If I use the bathroom and wash my hands afterwards and say Asher Yatzar, and right afterwards intend to eat bread, after washing my hands for ashar yatzar – should I wash again bread and say separately Al Netilat Yadayim, or would it be sufficient to wash once, and then first say asher yatzar and then Al Netilat Yadayim. I might see the latter as problematic, however, after you wash once, your hands are “clean” and washed, why would there be a reason to wash again?

Answer:

There are two options for somebody who uses the bathroom, and wishes to eat bread.

1) To wash one’s hands, but not in a manner that is valid for netilas yadayim (for instance, don’t use a vessel, but simply place hands under the faucet). Then say asher yatzar, and then wash again for bread.

2) To wash hands properly, say al netilas yadayim, and then, after eating some bread, say asher yatzar. Some have written that if one fears that one will forget to say asher yatzar, it is permitted to say asher yatzar after saying al netilas yadayim and drying one’s hands, even before eating bread, because this would not constitute a hesech hada’as.

Sources: See Mishnah Berurah 165:2; Ben Ish Chai, Shemini 9; Magen Avraham 165:2; Yalkut Yosef 158:26. Note that the ruling given by Shulchan Aruch (165) does not apply for the way in which we usually wash our hands today.

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