SECTION 163 The Laws Governing One Who Does Not Have Water Available and One Who Feeds Others. (1–2)

קסג דִּין מִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מַיִם וְהַמַּאֲכִיל לַאֲחֵרִים, וּבוֹ ב' סְעִיפִים:

1 It is forbidden to eat [bread] without [first] performing the ritual washing. [This ruling applies] even when one desires to wrap his hands in a cloth or eat with a spoon, in which instance, he does not touch the bread.1 [This is] a decree, lest he [inadvertently] touch it.

Even when one is in midst of a journey and mealtime arrives, but he does not find water, if he knows that he can obtain water four mil2 ahead of him, he must wait until he reaches that place [and wash before eating bread].3 If water is available less than a mil behind him, he must return there [to wash and eat], even if his journey is pressing.4

If water is located more than a mil behind him or more than four mil5ahead of him, he should wrap his hands in a cloth to eat bread or food dipped in a liquid,6 or he should eat [the bread or food dipped in a liquid] with a spoon. [This law] also applies if he is in doubt whether he will find water within four mil.

A watchman for a garden or orchard is considered as one who must retrace his journey,7 for it is impossible for him to abandon his post for the length of time it takes to walk a mil and return. One who resides at home, by contrast, must walk [up to] four mil [to wash] if he knows that he will find water [within that distance].8

א אָסוּר לֶאֱכֹל בְּלֹא נְטִילָה, אֲפִלּוּ אִם רוֹצֶה לִכְרֹךְ יָדָיו בְּמַפָּה א אוֹ אוֹכֵל בְּכַף ב שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹגֵעַ בַּפַּת,1 גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִגַּע.ג

וַאֲפִלּוּ הַמְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ ד וְהִגִּיעַ עֵת הָאֹכֶל ה וְלֹא מָצָא מַיִם, אִם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְפָנָיו מַיִם בְּרִחוּק ד' מִילִין ו,2 – צָרִיךְ לְהַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְשָׁם.3 וְאִם יֵשׁ מַיִם לְאַחֲרָיו בְּפָחוֹת מִמִּיל – צָרִיךְ לַחֲזֹר לְשָׁם ז אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּחוּץ לְדַרְכּוֹ.4

אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ בְּרִחוּק מִיל לְאַחֲרָיו וְיוֹתֵר מִד' מִילִין5 לְפָנָיו – יִכְרֹךְ יָדָיו בְּמַפָּה וְיֹאכַל פִּתּוֹ ח אוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁטִּבּוּלוֹ בְּמַשְׁקֶה,ט,6 אוֹ אוֹכֵל עַל יְדֵי כַּף.י וְכֵן אִם הוּא סָפֵק אִם יִמְצָא מַיִם בְּתוֹךְ ד' מִילִין.יא

וְשׁוֹמֵר גִּנָּה אוֹ פַּרְדֵּס – דִּינוֹ כִּלְאַחֲרָיו,7 לְפִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲזֹב שְׁמִירָתוֹ כָּל כָּךְ עַד שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ מִיל וְיַחֲזֹר.יב אֲבָל הַיּוֹשֵׁב בְּבֵיתוֹ צָרִיךְ לֵילֵךְ ד' מִילִין אִם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיִּמְצָא מַיִם: יג,8

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2 A person who feeds others is not required to wash his hands, but the one who eats must wash his hands,1 even though the one feeding him inserts the food [directly] into his mouth and [thus] the person [being fed] does not touch the food. [This is] a decree, lest he [inadvertently] touch it. [Our Sages] did not issue a decree regarding the one feeding him, because they did not issue a decree regarding touching ordinary produce, only with regard to partaking of it, as an extension [of the restrictions involving] terumah.9 Feeding someone is not a frequent occurrence. Therefore, [our Sages] did not issue a decree concerning it.

It is forbidden to feed someone whom one knows has not washed his hands, in keeping with [the admonition]:10 “Do not place a stumbling block before the blind.” [This ruling applies] even when the bread belongs to the person eating and the other person merely passes it to him, since it is forbidden to assist transgressors, as stated in sec. 347[:3].11

ב הַמַּאֲכִיל לַאֲחֵרִים – אֵין צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם. וְהָאוֹכֵל – צָרִיךְ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם,יד,1 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמַּאֲכִיל נוֹתֵן הַפַּת לְתוֹךְ פִּיו וְהוּא אֵינוֹ נוֹגֵעַ בַּפַּת, גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִגַּע.טו וְהַמַּאֲכִיל, אַף שֶׁנּוֹגֵעַ – לֹא גָּזְרוּ עָלָיו, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא גָּזְרוּ עַל נְגִיעַת חֻלִּין, אֶלָּא עַל אֲכִילָה מִשּׁוּם סֶרֶךְ תְּרוּמָה,טז,9 וּבְמַאֲכָל שֶׁהוּא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מָצוּי – לֹא גָּזְרוּ.יז

וְאָסוּר לְהַאֲכִיל לְמִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ בּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נָטַל יָדָיו, מִשּׁוּם10 "וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשֹׁל".יח וַאֲפִלּוּ הַפַּת שֶׁל הָאוֹכֵל, רַק שֶׁמּוֹשִׁיטוֹ לוֹ – אָסוּר לְסַיֵּעַ יְדֵי עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵרָה,יט כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִימָן שמ"ז: כ,11