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Hefsek between netilas yadayim and hamotzi


When washing netilas yadayim for bread, sometimes there is no bread available near the washing station on which to make hamotzi. For instance, this might come up by a wedding when the washing station might be on one side of the ballroom, and the person’s table with the bread is on the other side of the ballroom. If the person washes and then walks back to the place at which they are sitting to make hamotzi, this would cause a hefsek, since there would be a delay from the time the person washes netilas yadayim until the person says hamotzi. In such a situation, should one bring bread to the washing station and make hamotzi immediately after finishing washing, to avoid such as hefsek?


Although technically it is a slight hefsek, you don’t have to worry about it, because the poskim say that when the situation is such, that a hefsek cannot be avoided such as if the washing place is far away or in a different room, it isn’t considered stalling between the washing and hamotzei. What the poskim say to do, is to wait to dry your hands until you get close to your seat, since then you are finishing the washing process right before you say hamotzei. Personally, I would say that this would be preferred to taking bread to the place you are washing, because you should take along a kezayis, and preferably eat it there before taking out, which is conspicuous and there isn’t a need to do it. Secondly there may not be a chair to sit down and make the bracha in a settled, unrushed way.

Best Wishes



Aruch Hashulchan 166-2, Shulchan Aruch Horav 166-1, Oneg Yom Tov 18, Chazon Ish O:CH end of siman 22, Teshuvos Vhanhagos 1-169, M:B 167-35.

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