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Three Times on Each Hand

Why do we sometimes make netila 3 times on the right hand and 3 times on the left hand, and sometimes we make netila 1 time the right hand and 1 time the left hand 3 times?


For ru’ach ra’ah, the concern of an “evil spirit” that descends on hands during the night (or in a bathhouse, or other settings), each hand must be washed three times.

For a meal (before eating bread), each hand must be washed once (provided that a revi’is of water is used for each hand), though many wash each hand twice.

There is no case where the right hand is washed once, and the left hand three times.

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  1. I think the answerer misunderstood the second part of the question …

    I think the asker wants to know why some people wash right, right, right then left, left, left vs. right, left, right, left, right, left.

    My own question is whether to start washing the right or the left first or does it not matter?

    1. Some wash right-left and others are not particular for this – both ways are fine.
      You should start with the right hand, because of the greater “importance” of the right side.

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