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Drinking at Night

If you wake up in the middle of the night and want to drink water- do you need to wash your hands first and if yes, do you need to make a al nitelas yadayim and do you make the bracha again in the morning?


If you wake up in the middle of the night, and wish to drink, if there is no concern that your hands are sullied by touching unclothed parts of your body — which is usually the case if pajamas are worn — you can simply make a berachah, drink the water, and, if need be, recite a berachah acharonah. You should be careful not to eat directly from your hands, but only from a cup/bottle. If there is a concern that one’s hands are sullied, one should clean them before reciting the blessing. In the absence of water, this can be done by rubbing them against the sheet/wall.

Those who wish to follow kabbalistic principles should wash netilas yadayim first, without a berachah.

Sources: From the Gemara and Rishonim it is clear that there is no prohibition of reciting blessings before washing one’s hands in the morning (see Berachos 9b; Rosh; ibid.; Teshuvos Ha-Rashba 153; Rambam, Tefillah 7:3; Shulchan Aruch 4:23, 46:1; Rema 47:13. However, according to Zohar (1:10) one should not mention the name of Hashem before washing netilas yadayim.

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