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Washing hands after touching oneself

Question:

Hi,

What is washing a second Negal Vaser for? Is it just a Minhag? Is it for touching one’s shoes and socks/tights? If it is because I touched my shoes, tights, or socks, do I need to wash Negal Vaaser every time I touch them during the day? As of now, that is what I am doing and I feel like I’m always washing my hands. Whether because I scratched my head or touched the above. Also, I heard that one could just wipe one’s hands against wood after scratching my hair, does this apply to shoes too?

Thank you

 

Answer:

 

  1. While I am not familiar with the term second negel vaser, I am assuming that you mean the halachos of washing hands after touching an unclean place. We only have to wash our hands are touching a covered place on our body, which would mean under your socks etc. but not if you only touched your socks or tights. If you touched your shoes, you would wash your hands. According to halacha even if you touched your shoes, you do not need to wash your hands three times, as once is sufficient, additionally only the part that touched the shoe has to be washed, and not the rest of your hand. There are minority opinions that it is preferred to wash the whole hand, however this is not an obligation. Also, you don’t have to do it right away, however it should be done prior to saying bracha etc. If you don’t have water you may wipe your hands on anything that can clean them, such as any cloth, wood etc.

Another point, regarding scratching your head, there is no need to wash your hand unless to actually scratched your scalp, but not if you didn’t touch the scalp.

  1. Yes this does apply to touching your shoes. As a side point, if you remove your shoes without touching them, you do not have to wash your hands.

 

Best wishes

Sources:

O:CH 4-18, Magen Avrohom 92-6, M:B 4-39, 41, 61.

 

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