Netilat Yadayim on the Road

1) A piece of advice: Along with your sandwiches, pack also a small mug to be used for Netilat Yadayim. (It'll come in useful for other things too!)

2) So-called mezonot bread is one of my pet peeves. When used truly for a snack, that is perfect! But when used for lunch (or any other proper meal), it's a plain oxymoron: The brachah of Mezonot is applied because this is eaten as a snack; yet you want to have this as your lunch!

Q. How do you draw the line between a “meal” and a “snack”?

A. A snack is eaten as a short-term energy booster; a meal should keep you going for several hours.

Washing Hands With Sea Water

3) Sea Water is salty and not drinkable. It is therefore unfit for netilas yadayim. So, if you're eating your sandwiches at the seafront, you aren’t permitted to draw water from the sea in order to wash netilat yadayim. However, the sea is a kosher mikvah, and you may dip your hands into the water, and thus fulfill the Mitzvah of purifying your hands before eating bread. The brachah ends slightly different: ".... al shetifat yadayim" ("... to rinse the hands").

4) For the same reason, water from the hot springs of Tiberias is not usable for netilat yadayim, even after it cools down. Due to its' sulphuric content, it is not drinkable.

5) Q. When traveling on an airplane, the only water available is in the restroom. May one wash netilat yadayim there?

A. The consensus of halachic authorities is to permit washing your hands in the restroom, and to recite the berachah once you've stepped outside.1