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The time between netilas yedayim and making hamotzi



I believe I was taught that the reason we don’t talk after doing netilas yadayim is that we are trying to minimize the amount of stuff going on between the bracha and the mitzvah. (Even though the hand washing and the bread eating each have their own bracha, the two are closely connected, so I guess we consider them as one single action/mitzvah.) Since this is the reason for our silence, one is permitted to talk after washing if it’s about the hamotzi. For example, one could ask where the salt is or request that the serving plate to put the cut up challah on be brought to the table.

Is all this correct, and if so then why do people not do it, instead opting to make a bunch of noises with their mouths to indicate that the salt is missing from the table instead of just saying so? Also, does this idea apply to actions as well? That is, am I allowed to do anything between washing and making hamotzi such as pouring myself a glass of water or ladling out the soup for the next course of the meal? And does this idea apply to all washing for hamotzi or only when the hamotzi is for a mitzvah (e.g., having 3 seudos on shabbos or a seudas mitzvah)?

Thank you very much and sorry for making it so confusing.

All the best,


The reason that we don’t talk between netilas yadayim and eating is so we aren’t being “mafsik” and separating our attention from the washing until we make the bracha on the bread. (The reason we washed our hands is to keep our hands ritually clean before eating the bread.) In fact even if we aren’t talking out or doing anything, we should still try to minimize the amount of time it takes between washing and making hamotzei, and whatever has to be done to prepare for the meal should be done before washing.

You are right, it is permitted to talk out if it related to the meal, such as to pass the salt, however many people prefer to do it the other way, although to talk is just fine. (Maybe they don’t want to get used to talking out.)

We are allowed to do things that are not going to take our attention away from keeping our concentration on the purity of our hands, although doing actions is not a bad as talking out, it should still be minimized. These halachos apply to the washing for Hamotzei and are not related to what kind of meal it is.

Chanukah Sameach


M:B 165-7 & 166-1,2. Kaf Hachaim 166-3, Shulchan Aruch Horav 166-1,

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