Nida/woman pouring or preparing water for Netilas Yadayim:

Nida/woman pouring or preparing water for Netilas Yadayim:

May a Nida pour the water on a man’s hand for Netilas Yadayim?[1] It is permitted for a woman who is a Nida to wash one’s hands if it his daughter [or sister or mother[2]].[3] However, some Poskim[4] are stringent regarding a Nida [even a daughter, to not allow her to wash his hands].[5] Practically, it is proper to be stringent like their words to not have one’s hands washed by a Nida.[6] [The above however only applies to one’s daughter, sister, or mother. However, all other women, are prohibited from pouring water on a man’s hands, even if she is not a Nida, due to the prohibition of coming close to an Erva.[7] It is certainly forbidden for a wife who is Nida to pour water on her husband’s hands.[8] It is permitted for a wife who is not a Nida to pour water on her husband’s hands.] 

May a Nida prepare the Neigal Vaaser water?[9] There is no problem for a Nida [of any relation, including one’s wife[10]] to prepare the washing water in a vessel and bring it to a man for him to take and wash his hands with it prior to eating bread [or after awakening].[11] [However, some Poskim[12] rule that one who is able to be careful to avoid having a Nida even bring the water, is praised. Seemingly, according to Admur, there is no need to be careful in this matter.[13]

 

Summary:

It is forbidden for a woman to pour water on one’s hands unless she is one’s wife who is not a Nida, or is one’s daughter, sister, mother, even if she is a Nida. Nevertheless, it is proper to avoid having a Nida pour the water on one’s hands even if she is one’s daughter, sister or mother. However, a Nida, and any woman, may prepare the water and bring it to a man for washing hands.  

Q&A

May a woman who is a Nida pour the water on another woman’s hands who is not a Nida?[14]

This matter is subject to the same debate mentioned above, in which the conclusion is that it is proper to avoid doing so.

 

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[1] Admur 159/20; Seder Netilas Yadayim 16; Ketzos Hashulchan 35/5

[2] Piskeiy Teshuvos 159/21 footnote 91

[3] Admur 159/20; Michaber 159/11; Tosafus Nida 71b; Rosh and Rashba on Yadayim 1

The reason: A Nidda impurifies an item through carrying it, and thus the water in the vessel has become impure even though she did not touch it. One can thus question how such water has ability to purify the hands even for Chulin, as since we wash hands due to Serach Teruma, and for Teruma the hands are impure [even after washing with such water] being that they have become impure with the impure water [therefore they should also be impure and invalid for Chulin/bread]. However, in truth, since in any event we are all Tamei Meis, and we cannot have pure water, therefore, there is no need to worry of the impurity of a Nida who carries the water. [Admur ibid; Taz 159/15; Rashba in Toras Habayis 6/4; Rosh ibid]

Maidservant: In 159/20 Admur adds that a maidservant who is a Nida may wash her masters hand. This seems to imply that Admur learned that any woman who pours the water as an act of service rather than an act of affection, is permitted to pour the water. This seemingly follows the opinion brought in the Rama E.H. 21/5 that acts of service is permitted. However, in the Siddur ibid Admur omits this inclusion of a maidservant, seemingly implying that he retracted from this opinion and concluded that in truth it is forbidden. See the coming footnotes for the various opinions on this matter.

[4] Machmir opinion in Admur 159/20 and Seder ibid; Rashal Kol Habasar 55, brought in Taz 159/15, M”A 159/22, Olas Tamid 159, Beir Heiytiv 159/15; Rash Yadayim 1; Tashbatz 278; Maharil Hilchos Netilas Yadayim p. 457

[5] The reason: As it is possible for one to beware from this form of impurity, and one thus cannot allow the impurity of a Nida, which is avoidable, based on the allowance of the impurity of Tumas Meis, which is unavoidable. [Admur ibid; See Chazon Ish 23/8 and Piskeiy Teshuvos 159/21 footnote 92]

[6] Admur ibid and Seder ibid; Taz 159/15; M”A 159/22; Morah Bietzba 2/1; Kesher Gudal 1/2; M”B 159/69; See Ashel Avraham Butchach 4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4/15 and 159/21

[7] Implication of Admur in Seder 16 who writes “Such as his daughter” and omits “a maidservant” thus implying that one may not do so from other women who is a Niddah; Michaber Even Haezer 21/5 regarding having Erva wash one’s hands; Ateres Zekeinim 159/20 and Machatzis Hashekel 159/20 that this applies even for washing hands for a Mitzvah and even if the woman is not a Nida; Yafei Laleiv 4/15 that it is proper to be careful even by a pure woman; Kaf Hachaim 4/38

The reason: As it is forbidden for a woman to bathe one’s body due to Erva. [Michaber ibid] Some Poskim however write that from the letter of the law, it is permitted for a woman to pour the morning washing water over a man’s hands as this is not being done for pleasure and hence does not fall under the prohibition mentioned in Even Haezer ibid. Nevertheless, it is a proper guard to avoid doing so. [Kaf Hachaim 4/38]

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch and other opinions: In 159/20 Admur adds that a maidservant who is a Nida may wash her masters hand. This seems to imply that Admur learned that any woman who pours the water as an act of service rather than an act of affection, is permitted to pour the water. This follows the opinion brought in the Rama E.H. 21/5 that acts of service is permitted. So also rules Mateh Moshe 267, brought in Elya Raba 159/20. However, in the Siddur ibid Admur omits this inclusion of a maidservant, seemingly implying that he retracted from this opinion and concluded that in truth it is forbidden.

[8] Michaber Y.D. 195/12 and 15; Ateres Zekeinim 159/20; Machatzis Hashekel 159/20

[9] Admur 159/20;

[10] This includes even one’s wife, and certainly any other woman. [Taz 195/8; Shiureiy Sheivet Halevi 195/15 p. 269 that this applies even according to Shach 159/16 and other Poskim who generally prohibit a woman from preparing the water, in this case it is permitted as it is being done for the sake of a Mitzvah]

[11] M”A 159/22; Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Admur 159/20 in his Stam opinion regarding a gentile and seemingly the same would apply for a Nida [Vetzaruch Iyun why in truth Admur omitted the word Nida. Taz 159/15 brings Rashal who explains that a Nida has a greater Tuma than a gentile, as a Nida is Biblical. However, on the other hand, it is more difficult to avoid a Nida preparing the water, and hence it should be more lenient. Vetzaruch Iyun as to what inference can be made in Admur ibid]; Admur in Seder Netilas Yadayim 16 omits the entire Chumra brought in Poskim [and his Shulchan Aruch] regarding not preparing the water; M”B 159/69 omits the stringent opinion of Rashal/Taz

The reason: A Nidda impurifies an item through carrying it, and thus the water in the vessel has become impure even though she did not touch it. One can thus question how such water has ability to purify the hands even for Chulin, as since we wash hands due to Serach Teruma, and for Teruma the hands are impure [even after washing with such water] being that they have become impure with the impure water [therefore they should also be impure and invalid for Chulin/bread]. However, in truth, since in any event we are all Tamei Meis, and we cannot have pure water, therefore, there is no need to worry of the impurity of a Nida who carries the water. Now, although some are stringent to avoid having a Nida pour the water on one’s hands, this is because it is possible to avoid this. However, to have the water brought to him is completely permitted (as this is also a matter that one is not able to avoid.) [Admur ibid regarding a gentile]

[12] Rashal Kol Habasar 55, brought in Taz 159/15 and Beir Heiytiv 159/15; 2nd opinion in Admur 159/20 regarding a gentile

Preparing water for the home: Some Poskim rule that according to all, there is no need to avoid having a Nida prepare the water for the house, and the matter to beware is only against having the Nida prepare the water for the washing. [Ashel Avraham Tinyana 159

[13] As a) In Seder ibid Admur omits this opinion; b) Even in 159/20 Admur only brings this opinion regarding a gentile, and not regarding a Nida.

[14] P”M 159 M”Z 15

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