HaLaylah (pg 42) in name of Rav Chaim Kanievsky
  15. Ishei Yisrael 2:33 note 110, Piskei Teshuvot
  16. Mishna Brurah 4:27, Ishei Yisrael 2:33
  17. Piskei Teshuvot 1:6 writes that it’s preferable to wash when one wakes up the first time, however, it’s clear one doesn’t make a Bracha since one’s not ready to daven as in Buir Halacha 4:1 D”H Afilu. Halichot Shlomo (Tefillah pg 170) agrees.
  18. Biur Halacha 4:1 D”H Afilu as ruling like the Chaye Adam, Ishei Yisrael 2:31, Dinei Nieyor Kol HaLaylah (pg 42), Halichot Olam 2:23, See Piskei Teshuvot 4:2 who writes that one can go like the Chaye Adam or like the Mekubalim
  19. S”A 4:14, Mishna Brurah 4:31, Ishei Yisrael 2:31
  20. Buir Halacha 4:13 D”H Kol, Ishei Yisrael 2:32, Dinei Nieyor Kol HaLaylah (pg 41)
  21. The Shulchan Aruch (4:13) writes that there is a doubt whether one makes a Bracha on Netilat Yadayim on the morning after staying up all night. Similairly, the Rama (ibid) comments that one should do netilat Yadayim without a Bracha.
    • The source of the Shulchan Aruch's doubt is the dispute for doing Netilat Yadayim in the morning. The Rosh (Brachot 9:23) says because one's hands are "עסקניות" (literally busy) and they may have touched an unclean part of the body during one's sleep, it's an obligation to do Netilat Yadayim in the morning. As a support to his view that we wash our hands for cleanliness before prayer he quotes the pasuk from Tehilim (26:6) "אֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי ". On the other hand, the Rashba (Teshuvat HaRashba 1:191) argues on the Rosh claiming that there is no source for the idea of the Rosh. Rather the reason is that we are purifying our hands for the whole day (theoretically even to cover washing before bread) and the reason that we do it specifically before Shacharit is that when we wake up in the morning it's as if we are created anew as it says in Eicha (3:23) חֲדָשִׁים לַבְּקָרִים רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.
    • A practical difference (explained by the Bet Yosef (4:13)) that emerges from the dispute is a case of a person that didn't go to sleep at night. According to the Rosh, since one didn't go to sleep there is no doubt that a person would have touched an unclean area and so, there's no need for Netilat Yadayim. On the other hand, the Rashba holds that since we are created new everyday we need Netilat Yadayim even if one didn't go to sleep that night. Another concern that compounds the doubt of the Shulchan Aruch is the aspect of רוח רעה that is mentioned by the Tur (4:1) and so, even according to the Rosh one should still need to do Netilat Yadayim. Nontheless based on a quote from the Zohar (Vayishlach 169b), the Bet Yosef (ibid) argues that the issue of רוח רעה only applies to the nightime.
    • Rav Ovadiah(Chazon Ovadiah, Shavuot, note 25) mentions that even though the Maharsham (3:126) holds that one even makes a bracha on Netilat Yadayim of Birkat Cohanim and going to the bathroom; nevertheless, we don't hold like the Maharsham in this Halacha, says Rav Ovadiah Yosef.
    • The Mishna Berurah(4:27) adds that if one indeed went to sleep a שינת קבע (a substantial sleep) on his bed, then one makes netilat Yadayim with a Bracha.
  22. S”A 158:11 writes that the Bracha of Netilat Yadayim is like most other Brachot that have to be made prior to completing the mitzvah. Therefore concludes S”A the practice is to rub one’s hands to clean them (so one can make the Bracha), then make the Bracha prior to washing. However, Mishna Brurah 158:41 writes that the minhag of the world is to make the Bracha after washing but before drying like the Rama writes is permissible.
  23. Rama 158:11 writes that if one forgot to make a Bracha before drying one’s hand one can make the Bracha after drying. Mishna Brurah 158:44 supports the Rama by saying that Netilat Yadayim is different than other Brachot and may be made after the mitzvah is completed. Mishna Brurah writes that even thgouh the Taz forbids making the Bracha after drying hands, since most achronim hold like the Rama one should act according to the Rama, but one should be careful to avoid such a situation.