Question:

I grew up in a very frum home and my parents wash their hands in the morning either in the kitchen sink or in the bathroom. I am now aware that some people wash their hands at their bedside. I am wondering if i should change my current minhag and start washing at my bedside in the morning. Thank you

Answer:

The reason why many “litfisher”, people are not makpid to wash thier hands by their bed is because of a kabola from the Vilna Gaon that from when the Ger Tzedek of Vilna was burned that it affected the ruach hatumah regarding netilas yodayim in the morning, and that one may be lenient to wash in his house even if it is more than 4 amos away from his bed. However many others rukle like the original halacha and are makpid on this.  Therefore if you want to start washing your hands at your bedside you may, however say beforehand that it is only bli neder.

Sources:

Mishna Berura 1-2, Halichos Shlomo (tefiilah) 20 ftnt 49, ( he brings this kabalah, although he himself was makpid to wash by his bed).

Tags: negel vaser netilas neshama

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One Response to “Bedside hand washing”

  1. Some suggest, that the “chumra” of washing “negel vasser” at the bedside, sometimes comes at the expense of disturbing the sleep of another person/people who may be sharing the room with you.

    As such this is perceived as being a “tzaddik oif yenem’s cheshbon”, being overly righteous at someone else’s expense, which might reduce the value of the imagined righteous act to nil.

    I also add, that there are some who are meticulous, that when they wash “negel vasser” in the kitchen sink, they make sure that there are no dishes in the sink at the time, since they don’t want the impure water to be going onto the dishes.

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