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Washing hands in the morning


1) If a person goes straight to the bathroom upon waking , how does he wash his hands afterwards and which brocha does he make

2) If a person goes to the bathroom right before having bread in a meal can he wash only once and say two brachot

3) If a person davens maariv right before going to sleep do you still have to say bedtime shema


1. He should his hands 3 times before using the bathroom, because he don’t touch any of the bodies openings before washing his hands.  Regarding saying asher yotzar and al netilas yodayim, there are different minhagim. Some people say them when they get to shul and say all the birkas hashachar together. Others, and this is the opinion of the Mishna berura, that the brachos should be said after using the bathroom and washing one’s hands, in order not to have a hefsek between the washing and the bracha. If however it will be a long time until he davens, and he will use the bathroom again, then it would be better to wait with al netilas yodayim until closer to davening.

2. When someone uses the bathroom right before washing to eat a bread meal, there are two brachos that he has to say, asher yotzar and al netilas yodayim. There is an issue though, that if he washes his hands only once, and says asher yotzar and then al netilas yodayim, the asher yotzar is a hefsek between his washing for the meal and the al netilas yodayim. . On the other hand if we wash the first time in a way that is valid for the meal, the second wasing is superfluous. There are different options given by the poskim.  A very practical option is, to wash your hands for after the bathroom directly from a faucet that is attached to a building, say asher yotzar, then wash again and say al netilas yodayim. The reason for this is because after using the bathroom although it is preference to use a kli, there is no need to do so. Washing for a meal however must be done with a kli, therefore the first washing wasn’t valid for the meal. Therefore, we wash our hands the first time in a way that can’t be considered valid for a meal, say asher yotzar and then wash for the meal.

3. Kriyas shema al hamita is a separate halacha, then saying shema during maariv, and the two ideas are learned from different pesukim. Additionally saying kriyas shema al said al pi kabala as a protection for the person.  Therefore even though it was said latein the evening, it should still be said again before going to sleep.

Best wishes


  1. O:CH 4-3, 6-2 M:B 4-4, Biur Halacha D:H Vafilu, M:B 6-9,11.
  2. O:CH 165-1 ,M:B 165-2, Halichos Shlomo 20-26, ftnt 40.
  3. Poskim

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