Is there any din of chatzitzah (for example a woman wearing a ring) by Netilas Yadayim in the morning or after someone is chayiv to wash their hands? (Not a case of a seuda)

Answer:

The Shulchan Aruch (4:7) writes that one should lechatchilah be particular in netilas yadayim of the morning, just as for the seudah.

However, this refers to netilas yadayim for davening, and this will not necessarily apply for ruach ra’ah alone.

A possible reason to remove chatzitzos is that the Mishnah Berurah (Biur Halachah) writes that there is a need for netilas yadayim for ruach ra’ah alone, and there is therefore room to question whether netilas yadayim for the majority of the hand will help for parts of the hand that are covered.

This is different to netilas yadayim for food, where there is no real problem of a chatzitzah where a small part of the hand is involved, and the person is not makpid (see Mishnah Berurah 161:1). However, because this part of the hand is covered by the ring, it is possible that the continued presence of ruach ra’ah will not be important.

Therefore, for a ring that is tightly on, and constitutes a full chatztizah, it is perhaps preferable to remove the ring before netilas yadayim.

However, for a ring that is slightly loose, and water gets beneath, there is certainly no need to remove the ring before netilas yadayim, even if it is removed (as a chumra) before netilas yadayim for bread.

See also Eishel Avraham (Butshatsh) who mentions a safek on this matter, and see Birkas Shamayim (Weiss, p. 28) at length.

3 Responses to “Taking off Rings for Netilas Yadayim”

  1. “the Mishnah Berurah (Biur Halachah) writes that for ruach ra’ah, netilas yadayim for the majority of the hand might not help for parts of the hand that are covered.”

    Where is this Biur Halacha exactly?

    • I have amended the response. The Biur Halachah only writes that netilas yadayim is required for ruach ra’ah alone.

  2. See also Biur HaGra in Siman 4 Sif 7 and SA HaRav in Piskei Siddur — both of them are machmir for chatzitza. However seemingly the whole shailo is in regards to a chatzitza that is a miut hamakpid or rov shaino makpid. A miut shaino makpid even for Netilas Yadeim for a seuda is not a problem.

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