SECTION 158 The Rules Governing Washing One’s Hands for a Meal. (1–19)

קנח דִּינֵי נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לַסְּעוּדָה, וּבוֹ י"ט סְעִיפִים:

1 Anyone who eats bread over which the blessing HaMotzi is recited must first wash1 his hands, even though they are not soiled and he is unaware of their having contracted ritual impurity.2 [The rationale is that], when a person diverts his attention from watching his hands, they are given the status of second degree derivatives of impurity.3 [Touching] produce which is terumah4[with such hands] would disqualify it according to Rabbinic decree,5 unless his hands are washed with water as required by law. As an extension [of the restrictions that involve] terumah, [our Sages] ordained such a washing even for ordinary produce,6 so that people would accustom themselves to washing their hands whenever they eat and thus would not forget to wash for terumah. [Our Sages made this decree universal, since] they did not wish to differentiate between kohanim and Israelites who may not partake of terumah.

At present, kohanim may not partake of terumah because of ritual impurity.7 Nevertheless this ordinance was not nullified, so that the Children of Israel will be habituated to eat in a state of ritual purity when the Beis HaMikdash will be rebuilt; may this take place speedily, in our days.8

This ordinance was instituted only for bread.9 The rationale is that the majority of terumah [that is eaten] is bread. For according to Scriptural Law, the obligation of terumah applies only to grain, wine, and oil,10 as it is written:11 “The first of your grain (degancha), your wine (tiroshcha), and your oil (yitzharecha)… [shall you give him].” The Hebrew term dagan refers to the five species of grain;12 and the manner in which they are eaten is by making bread from them. The terms tirosh and yitzhar refer to wine and oil. The manner in which one drinks them is with a container. Thus a person is not likely to touch them with his hands. Therefore, washing one’s hands [before drinking wine or oil] was not required even for terumah. Needless to say, [washing is not required before partaking of] ordinary [wine and oil].

Even with regard to bread made from ordinary produce, [washing one’s hands] was required only for bread that is commonly used as the mainstay of a meal. Washing one’s hands, however, is not required [before partaking of] filled loaves,13 or thin loaves over which the blessing HaMotzi is not recited, as stated in sec. 168[:8ff.], just as washing is not required when one partakes of grain before it is baked into bread. Although terumah must be separated from such grain according to Scriptural Law,14 it is not frequently found in people’s homes.15 Hence, [our Sages] did not decree [that it was necessary to wash before partaking of such products] made from ordinary produce.16 Nevertheless, if one made filled loaves or thin loaves the mainstay of one’s meal, just as doing so requires the recitation of the blessing HaMotzi,17so too, it requires the washing of hands. A distinction should not be made between them and actual bread, since one is making them the mainstay of his meal, just as he does with actual bread. [In this instance,] the blessing …Al netilas yadayim should also be recited.

א כָּל הָאוֹכֵל פַּת א שֶׁמְּבָרְכִין עָלָיו "הַמּוֹצִיא" ב – צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו1 תְּחִלָּה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן מְלֻכְלָכוֹת וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לָהֶם טֻמְאָה,ג,2 לְפִי שֶׁסְּתָם יָדַיִם ד שֶׁהִסִּיחַ מֵהֶם דַּעְתּוֹ מִשְּׁמִירָתָן ה הֵן שְׁנִיּוֹת לְטֻמְאָה,3 וּפוֹסְלוֹת אֶת הַתְּרוּמָה ו,4 מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,ז,5 עַד שֶׁיִּרְחֲצֵם בַּמַּיִם כְּהִלְכָתָן. וְתִקְּנוּ אַף בַּאֲכִילַת חֻלִּין6 מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה,ח שֶׁיַּרְגִּילוּ לִטֹּל יְדֵיהֶם בְּכָל אֲכִילָה וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ לִטֹּל לִתְרוּמָה,ט וְלֹא רָצוּ לְחַלֵּק בֵּין כֹּהֲנִים לְיִשְׂרְאֵלִים שֶׁאֵין אוֹכְלִים תְּרוּמָה.

וְגַם עַכְשָׁו שֶׁאֵין הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹכְלִין תְּרוּמָה מִפְּנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה י,7 – לֹא בָּטְלָה תַּקָּנָה זוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ רְגִילִים בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּשֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְּיָמֵינוּ לֶאֱכֹל בְּטָהֳרָה.יא,8

וְלֹא תִּקְנוּ אֶלָּא בְּפַת, לְפִי שֶׁרֹב הַתְּרוּמוֹת הֵן בְּפַת,יב,9 שֶׁמִּן הַתּוֹרָה אֵין תְּרוּמָה נוֹהֶגֶת אֶלָּא בְּדָגָן תִּירוֹשׁ וְיִצְהָר,יג,10 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר,יד,11 "רֵאשִׁית דְּגָנְךָ תִּירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ וְגוֹ'", וְהַדָּגָן, שֶׁהוּא ה' מִינֵי תְּבוּאָה,טו,12 דֶּרֶךְ אֲכִילָתוֹ הוּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ פַּת,טז וְתִירוֹשׁ וְיִצְהָר, הֵם יַיִן וָשֶׁמֶן, דֶּרֶךְ שְׁתִיָּתָן הֵם בִּכְלִי, וְאֵין אָדָם עָשׂוּי לִגַּע בָּהֶם בְּיָדָיו, לְפִיכָךְ,יז לֹא הִצְרִיכוּ בָּהֶם נְטִילַת יָדַיִם יח אֲפִלּוּ בִּתְרוּמָה,יט וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בְּחֻלִּין.

וְגַם בְּפַת חֻלִּין לֹא הִצְרִיכוּ אֶלָּא בְּפַת שֶׁרְגִילִין בָּהּ תָּדִיר לִקְבֹּעַ סְעוּדָה עֲלֵיהֶם, אֲבָל פַּת הַבָּאָה בְּכִיסָנִין13 וְלַחְמָנִיּוֹת דַּקּוֹת שֶׁאֵין מְבָרְכִין עֲלֵיהֶם "הַמּוֹצִיא", לְפִי שֶׁאֵין רְגִילִין לִקְבֹּעַ סְעוּדָה עֲלֵיהֶם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קס"ח כ – אֵין צְרִיכִים נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,כא כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִים לְדָגָן קֹדֶם שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה פַּת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁתְּרוּמָתוֹ הִיא מִן הַתּוֹרָה,כב,14 אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְגִילָה וּמְצוּיָה כָּל כָּךְ בַּבַּיִת,15 לְפִיכָךְ לֹא גָּזְרוּ כג בִּשְׁבִילָהּ בְּחֻלִּין.כד,16

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם קָבַע סְעוּדָתוֹ עַל פַּת הַבָּאָה בְּכִיסָנִין וְלַחְמָנִיּוֹת דַּקּוֹת, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמּוֹעֶלֶת קְבִיעוּת זוֹ לְעִנְיַן "הַמּוֹצִיא" כה,17 – כָּךְ מוֹעֶלֶת לְעִנְיַן נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,כו שֶׁלֹּא לַחֲלֹק בֵּינֵיהֶם לְפַת גְּמוּרָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁקּוֹבֵעַ עֲלֵיהֶם כְּמוֹ עַל פַּת גְּמוּרָה, וִיבָרֵךְ גַּם כֵּן בִּרְכַּת "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם": כז

2 There is an unresolved question whether one is required to wash his hands even before partaking of actual bread if he partakes of a portion smaller than a shelled egg.18 The rationale is that a measure of food smaller than an egg is not considered as food with regard to the impurity of food.19 For this reason, it does not impart ritual impurity to other liquids or foods that come into contact with it, as [derived from] the verse:20 “For all food that will be eaten.” Now, the Sages required washing one’s hands as an extension [of the restrictions that involve] terumah only with regarding to eating, not with regard to touching.21 Since a portion of food smaller than an egg is not considered as food with regard to ritual impurity, [it could be said that] eating such a portion is not considered as eating with regard to [the obligation of] washing one’s hands. [Because of the doubt involved,22 when eating a portion of bread less than this size,] one should wash his hands, but not recite a blessing.23 [Washing is required] even if one eats the smallest morsel of bread.

If, however, a person eats a quantity of bread equal to the size of a [shelled] egg, even [if this quantity is made up] of small crumbs, he is obligated to recite a blessing over washing his hands. True, these crumbs are not considered as a single entity with regard to ritual impurity.24 Nevertheless, since the person eats and ingests a quantity of food that is considered as food even with regard to ritual impurity, his eating [this amount of bread] is considered as eating with regard to [his obligation to] wash his hands. If, however, one holds a large piece of bread that exceeds the size of an egg, but eats less than an egg-sized portion, he should wash his hands without a blessing since he does not partake of an amount [of bread] that would be called food with regard to the impurity of foods.

ב אֲפִלּוּ פַּת גְּמוּרָה, אִם אֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִכַּבֵּיצָה בְּלֹא קְלִפָּתָהּ כח,18 – יֵשׁ לְהִסְתַּפֵּק כט אִם צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם, לְפִי ל שֶׁפָּחוֹת מִכַּבֵּיצָה אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא אֹכֶל לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין,לא,19 שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא מַשְׁקִים וָאֳכָלִים אֲחֵרִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לב,20 "מִכָּל הָאֹכֶל אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְגוֹ'", וַחֲכָמִים לֹא הִצְרִיכוּ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם בְּחֻלִּין מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה אֶלָּא בַּאֲכִילָה וְלֹא בִּנְגִיעָה,לג,21 וּפָחוֹת מִכַּבֵּיצָה כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִקְרָא אֹכֶל לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה – אֵין אֲכִילָתוֹ חֲשׁוּבָה אֲכִילָה לְעִנְיַן נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.22 לְפִיכָךְ, יִטֹּל יָדָיו וְלֹא יְבָרֵךְ.לד,23 וַאֲפִלּוּ אוֹכֵל כָּל שֶׁהוּא – צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה.לה

אֲבָל אִם אוֹכֵל כַּבֵּיצָה, אֲפִלּוּ מִפֵּרוּרִין דַּקִּין – יְבָרֵךְ "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם",לו שֶׁאַף שֶׁאֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין לְכַבֵּיצָה לְטֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין,לז,24 מִכָּל מָקוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁאוֹכֵל וּמַכְנִיס לְתוֹךְ מֵעָיו שִׁעוּר הַנִּקְרָא אֹכֶל אַף לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין – אֲכִילָתוֹ חֲשׁוּבָה אֲכִילָה לְעִנְיַן נְטִילַת יָדַיִם. אֲבָל אִם אוֹחֵז חֲתִיכָה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ כַּבֵּיצָה וְיוֹתֵר וְאוֹכֵל מִמֶּנָּה פָּחוֹת מִכַּבֵּיצָה – יִטֹּל בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה, הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל כְּשִׁעוּר הַנִּקְרָא אֹכֶל לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין:

3 One who drinks is not required to wash his hands [prior to drinking].25 Nevertheless, if a person eats food that was dipped in liquids26 — whether he dips it in liquids at the time he is partaking of the food or the food was dipped [in liquid] beforehand, and he is eating it while it is moist and liquid is still on it because it was not dried off — he must wash his hands first.27 [The rationale is] that liquids are more likely to contract impurity, because there is no requirement that they first be made fit to contract impurity.28 Moreover, even ordinary liquids that were touched by hands over which a person was not mindful are considered as ritually impure. They become a primary derivative of impurity (rishon letuma’ah) and impart impurity to foods and other liquids, even if only the slightest amount [of the impure liquid] touches them.29 Therefore, [our Sages] showed greater stringency with regard to them as an extension [of the restrictions that involve] terumah,and required washing one’s hands for every food that is moist with liquid. As an extension [of the restrictions that involve] the terumah of wine and oil, [they applied this ruling] even with regard to a liquid for which there is no obligation to separate terumah, e.g., water or honey.

[This obligation applies] even if one dips only the tip of a vegetable in liquid and his hands do not touch the liquid at all. [This is] a decree, [enacted] lest onetouch it.30 [Moreover,] even if one partakes [of such food] with a spoon, he must wash his hands beforehand if there is water available within a mil31or four millin, as will be explained in sec. 163[:1]. Since [this particular food] is ordinarily eaten by hand, [our Sages enacted this] decree, lest one dip the food [in liquid] with his hands as is his ordinary practice, or eat it with his hands after it has been dipped into liquids and his hands are still moist from them.

Conversely, [our Sages] did not decree [that washing one’s hands is required for] foods that are usually eaten with a spoon.32 They were not concerned that one would touch them with his hands. Therefore, even if, by chance, one touched [food] in a spoon with his hands, he is not required to wash his hands. [To exemplify this concept:] one is not required to wash before drinking liquids, since it is not common to touch them while they are in one’s cup. Accordingly, even if one seeks to touch them in a cup, he is not required to wash his hands. Moreover, even if one drinks water from a river with his hands or dips his finger in oil, honey, or other liquids, and sucks it afterward, he is not required to wash his hands, because the washing of hands was not ordained for liquids at all, only when one dips food in them and in no other instance. [The rationale is that] the common way of drinking liquids is via a container.33

[There is an exception:] Thick honey that is fit to be eaten — and at times is eaten — by hand, without a utensil (it is, however, moist to the extent that it would become attached to the hand of one who touches it34 and thus is defined as a liquid according to all opinions, as will be explained).35 One should be stringent and not take some to eat with his finger without washing his hands.36 [The rationale is that] there is reason to say that since our Sages ordained that one must wash his hands before partaking of foods that are dipped in liquid, how much more so should this apply when one partakes of the liquids themselves by hand in a manner that is an accepted form of eating. Only liquids that one always drinks — by hand or with a container — were excluded from this ordinance.

In these countries, the majority of the populace do not follow the practice of washing their hands before partaking of food dipped into liquids.37 There are authorities who defend their conduct, explaining that they rely on the opinion of several of the Rishonim38 who stated that the Sages required washing before partaking of food dipped in liquid only in their era, when people would eat their food39 in ritual purity. By contrast, in the present era, we are all ritually impure7 [and there is no need for such stringencies].40 Therefore these people should not be rebuked, because they have authorities on whom they rely. Primacy, however, should be given to the first opinion. Nevertheless, one should not recite a blessing over this washing, because when the obligation to recite a blessing is a matter of doubt, one should adopt the lenient view.41

ג אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשּׁוֹתֶה אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,לח,25 מִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם אוֹכֵל דָּבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלוֹ בְּמַשְׁקֶה,לט,26 בֵּין שֶׁמְּטַבְּלוֹ עַתָּה, בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה מְטֻבָּל מִקֹּדֶם מ וְאוֹכֵל כְּשֶׁהוּא מְטֻבָּל וּמְלֻחְלָח שֶׁלֹּא נִתְנַגֵּב מא – צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו תְּחִלָּה,27 לְפִי שֶׁהַמַּשְׁקִים עֲלוּלִים לְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה יוֹתֵר,מב שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִים הֶכְשֵׁר.מג,28 וְעוֹד, שֶׁאַף מַשְׁקֶה חֻלִּין שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בּוֹ סְתָם יָדַיִם – נִטְמָא וְנַעֲשָׂה רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה,מד וּמְטַמֵּא אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין אֲחֵרִים מה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא,מו,29 לְפִיכָךְ הֶחְמִירוּ בָּהּ יוֹתֵר מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה, וְהִצְרִיכוּ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁמְּלֻחְלָח בְּמַשְׁקֶה,מז אֲפִלּוּ הוּא מַשְׁקֶה שֶׁאֵין בְּמִינוֹ תְּרוּמָה כְּלָל, כְּגוֹן מַיִם וּדְבַשׁ, מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמַת יַיִן וָשֶׁמֶן.מח

וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין מְטַבֵּל אֶלָּא רֹאשׁ הַיָּרָק וְאֵין יָדָיו נוֹגְעוֹת בַּמַּשְׁקֶה כְּלָל, גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִגְּעוּ בּוֹ.מט,30 וַאֲפִלּוּ לֶאֱכֹל עַל יְדֵי כַּף צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,נ אִם מַיִם מְצוּיִין לְפָנָיו בְּתוֹךְ מִיל31 אוֹ ד' מִילִין,נא כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קס"ג,נב גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִטְבְּלֶנּוּ בְּיָדוֹ כְּדַרְכּוֹ, אוֹ יֹאכְלֶנּוּ בְּיָדוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא מְטֻבָּל וּמְלֻחְלָח בְּמַשְׁקֶה,נג כֵּיוָן שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לְהֵאָכֵל בַּיָּד.

אֲבָל דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל עַל יְדֵי כַּף32 – לֹא גָּזְרוּ שֶׁמָּא יִגַּע בּוֹ בְּיָדָיו.נד וּלְפִיכָךְ, אַף אִם נָגַע בְּיָדָיו דֶּרֶךְ מִקְרֶה בְּתוֹךְ הַכַּף – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,נה כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לִשְׁתִיַּת מַשְׁקִין, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּם לִגַּע בָּהֶם בְּתוֹךְ הַכּוֹס,נו וְלָכֵן אַף אִם בָּא לִגַּע בָּהֶם בְּתוֹךְ הַכּוֹס – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם. וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ הַשּׁוֹתֶה מַיִם בְּיָדוֹ מִן הַנָּהָר,נז וְכֵן הַטּוֹבֵל אֶצְבָּעוֹ בְּשֶׁמֶן אוֹ דְּבַשׁ וּשְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין וּמוֹצֵץ אַחַר כָּךְ – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְּנוּ כְּלָל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְמַשְׁקִין אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי טִבּוּל אֳכָלִין, וְלֹא בְּעִנְיָן אַחֵר, הוֹאִיל וְעִקַּר דֶּרֶךְ שְׁתִיַּת הַמַּשְׁקִים הוּא בִּכְלִי.נח,33

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, בִּדְבַשׁ נט עָב וְרָאוּי לַאֲכִילָה,ס שֶׁרְגִילִים לִפְעָמִים לֶאֱכֹל מִמֶּנּוּ בַּיָּד בְּלֹא כְּלִי (אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ,34 שֶׁקָּרוּי מַשְׁקֶה לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר) סא,35 – יֵשׁ לְהַחְמִיר שֶׁלֹּא לִקַּח מִמֶּנּוּ בְּאֶצְבַּע לֶאֱכֹל בְּלֹא נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,36 כִּי יֵשׁ לוֹמַר: מֵאַחַר שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לָאֳכָלִין שֶׁטִּבּוּלָן בְּמַשְׁקֶה – כָּל שֶׁכֵּן לַמַּשְׁקִים עַצְמָן אִם אוֹכְלָם בְּיָדוֹ סב בְּדֶרֶךְ אֲכִילָה, וְלֹא הוֹצִיאוּ מִכְּלַל תַּקָּנָה זוֹ אֶלָּא הַשּׁוֹתֶה בְּיָדוֹ אוֹ בִּכְלִי לְעוֹלָם.

וּבִמְדִינוֹת אֵלּוּ לֹא נָהֲגוּ רֹב הֲמוֹן עַם לִטֹּל יְדֵיהֶם לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלָם בְּמַשְׁקֶה.37 וְיֵשׁ שֶׁלִּמְּדוּ עֲלֵיהֶם זְכוּת סג לוֹמַר, שֶׁסָּמְכוּ עַל דַּעַת מִקְצָת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים סד,38 שֶׁאָמְרוּ, שֶׁלֹּא הִצְרִיכוּ חֲכָמִים נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְדָבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלוֹ בְּמַשְׁקֶה אֶלָּא בִּימֵיהֶם שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹכְלִין בְּטָהֳרָה,39 מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן עַכְשָׁו שֶׁכֻּלָּנוּ טְמֵאֵי מֵתִים.סה,40 וְאֵין לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדָם, מֵאַחַר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם עַל מִי שֶׁיִּסְמֹכוּ, אֲבָל הָעִקָּר כַּסְּבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.סו וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֹא יְבָרֵךְ "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם", שֶׁסְּפֵק בְּרָכוֹת לְהָקֵל: סז,41

4 According to the Torah’s terminology, the term “liquid” refers only to seven liquids:42 water, wine, oil, milk, dew, bee-honey,43 and the blood44 of domesticated animals, undomesticated animals, and fowl, i.e., one dips food in their blood for medicinal purposes, because of a life-threatening illness.45 The blood of fish, by cntrast, is not considered as a liquid [in this context]. Thus one who eats fish with its blood, is not required to wash his hands.

ד אֵין נִקְרָא מַשְׁקֶה בִּלְשׁוֹן הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא ז' מַשְׁקִים,סח,42 שֶׁהֵם: הַמַּיִם, וְהַיַּיִן, וְהַשֶּׁמֶן, וְהֶחָלָב, וְהַטַּל, וּדְבַשׁ דְּבוֹרִים,סט,43 וְדַם44 בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וָעוֹף, וּכְגוֹן שֶׁמְּטַבֵּל בּוֹ לִרְפוּאָה לְפִקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ.45 אֲבָל דַּם דָּגִים אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מַשְׁקֶה, וְהָאוֹכֵל דָּג עִם דָּמוֹ – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם: ע

5 Nor are any fruit juices considered as liquids with regard to ritual impurity.46 Thus this ruling also applies with regard to the washing of hands that was ordained as an extension of the obligation to eat terumah in a state of ritual purity.47 [This ruling applies] even in a place where it is customary to make beverages by squeezing fruits48 and thus they are considered as liquids with regard to [the prohibition against squeezing fruit on] Shabbos.49

ה וְכֵן שְׁאָר כָּל מֵי פֵּרוֹת,עא אֲפִלּוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרְגִילִין לַעֲשׂוֹת מַשְׁקִים לִשְׁתִיָּה מִסְּחִיטַת אֵיזֶה פֵּרוֹת,48 שֶׁהוּא חָשׁוּב כְּמַשְׁקֶה לְעִנְיַן שַׁבָּת עב,49 – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מַשְׁקֶה לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה,46 וְכֵן לְעִנְיַן נְטִילַת יָדַיִם שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה לְאָכְלָהּ בְּטָהֳרָה: עג,47

6 Even when one squeezes produce that was pickled, stewed,50 or cooked in one of the seven liquids mentioned above, causing the liquid absorbed in them to emerge, the liquid that emerges is not considered as a liquid,51 but rather as food, since it had been absorbed in food, as stated in sec. 320[:11]. This law applies also to meat, fish, and other foods that are pickled or stewed in one of these seven liquids.

Nevertheless, should one seek to eat pickled, stewed, or cooked food [with his hands] while the sauce or cooking liquid is still on it — i.e., it was not dried to the extent that it would not leave moisture on an object that touches it34 — he is required to wash his hands. This food is considered as dipped in liquid, for if the liquid in which the food was pickled, stewed, or cooked was one of the seven liquids, it is considered as a liquid in the complete sense. Only the liquid absorbed in the food is no longer considered as liquid; this does not apply to the liquid on its surface. This ruling applies even though the liquid is considered as food with regard to the blessing [recited after partaking of it], as stated in sec. 210.52 Therefore, [if one desires to partake of this food without washing his hands], the liquid should first be dried off the food; [in such an instance,] even if the food subsequently became moist from the liquid squeezed from it when grasped by his hand, it is of no consequence. Alternatively, he should eat it with a spoon, if it is a food that it is usually so eaten.53

ו אֲפִלּוּ פֵּרוֹת הַכְּבוּשִׁים אוֹ שְׁלוּקִים50 וּמְבֻשָּׁלִים בְּאֶחָד מִז' מַשְׁקִים אֵלּוּ (א) שֶׁסָּחַט הַמַּשְׁקֶה שֶׁנִּבְלַע בָּהֶם עד – אֵין עַל הַנִּסְחָט זֶה תּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה51 אֶלָּא תּוֹרַת אֹכֶל, מֵאַחַר שֶׁהָיָה בָּלוּעַ בָּאֹכֶל, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"כ.עה וְכֵן בְּבָשָׂר וְדָגִים וּשְׁאָר מִינֵי אֳכָלִים הַכְּבוּשִׁים אוֹ שְׁלוּקִים בְּאֶחָד מִז' מִינֵי מַשְׁקִים אֵלּוּ.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֶאֱכֹל הָאֹכֶל זֶה הַכָּבוּשׁ אוֹ הַשָּׁלוּק וּמְבֻשָּׁל בְּעוֹד שֶׁהָרֹטֶב וְהַמָּרָק טוֹפֵחַ עָלָיו שֶׁלֹּא נִתְנַגֵּב עַד שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא בּוֹ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ – צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,עו שֶׁהֲרֵי אֹכֶל זֶה מְטֻבָּל בְּמַשְׁקֶה, שֶׁהַמָּרָק שֶׁל הַכְּבוּשִׁים אוֹ הַשְּׁלוּקִים וּמְבֻשָּׁלִים – מַשְׁקֶה גָּמוּר הוּא כְּשֶׁהוּא מִז' מַשְׁקִים, רַק מַה שֶּׁנִּבְלַע מִמֶּנּוּ בְּתוֹךְ הָאֹכֶל בִּלְבַד יָצָא מִתּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה וְלֹא מַה שֶּׁטּוֹפֵחַ עַל גַּבָּיו, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנֶּחְשָׁב כְּאֹכֶל לְעִנְיַן בְּרָכָה,עז כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ר"י,עח,52 וְלָכֵן יְנַגֵּב אוֹתוֹ תְּחִלָּה מִמַּשְׁקֶה שֶׁעַל גַּבָּיו. וְאַף שֶׁחוֹזֵר וּמִתְלַחְלֵחַ מִמַּשְׁקֶה הַנִּסְחָט מִתּוֹכוֹ כְּשֶׁנּוֹטְלוֹ בְּיָדוֹ – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם. אוֹ יֹאכְלֶנּוּ עַל יְדֵי כַּף, אִם הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל עַל יְדֵי כַּף: עט,53

7 Whenever a liquid congeals or coagulates to the extent that is no longer moist enough to impart moisture to an object that touches it,34 it is no longer considered as a liquid.54 This applies whether it congealed because of cooking or due to cold.

Therefore, it is not necessary to wash one’s hands before eating a confection55 [compounded from a mixture of honey, spices, and other foods] that is compounded in such a manner that no honey remains upon it that would become attached to one’s hand.34

There are, however, authorities who maintain that honey never ceases to be considered as a liquid, even if has congealed or coagulated entirely and is no longer in a liquid state at all. Weight should be given to their words.56 Nevertheless, such a confection may be eaten with a spoon or a knife if water is not easily accessible.57 Even though the usual manner of eating this confection is with one’s hands, there is no need to be so stringent in this instance and decree [that one must wash his hands] lest he touch [the confection with his hands] since there are authorities who permit him to touch [it without washing].

If, however, there is liquid honey on the surface of such a confection that would leave [honey] on the hand of one who touches it,34 one should not rule leniently and permit it to be eaten with a spoon or knife.58

If, when the honey first emerged from the beeswax, i.e., at the time one crushed the honeycomb to remove the honey, he thought of using it for food alone and not as a liquid, i.e., he planned to [use the honey to] make confections like those described above, to put the honey into a cooked food, or to mix other foods into it and to eat it with them as food, and not to drink it at all, this [initial] intention causes the honey to be considered as food. It was never categorized as a liquid at all. There are authorities who differ with this conception.59 Therefore one may be lenient in this instance [and partake of food made with such honey] with a spoon or a knife [without washing one’s hands].60

ז כָּל מַשְׁקֶה שֶׁנִּקְפָּה וְנִקְרָשׁ עַד שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ – יָצָא מִתּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה,פ,54 בֵּין שֶׁנִּקְרַשׁ עַל יְדֵי בִּשּׁוּל בֵּין עַל יְדֵי צִנָּה.פא

וְלָכֵן אֵין צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו לְמִרְקַחַת פב,55 מְרֻקַּחַת הֵיטֵב עַד שֶׁאֵין עַל גַּבָּהּ דְּבַשׁ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ.פג

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים פד שֶׁהַדְּבַשׁ אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִתּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה לְעוֹלָם, אֲפִלּוּ נִקְפָּה וְנִקְרָשׁ לְגַמְרֵי וְאֵין בּוֹ מַשְׁקֶה טוֹפֵחַ כְּלָל. וְיֵשׁ לָחֹשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם.56 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם אֵין מַיִם מְצוּיִים בְּקַל לְפָנָיו57 – יוּכַל לֶאֱכֹל בְּכַף אוֹ בְּסַכִּין אַף אִם דֶּרֶךְ מִרְקַחַת זוֹ לְהֵאָכֵל בַּיָּד, שֶׁאֵין לְהַחְמִיר כָּל כָּךְ בָּזֶה וְלִגְזֹר שֶׁמָּא יִגַּע, מֵאַחַר שֶׁיֵּשׁ מַתִּירִין לִגַּע.פה

אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ עַל הַמִּרְקַחַת דְּבַשׁ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ – אֵין לְהָקֵל כְּלָל עַל יְדֵי כַּף וְסַכִּין.פו,58

אַךְ אִם בִּתְחִלַּת יְצִיאַת הַדְּבַשׁ מֵהַשַּׁעֲוָה, דְּהַיְנוּ כְּשֶׁרִסֵּק הַחַלּוֹת שֶׁל דְּבַשׁ כְּדֵי לְהוֹצִיא הַדְּבַשׁ מֵהֶם, חִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לָאֳכָלִין בִּלְבַד וְלֹא לְמַשְׁקִין, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁחִשֵּׁב כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ מִרְקַחַת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ, אוֹ לִתְּנוֹ לְתוֹךְ הַתַּבְשִׁיל, אוֹ לְעָרֵב בּוֹ אֳכָלִין אֲחֵרִים וּלְאָכְלוֹ עִמָּהֶם בְּדֶרֶךְ אֲכִילָה וְלֹא לִשְׁתּוֹתוֹ כְּלָל – נַעֲשָׂה אֹכֶל עַל יְדֵי מַחֲשָׁבָה זוֹ, וְלֹא יָרְדָה עָלָיו תּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה כְּלָל.פז וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין בָּזֶה.פח,59 וְלָכֵן יֵשׁ לְהָקֵל גַּם בָּזֶה עַל יְדֵי כַּף אוֹ סַכִּין: פט,60

8 All the above applies when the honey is apparent as a distinct entity in the confection or on its surface. [A different rule applies,] however, if [the honey] is not at all a distinct entity; [it never appears separate,] without being mixed in with the other ingredients. [Instead,] the ingredients mixed into the confection are entirely dissolved and become a single entity with the honey, to the extent that no moist honey that could become attached to an object that comes in contact with it34 is apparent as a distinct entity, separate from the other ingredients. [In such a situation,] the honey ceases to be considered as a liquid at all, and is considered as a food. This ruling applies even if the mixture [remains moist, and] would become attached to an object that comes in contact with it.61 [The rationale is that the honey] became a single entity with the food that is intended to be eaten and is fit to be eaten,62 i.e., the confection is slightly thick, thus people would not ordinarily gulp it down and swallow it all at once without at least turning it over somewhat with their tongues. [Gulping it down] would be categorized as drinking. In this instance, however, the usual practice is to turn it over [this confection] with one’s tongue [at least] somewhat before it reaches the gullet. Thus this is categorized as eating. An example [of such a confection is one composed of] apples, plums, or cherries that are crushed and blended thoroughly with honey until they become thick pieces.

(If the mixture is so soft that people would usually gulp it down and swallow it without turning it over with their tongues, how much more [would the ruling be] that washing one’s hands is not necessary, just as it is not necessary when drinking liquids, even if one is drinking from one’s hands, as stated above.63

Nevertheless, if one would dip food into such a mixture, he would be required to wash his hands as is required when dipping food in actual liquid, since it is so soft. [This ruling applies] even though the crushed food is recognizable inside of it, providedthat the majority of the mixture is honey, as will be explained.)64

ח וְכָל זֶה בְּמִרְקַחַת שֶׁהַדְּבַשׁ נִכָּר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ בְּתוֹכָהּ אוֹ עַל גַּבָּהּ, אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ כְּלָל בְּלֹא תַּעֲרֹבֶת אֹכֶל, כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּמְחָה הָאֹכֶל הַמְרֻקָּח לְגַמְרֵי וְנַעֲשָׂה גּוּף אֶחָד מַמָּשׁ עִם הַדְּבַשׁ, בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁאֵין בְּמִרְקַחַת זוֹ דְּבַשׁ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ נִכָּר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ בְּלִי תַּעֲרֹבֶת אֹכֶל הַנִּמּוֹחַ – נִתְבַּטֵּל הַדְּבַשׁ מִתּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה לְגַמְרֵי וְנַעֲשָׂה אֹכֶל, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ, מֵאַחַר שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה גּוּף אֶחָד מַמָּשׁ61 עִם הָאֹכֶל הָעוֹמֵד לַאֲכִילָה וְרָאוּי לַאֲכִילָה,צ,62 דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהַמִּרְקַחַת עָבָה קְצָת, שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְגָמְעָהּ וְלִבְלֹעַ בְּבַת אַחַת בְּלִי הִפּוּךְ בַּלָּשׁוֹן כְּלָל, שֶׁזּוֹ דֶּרֶךְ שְׁתִיָּה הִיא, אֶלָּא דַּרְכָּהּ לְהָפְכָהּ מְעַט בַּלָּשׁוֹן עַד שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לְבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה, שֶׁזּוֹ הִיא דֶּרֶךְ אֲכִילָה,צא כְּגוֹן תַּפּוּחִים וְגֻדְגְּדָנִיּוֹת (שֶׁקּוֹרִין פלומי"ן וקרשי"ן בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכֲּנַז) מְרֻסָּקִים וּמְרֻקָּחִים הֵיטֵב בִּדְבַשׁ וְנַעֲשׂוּ חֲתִיכוֹת עָבוֹת.צב

(וְאִם הִיא רַכָּה כָּל כָּךְ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְגָמְעָהּ וְלִבְלֹעַ בְּלִי הִפּוּךְ בַּלָּשׁוֹן – כָּל שֶׁכֵּן שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לִשְׁתִיָּה אֲפִלּוּ שׁוֹתֶה בְּיָדוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה.צג,63

אַךְ אִם מְטַבֵּל בָּהּ אֵיזֶה אֹכֶל – צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם כִּמְטַבֵּל בְּמַשְׁקֶה גָּמוּר, מֵאַחַר שֶׁהִיא רַכָּה כָּל כָּךְ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָאֹכֶל הַמָּחוּי נִכָּר בָּהּ. וְהוּא שֶׁהַדְּבַשׁ הוּא הָרֹב, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר): צד,64

9 All liquids — even if they had [once] completely congealed — are again considered as liquids if they return to a liquid state.65 Therefore, when dough is fried in butter, one must wash his hands [before partaking of the pastry produced. The rationale is that] butter is congealed milk and [in the frying process], it returned to a liquid state. If, however, dough is fried in animal fat, it is not necessary to wash one’s hands before partaking of it, for animal fat is not one of the seven liquids [mentioned in subsection 4]. Similarly, [one is not required to wash his hands] for a confection made with date-honey or with sugar.66

Nevertheless, one need not wash his hands even for pastry fried in butter, except in places where the practice is to first melt the butter separately in one utensil and then pour it, while melted and in a liquid state, into the dough that is to be fried. [In such an instance,] the butter was already considered a liquid before it was placed together with the food to be fried.67 In places where, by contrast, pieces of solid butter that would not impart moisture to another substance34 are placed in the mixture to be fried, there is no need to wash one’s hands before partaking of the pastry produced by this frying. The rationale is that congealed butter is considered food entirely [and not a liquid]. When it began to melt and liquid emerged from it, the liquid entered food, i.e., the pastry being fried. Whenever a liquid emerges directly into food as it first comes into being as a liquid, it is not considered as a liquid at all, but rather as food, as will be explained in sec. 320[:6].68

ט כָּל מַשְׁקֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּקְרַשׁ לְגַמְרֵי, אִם חוֹזֵר וְנִמּוֹחַ – חוֹזֵר לִהְיוֹת תּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה עָלָיו עַל הַנִּמּוֹחַ.צה,65 וְלָכֵן עִסָּה הַמְטֻגֶּנֶת בְּחֶמְאָה – צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו תְּחִלָּה, שֶׁהַחֶמְאָה הִיא חָלָב שֶׁקָּרוּשׁצו וְחָזַר וְנִמּוֹחַ.צז אֲבָל הַמְטֻגֶּנֶת בְּשֻׁמָּן – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם, שֶׁהַשֻּׁמָּן אֵינוֹ מִז' מַשְׁקִין.צח וְכֵן מִרְקַחַת בִּדְבַשׁ תְּמָרִים אוֹ דְּבַשׁ הַקָּנִים (שֶׁקּוֹרִין צוקר).צט,66

וַאֲפִלּוּ לְטִגּוּן בְּחֶמְאָה אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם אֶלָּא בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁמַּתִּיכִין הַחֶמְאָה לְבַדָּהּ תְּחִלָּה בִּכְלִי אֶחָד וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְשִׂימִין אוֹתָהּ לְתוֹךְ הַטִּגּוּן כְּשֶׁהִיא מְהֻתֶּכֶת וְנִמּוֹחָה, שֶׁכְּבָר יָרַד עֲלֵיהֶם תּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לְתוֹךְ הָאֹכֶל שֶׁהוּא הַטִּגּוּן.ק,67 אֲבָל בִּמְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לְתוֹךְ הַטִּגּוּן חֶמְאָה קְרוּשָׁה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְטִגּוּן זֶה, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהַחֶמְאָה קְרוּשָׁה הָיְתָה אֹכֶל גָּמוּר, וּכְשֶׁהִתְחִילָה לִהְיוֹת נִמּוֹחָה וְלָצֵאת מִמֶּנָּה מַשְׁקֶה – הֲרֵי יָצָא לְתוֹךְ הָאֹכֶל שֶׁהוּא מִין הַטִּגּוּן. וְכָל מַשְׁקֶה הַבָּא לָאֹכֶל מִתְּחִלַּת יְצִיאָתוֹ – אֵין עָלָיו תּוֹרַת מַשְׁקֶה כְּלָל אֶלָּא תּוֹרַת אֹכֶל,קא כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ש"כ: קב,68

10 The fluid that emerges from roasted meat is not considered as a liquid. [This ruling applies] even if the meat was washed with water before it was roasted. [The rationale is that] the water that was originally on the meat dried during the roasting process. The liquid that emerges from the meat is from the fluids of the meat itself and is not considered a liquid [in this context].69

י מֹהַל הַיּוֹצֵא מִבְּשַׂר צָלִי – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מַשְׁקֶה.קג וַאֲפִלּוּ הוּדַח הַבָּשָׂר בְּמַיִם קֹדֶם הַצְּלִיָּה, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, בִּשְׁעַת הַצְּלִיָּה נִתְיַבֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ לַחְלוּחִית, וּמִן הַבָּשָׂר יוֹצֵא מֹהַל, וְהוּא מִלַּחְלוּחִית הַבָּשָׂר עַצְמוֹ, וְאֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מַשְׁקֶה: קד,69

11 A person who washes his hands before partaking of dry produce is considered as haughty.70 This holds true even for wheat and barley, for which one is required to separate terumah according to Scriptural Law. Although one must recite a blessing [before partaking of the food], it is presumed that his hands are in a state where he is fit to recite a blessing, unless he [specifically] knows that he touched an unclean [portion of his body].71

When does the above [reproach] apply? When one washes ritually, as one does before eating bread. It is, however, permitted to wash one’s hands if one does so for the sake of cleanliness, i.e., he desires to be stringent with himself and clean his hands as an expression of respect for the blessing,72 even though he is unaware that his hands had come into contact with any impurity.

יא הַנּוֹטֵל יָדָיו לְפֵרוֹת נְגוּבִים,קה אֲפִלּוּ לְחִטִּים וּשְׂעוֹרִים שֶׁתְּרוּמָתָן מִן הַתּוֹרָה קו – הֲרֵי זֶה מִגַּסֵּי הָרוּחַ.70 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ – סְתָם יָדַיִם כְּשֵׁרוֹת לִבְרָכָה,קז אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמָקוֹם מְטֻנָּף.קח,71

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁנּוֹטֵל בְּתוֹרַת חִיּוּב נְטִילַת יָדַיִם כְּדֶרֶךְ נְטִילָה לְפַת, אֲבָל אִם נוֹטֵל דֶּרֶךְ נְקִיּוּת,קט שֶׁרוֹצֶה לְהַחְמִיר עַל עַצְמוֹ לְנַקּוֹת יָדָיו לִכְבוֹד הַבְּרָכָה,קי,72 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לָהֶם שׁוּם טֻמְאָה – מֻתָּר:

12 One who drinks need not even wash the hand [with which he drinks],73 unless he is drinking in the midst of a meal and his hands are not clean, as will be explained in sec. 170.74

יב הַשּׁוֹתֶה אֵין צָרִיךְ לִטֹּל אֲפִלּוּ יָדוֹ אַחַת,קיא,73 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שׁוֹתֶה בְּתוֹךְ הַסְּעוּדָה וְאֵין יָדָיו נְקִיּוֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ק"ע: קיב,74

13 When a person washed his hands to partake of food dipped in liquid and then changed his mind and decided to eat bread, he is required to wash his hands a second time without a blessing, if he did not divert his attention from them.75 [The rationale is that] according to the authorities who maintain that, in the present era, one is not at all required to wash his hands before partaking of food that is dipped in liquid,76 it is as if he originally washed his hands for the sake of cleanliness alone, and not for the sake of the mitzvah of washing. For one must wash his hands with the intent that washing them makes them fit to eat with. Needless to say, one must wash his hands again if first, he did not wash his hands with the intent of eating, but [merely] for the sake of cleanliness, e.g., his hands were dirty, and then he changed his mind and decided to eat.

Nevertheless, [even in the latter instance,] if one did not divert his attention from his hands, he should not recite a blessing.77 [The rationale is that] there are authorities who maintain that one need not have a specific intent when washing. Whenever there is a doubt whether a blessing is required, we rule leniently.23 [Thus a blessing is not required, because] perhaps the first washing was sufficient for him. And on that first washing, it is not fitting to recite a blessing, since he did not intend to wash his hands for eating at all. To what can the matter be compared? To a woman in the nidah state who [accidentally] fell into water and, in that way, became purified from her impurity.78 She should not recite a blessing on this immersion upon her ascent from the water.

יג נָטַל יָדָיו לְדָבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלוֹ בְּמַשְׁקֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִמְלַךְ לֶאֱכֹל לֶחֶם – יַחֲזֹר וְיִטֹּל יָדָיו קיג בְּלֹא בְּרָכָה אִם לֹא הִסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ,קיד,75 לְפִי שֶׁלְּהָאוֹמְרִים קטו שֶׁדָּבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלוֹ בְּמַשְׁקֶה76 אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם כְּלָל בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה – הֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ נוֹטֵל לִנְקִיּוּת בְּעָלְמָא קטז וְלֹא לְשֵׁם מִצְוַת נְטִילָה,קיז וּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם צְרִיכָה כַּוָּנָה קיח לְשֵׁם נְטִילָה הַמַּכְשֶׁרֶת לַאֲכִילָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם נָטַל יָדָיו שֶׁלֹּא לֶאֱכֹל אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם נְקִיּוּת, שֶׁהָיוּ יָדָיו מְלֻכְלָכוֹת, וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִמְלַךְ לֶאֱכֹל, שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר וְלִטֹּל יָדָיו.קיט

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֹא יְבָרֵךְ אִם לֹא הִסִּיחַ דַּעְתּוֹ מֵהֶם,קכ לְפִי קכא שֶׁיֵּשׁ אוֹמְרִים קכב שֶׁנְּטִילַת יָדַיִם אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה כַּוָּנָה, וּסְפֵק בְּרָכוֹת לְהָקֵל,77 כִּי שֶׁמָּא עָלְתָה לוֹ נְטִילָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, וְעַל נְטִילָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא שַׁיָּךְ לְבָרֵךְ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוֵּן כְּלָל לִנְטִילָה. לְמַה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה? לְנִדָּה שֶׁנָּפְלָה לַמַּיִם וְנִטְהֲרָה מִטֻּמְאָתָהּ,קכג,78 שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְבָרֶכֶת עַל טְבִילָה זוֹ בַּעֲלִיָּתָהּ: קכד

14 When a person in a desert or in [another] dangerous place lacks water and is afraid to seek it, he is exempt from the obligation to wash his hands. (He need not refrain from eating [bread], even if fasting until water is brought to him will not endanger him, or he has other foods that do not require the washing of hands. [The rationale is that] our Sages did not ordain the washing of hands at all in a place of danger. Similarly, when [the Jewish army] would go out to war as a camp, they were exempt from washing their hands [before a meal].)79

יד מִי שֶׁהוּא בַּמִּדְבָּר אוֹ בִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה קכה וְאֵין לוֹ מַיִם וּמְפַחֵד לַחֲזֹר אַחֲרֵיהֶם קכו – פָּטוּר מִנְּטִילַת יָדַיִם (וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִמְנֹעַ מִלֶּאֱכֹל, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יִסְתַּכֵּן בְּתַעֲנִיתוֹ עַד שֶׁיָּבִיאוּ לוֹ מַיִם, אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לֶאֱכֹל דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים שֶׁאֵינָם צְרִיכִים נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,קכז לְפִי שֶׁבִּמְקוֹם סַכָּנָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ כְּלָל עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם].קכח וְכֵן כְּשֶׁהָיוּ יוֹצְאִים בַּמַּחֲנֶה לְמִלְחָמָה – הָיוּ פְּטוּרִים מִנְּטִילַת יָדַיִם): קכט,79

15 One must be very careful with regard to the washing of hands, for anyone who treats the washing of hands disdainfully is worthy of being placed under a ban of ostracism,80 will become impoverished,81 and will be uprooted from the world.82 Even one who washes his hands, but does so only with an exact reviis of water83 will become impoverished. Instead, one should wash with an abundance of water.84 Whoever washes with full handfuls of water will be given full handfuls of goodness and blessing.80 One should not, however, do so with the intent of becoming wealthy, because then he would be serving G‑d to receive a reward.85 Instead, he should act for the glory of his Creator.

טו צָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר מְאֹד בִּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם,קל שֶׁכָּל הַמְזַלְזֵל בִּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם – חַיָּב נִדּוּי,קלא,80 וּבָא לִידֵי עֲנִיּוּת,קלב,81 וְנֶעֱקַר מִן הָעוֹלָם.קלג,82 וַאֲפִלּוּ הַנּוֹטֵל יָדָיו בִּרְבִיעִית מְצֻמְצָם83 מְבִיאוֹ לִידֵי עֲנִיּוּת,קלד אֶלָּא יוֹסִיף לִטֹּל יָדָיו בְּשֶׁפַע.84 וְכָל הַנּוֹטֵל מְלֹא חָפְנָיו מַיִם – נוֹתְנִים לוֹ מְלֹא חָפְנָיו טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה.קלה וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, לֹא יְכַוֵּן לְכָךְ כְּדֵי לְהִתְעַשֵּׁר, שֶׁנִּמְצָא עוֹבֵד עַל מְנָת לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס,קלו,85 אֶלָּא יַעֲשֶׂה לִכְבוֹד קוֹנוֹ: קלז

16 Although the washing of hands was ordained by the Sages,2 we recite the blessing: “[Blessed are You…] Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the washing of hands.”86

Where were we commanded [by G‑d concerning this washing]?87 [In the command:] “Do not swerve from the matter that they will tell you, right or left.”88 Thus when we heed the words of the Sages, we are fulfilling G‑d’s commandment to obey them. This is the rationale for all the blessings we recite when fulfilling Rabbinic commandments.

According to halachic reasoning, it would be appropriate to recite the blessing before washing, for the blessings for the observance of all mitzvos should be recited before their observance.89 [An exception is made in this instance, however,] because, at times, a person’s hands are not clean, e.g., he had just used the lavatory. Therefore, we always recite the blessing after washing so as not to make distinctions between one washing and another. Moreover, drying the hands is also part of the mitzvah, as will be explained.90 Although, at times, it is not necessary to dry one’s hands,91 our Sages did not wish to make distinctions between one washing and another.

Nevertheless, when a person washes his hands by pouring water over them twice,92 it is fitting for him to recite the blessing after the first pouring, before pouring water on them a second time. For then, his hands are already clean and fit to recite a blessing, even if he had previously used the lavatory.93

If one forgot and did not recite the blessing until after drying his hands, he should recite the blessing afterwards. True, the general rule is that whenever one did not recite the blessing for the observance of a mitzvah before performing it, one should not recite the blessing after performing it.94 Nevertheless, [an exception is made regarding] this mitzvah. Since there are times when one may not recite the blessing before performing the mitzvah, e.g., after using the lavatory, and he must recite the blessing afterwards, a distinction should not be made between one instance and another. Thus one may always recite a blessing after [washing]. Although we are precise and are careful to recite the blessing before drying the hands95 — because [drying one’s hands] is also part of the mitzvah96 — that ismerely an initial preference. The primary aspect of the mitzvah, upon which the blessing is recited,consists of washing one’s hands, and that has already been completed. Nevertheless, if one remembers [only] after reciting the blessing HaMotzi, he should not recite the blessing for washing his hands.

(The same law applies if one washes his hands in the midst of the meal according to the authorities who maintain that one must recite a blessing when washing his hands at that time.97 If he forgot and did not recite a blessing until he partook of bread, he should not recite the blessing for washing. [The rationale is that] washing is solely for the sake of eating. Thus once one has already begun to eat, it is no longer fitting to recite a blessing for washing, because its [relevance] has already passed.

Moreover, even if one did not yet begin eating, it is appropriate to recite the blessing for washing only immediately after washing and not when there is a significant interval between them.98 For this reason, there are those who forbid making an interruption by speaking between washing and reciting the blessing, as stated in sec. 165[:1]. Moreover, if one waited a significant amount of time, even in silence, he should not recite a blessing. Although one is not able to recite the blessing for washing his hands before doing so and has no option but to recite the blessing afterwards, it is not logical to say that he should [still] be able recite this blessing no matter how much time passes [after his washing].99 Instead, onemay recite the blessing only immediately after performing [the mitzvah].)

טז אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַנְּטִילָה הִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים קלח – מְבָרְכִין עָלֶיהָ "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם".קלט,86 וְהֵיכָן צִוָּנוּ קמ?87 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר קמא "לֹא תָסוּר מִן הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל".88 וּלְפִיכָךְ, כְּשֶׁאָנוּ שׁוֹמְעִים לְדִבְרֵי חֲכָמִים – אָנוּ מְקַיְּמִים מִצְוַת ה' שֶׁצִּוָּנוּ לִשְׁמֹעַ אֲלֵיהֶם.קמב וְזֶהוּ טַעַם כָּל הַבְּרָכוֹת שֶׁמְּבָרְכִין עַל מִצְוֹת שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם.קמג

וּמִן הַדִּין הָיָה רָאוּי לְבָרֵךְ קֹדֶם הַנְּטִילָה, שֶׁכָּל הַמִּצְוֹת מְבָרְכִין עֲלֵיהֶם עוֹבֵר לַעֲשִׂיָּתָן,קמד,89 אֶלָּא שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים אֵין יָדָיו נְקִיּוֹת, כְּגוֹן הַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּית הַכִּסֵּא, לְכָךְ מְבָרְכִין לְעוֹלָם אַחַר הַנְּטִילָה, שֶׁלֹּא לְחַלֵּק בֵּין נְטִילָה לִנְטִילָה.קמה וְעוֹד, שֶׁגַּם הַנִּגּוּב הוּא מִן הַמִּצְוָה,קמו כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר.קמז,90 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים אֵין צָרִיךְ נִגּוּב91 – לֹא רָצוּ לְחַלֵּק בֵּין נְטִילָה לִנְטִילָה.קמח

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, מִי שֶׁנּוֹטֵל יָדָיו בְּב' שְׁטִיפוֹת92 – רָאוּי לוֹ לְבָרֵךְ אַחַר שְׁטִיפָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתֵּן עֲלֵיהֶם מַיִם שְׁנִיִּים, שֶׁכְּבָר יָדָיו הֵן נְקִיּוֹת וּרְאוּיוֹת לִבְרָכָה קמט אַף אִם הָיָה בְּבֵית הַכִּסֵּא.קנ,93

וְאִם שָׁכַח וְלֹא בֵּרַךְ עַד אַחַר הַנִּגּוּב – יְבָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ.קנא וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁלֹּא בֵּרַךְ עֲלֵיהֶן עוֹבֵר לַעֲשִׂיָּתָן אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן לְאַחַר גְּמַר עֲשִׂיָּתָן,קנב,94 מִכָּל מָקוֹם, מִצְוָה זוֹ כֵּיוָן שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְבָרֵךְ עָלֶיהָ קֹדֶם עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ, כְּגוֹן הַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּית הַכִּסֵּא, וּמֻכְרָח לְבָרֵךְ אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ – אֵין לְחַלֵּק בָּהּ בֵּין פַּעַם לְפַעַם, וּלְעוֹלָם יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ.קנג

אֶלָּא שֶׁלְּכַתְּחִלָּה מְדַקְדְּקִים לְבָרֵךְ קֹדֶם הַנִּגּוּב,95 הוֹאִיל וְגַם הוּא מִן הַמִּצְוָה,96 אֲבָל עִקַּר הַנְּטִילָה שֶׁמְּבָרְכִים עָלֶיהָ הִיא הַנְּטִילָה לְבַדָּהּ שֶׁכְּבָר נַעֲשֵׂית.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם נִזְכַּר אַחַר שֶׁבֵּרַךְ "הַמּוֹצִיא" – שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם".קנד

(וְהוּא הַדִּין אִם הֻצְרַךְ לִטֹּל יָדָיו בְּאֶמְצַע סְעוּדָה, לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמְרִים שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְבָרֵךְ "עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם"97 וְשָׁכַח וְלֹא בֵּרַךְ עַד שֶׁאָכַל פַּת – אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ עוֹד,קנה שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהַנְּטִילָה אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא בִּגְלַל הָאֲכִילָה, כָּל שֶׁהִתְחִיל לֶאֱכֹל – שׁוּב לֹא שַׁיָּךְ לְבָרֵךְ עַל הַנְּטִילָה, שֶׁכְּבָר חָלְפָה וְעָבְרָה.

וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ לֹא הִתְחִיל לֶאֱכֹל – לֹא שַׁיָּךְ לְבָרֵךְ אֶלָּא מִיָּד אַחַר הַנְּטִילָה, וְלֹא מֻפְלָג מִמֶּנָּה.98 וְלָכֵן יֵשׁ אוֹסְרִים לְהַפְסִיק בְּדִבּוּר בֵּין נְטִילָה לִבְרָכָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן קס"ה.קנו וְאִם הִפְלִיג אֲפִלּוּ בִּשְׁתִיקָה – שׁוּב אֵינוֹ מְבָרֵךְ, שֶׁאַף שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה יָכוֹל לְבָרֵךְ עוֹבֵר לַעֲשִׂיָּתָהּ וּמֻכְרָח לְבָרֵךְ אַחַר כָּךְ – אֵין סְבָרָא כְּלָל שֶׁיּוּכַל לְבָרֵךְ עָלֶיהָ לְעוֹלָם,99 אֶלָּא מִיָּד אַחַר עֲשִׂיָּתָהּ): קנז

17 Anyone who eats without drying his hands is considered as if he ate impure bread, as [can be derived from] the verse:100 “In this manner, the Children of Israel will eat their impure bread among the nations.” Our Sages stated: Do not read לחמם, “their bread,” read לח מים, “moist with water.” Moreover, לחמם טמא, “their impure bread,” is numerically equivalent to בלא ניגוב ידים, “without drying hands.”

[What is the nature of the impurity that results from eating with wet hands?]There are authorities who maintain that this impurity comes from the water of the first pouring that contracted impurity from the person’s hands if that water did not comprise a reviis.101 Although the water of the second pouring purifies the water of the first pouring, the initial preference is to entirely remove the first water from one’s hands entirely by drying them. It is not sufficient that that they dry by themselves. Instead, one must rub them with a cloth or with another object, because rubbing them will increase their purity.102 [Following this reason,] if [instead of washing,] one immerses his hands,103 washes both hands at one time and has a reviis poured upon them, or similarly, if one pours a reviis over one hand and then pours a reviis over the second hand, there is no impure water at all. Therefore, it is not necessary to dry one’s hands [before eating]. Nevertheless, there is reason to dry them, since [failure to do so] will make the bread repugnant if [eating such bread] disgusts him.

Other authorities maintain that the impurity mentioned above is the repugnancy [of wet bread], for a repugnant entity is called impure, as [implied by] the phrase: “their impure bread.”104 [According to this reason, the requirement to dry one’s hands] applies even when one pours a reviis over them at once. Leniency, [i.e., that there is no obligation to dry one’s hands,] was granted only when one immerses his hands.105 Our Sages considered obligating the drying of one’s hands to purify them from their repugnancy only when their purification involved the process instituted by the Sages: washing with a container. When, by contrast, one purifies [his hands] through immersion — which resembles the purification process established by the Torah, i.e., immersion in a mikveh — the Sages did not feel it necessary to ordain anything. One should be stringent and follow this ruling.

יז כָּל הָאוֹכֵל בְּלֹא נִגּוּב יָדַיִם – כְּאִלּוּ אוֹכֵל לֶחֶם טָמֵא,קנח שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר קנט,100 "כָּכָה יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת לַחְמָם טָמֵא בַּגּוֹיִם", אַל תִּקְרֵי "לַחְמָם", אֶלָּא "לַח מַיִם".קס וְעוֹד, "לַחְמָם טָמֵא" בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא "בְּלֹא נִיגּוּב יָדַיִם".קסא

יֵשׁ מְפָרְשִׁים קסב שֶׁטֻּמְאָה זוֹ הִיא מִמַּיִם הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ מֵהַיָּדַיִם אִם אֵין בָּהֶם רְבִיעִית.קסג,101 וְאַף שֶׁמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים מְטַהֲרִין אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, לְכַתְּחִלָּה צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים לְגַמְרֵי עַל יְדֵי נִגּוּב, וְלֹא דַּי שֶׁיִּתְנַגְּבוּ מֵאֲלֵיהֶן, אֶלָּא צָרִיךְ לְשַׁפְשְׁפָן קסד בְּמַפָּה אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר דְּבָרִים, שֶׁהַשִּׁפְשׁוּף מְטַהֲרָן בְּיוֹתֵר.קסה,102 אֲבָל הַמַּטְבִּיל יָדָיו,קסו,103 וְכֵן הַנּוֹטֵל שְׁתֵּי יָדָיו בְּבַת אַחַת וְשׁוֹפֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶם רְבִיעִית בְּבַת אַחַת, וְכֵן אִם שָׁפַךְ עַל יָדוֹ אַחַת רְבִיעִית וְכֵן שָׁפַךְ עַל חֲבֶרְתָּהּ, שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מַיִם טְמֵאִים כְּלָל – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְנַגְּבָן.קסז וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, יֵשׁ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם מִאוּס אִם דַּעְתּוֹ קָצָה עָלָיו.קסח

וְיֵשׁ מְפָרְשִׁים קסט שֶׁטֻּמְאָתָן הִיא מְאִיסָתָן, שֶׁדָּבָר מָאוּס קָרוּי טָמֵא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: "לַחְמָם טָמֵא וְגוֹ'".104 וְהוּא הַדִּין אִם שָׁפַךְ רְבִיעִית בְּבַת אַחַת. וְלֹא הֵקֵלּוּ אֶלָּא בְּמַטְבִּיל,105 לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא חָשׁוּ חֲכָמִים לְתַקֵּן נִגּוּב לְטַהֵר הַיָּדַיִם מִמְּאִיסוּתָן אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁמְּטַהֲרָן בְּטָהֳרָה שֶׁתִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים, שֶׁהִיא נְטִילָה בִּכְלִי, אֲבָל כְּשֶׁמְּטַהֲרָן בִּטְבִילָה, שֶׁהִיא כְּעֵין טָהֳרָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה, שֶׁהִיא טְבִילָה – לֹא חָשׁוּ לְתַקֵּן בָּהּ כְּלוּם. וְיֵשׁ לְהַחְמִיר כְּדִבְרֵיהֶם: קע

18 One should not dry his hands on his garment, because this leads to forgetfulness.

יח אַל יְנַגֵּב יָדָיו בַּחֲלוּקוֹ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקָּשֶׁה לְשִׁכְחָה: קעא

19 When one washes his hands, he should wash his right hand first and then his left hand.106 Similarly, whenever one washes his hands, he should wash his right hand first, as stated in sec. 2[:4].107

יט כְּשֶׁהוּא נוֹטֵל יָדָיו – נוֹטֵל יָמִין תְּחִלָּה,קעב וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַד שְׂמֹאל.106 וְכֵן בְּכָל פַּעַם שֶׁרוֹחֵץ יָדָיו – רוֹחֵץ שֶׁל יָמִין תְּחִלָּה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן ב': קעג,107