Washing hands after using the bathroom on Yom Kippur:

Washing hands after using the bathroom on Yom Kippur:[1]

During non-prayer times:[2] If one urinated and used his hands to wipe away the drops of urine from his feet, or if he defecated and used his hands to clean the excrement, then he may wash his hands up until his knuckles[3], in order to remove the dirt that is on them, and say the blessing of Asher Yatzar with clean hands. However, if one did not wipe away [the urine] or clean [the excrement] with his hands, then [even if he touched his private area[4]] he may not wash his hands at all, and is to say Asher Yatzar with unwashed hands.[5] [However, one must nevertheless wipe his hands on an item prior to saying Asher Yatzar, if he touched a normally covered area while using the bathroom.[6]] Accordingly, one who desires to wash his hands prior to reciting Asher Yatzar, is to wipe away [the urine] or clean [the excrement] with his hands, in order to obligate himself to wash his hands. It is proper to do so in order to say Asher Yatzar with clean and pure hands.[7] [Some Poskim[8] rule that the above law is only relevant when one urinates or defecates in an open area, however, if one enters a bathroom, then one may always wash his hands in order to wash away the Ruach Raah that resides on it. However, from Admur and other Poskim it is implied that one may not wash his hands even in such a case.[9] Practically, some Poskim[10] conclude that the widespread custom today is not to be particular in this matter, and to always wash hands after using the bathroom, prior to saying Asher Yatzar, even if the hands did not become dirty in the process. Those who are lenient like this approach have upon whom to rely.]

During times of prayer:[11] The above law only applies by the night of Yom Kippur, after the Maariv prayers have concluded. However, prior to the prayer [of Maariv], as well as during the daytime of Yom Kippur, in which the entire day is spent in prayer, it is permitted for one to wash his hands, up until the knuckles, after urinating or defecating even if one did not use his hands to wipe away [the urine] or clean [the excrement].[12]

 Summary:

One who dirtied his hands with feces or urine in the process of going to the bathroom, may wash his fingers, up until the knuckles. If he did not dirty his hands upon using the bathroom, then if one went to the bathroom before or during Davening, he may wash his fingers, up until the knuckles. If one went to the bathroom not during times of prayer, then if he did not get his hands dirty with feces or urine in the process [even if he touched his private area], he may not wash his hands at all, but is simply to wipe his hands on an item prior to saying Asher Yatzar, if he touched a normally covered area while using the bathroom. Nonetheless, it is advisable to purposely get one’s hands dirty in the process of going to the bathroom, in order to be allowed to wash the hands and say asher yatzar in purity. [However, those who are lenient in all cases to wash the hands up until the knuckles, have upon whom to rely.] Based on this, the following is the ruling:

After Maariv of Yom Kippur night: When going to the bathroom after Davening Maariv at night of Yom Kippur, one may only wash his fingers, up to his knuckles, if he got them dirty in the process. It is advisable to do so in order to say asher yatzar in purity.

Before Maariv and during day: If one went to the bathroom before Davening Maariv at night, one may wash his fingers even if they are not dirty. If one used the bathroom on the day of Yom Kippur, he may wash his hands afterwards, after every time he goes, being that the entire day is spent in prayer.

Q&A

May one wash his entire hands after using the bathroom prior to prayer?

As stated above, one may only wash his fingers, up until his knuckles, and not his entire hand.[13] Nonetheless, one is not required to be perfectly exact in this matter, that water does not reach past the knuckles.[14]

May one wash until his knuckles three times as usual, after using the bathroom before prayer?[15]

Yes.

 

May one wash his bottom after using the bathroom?[16]

Yes, one may do so in order to properly remove feces from the area.

May one wash his hands after entering a bathroom, if he did not do his needs?

Some Poskim[17] rule that one who enters a bathroom may always wash his hands upon exiting in order to wash away the Ruach Raah that resides. This applies even not during times of Davening. However, other Poskim[18] rule that one may not wash his hands if he did not use the bathroom, even if he is prior to Davening, and so is the implied opinion of Admur.[19]

May one wash his hands prior to Davening if he did not use the bathroom?[20]

No.

If one touched a covered area, or his shoes, may he wash his hands afterwards?[21]

If he is prior to prayer, or in the midst of prayer, then he may wash his hands up until his knuckle.

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[1] Admur 613:4-5

[2] Admur 613:4; Michaber 613:3; Beis Yosef 613; Tur 613; Rosh 8:3; Elya Raba 554; Chayeh Adam 145:11; M”B 613:4; Kaf Hachaim 613:12

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one may wash his hands after using the bathroom even if the hands did not become dirty in the process. [Hagahos Maimanis in name of Rishonim, brought in Beis Yosef 613 and Machatzis Hashekel 613:2; Taz 613:2 in implication of Tur 554 [recorded in Beir Heiytiv 613, although in truth the Taz is inconclusive, see also Elya Raba ibid who explains that on Yom Kippur we are more stringent]; Peri Chadash 613; Ateres Zekeinim 613 in name of Bach; Mateh Efraim 613:4; Ashel Avraham of Butchach 613; See Kaf Hachaim 613:12]

[3] Admur ibid; Rama ibid; Mateh Efraim 613:4;

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even if one’s hands became dirty in the process, one may only clean the dirty area. [Shev Hakohen 3, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 613]

[4] Implication of Admur and Poskim ibid who all omit this very common occurrence from the allowance of washing; See however Admur 7:2 that if one touched his Erva he must wash his hands. However, perhaps a) There it is referring only to prior to Davening; b) It is referring to non-Yom Kippur times, when there is no prohibition involved; c) It does not mean specifically washing, but any form of cleansing, as explained in the sources in coming footnotes.

[5] Admur ibid; Implication of Michaber ibid, as writes Taz ibid [and questions]  

The reason: As, in such a case, it is permitted to recite Asher Yatzar with unwashed hands, being that his hands did not become dirty. [Admur ibid; Bach 613]

[6] Basra 4/1; 7:1; 92:6; Siddur Seder Netila; M”B 4/61; 7:5; 227/11; Mateh Efraim 613:4

[7] Admur ibid; M”A 613:2; Bach 613 writes this is to be done in order to escape the dispute in Poskim; Ateres Zekeinim 613; Mateh Efraim 613:4;

[8] Rav Akiva Eiger 613; P”M 613 M”Z 2; Mateh Efraim 613:4; Kaf Hachaim 613:12

[9] So is implied from the fact that Admur and Michaber omitted such a common fact that most bathroom uses take place in a bathroom, and from the fact no mention of this exception was made implies that it is not correct in their opinion.

[10] Ashel Avraham of Butchach 613; Piskeiy Teshuvos 613; Nitei Gavriel 43:12

[11] Admur 613:5; Michaber 613:3 regarding prayer; Beis Yosef 613; M”A 613:2 regarding day versus night; Hagahos Maimanis 3:2 in name of Rashbam; Riva; Raavan; Rash; Rabbeinu Yehuda; Mateh Efraim 613:4; M”B 613:4; Kaf Hachaim 613:12

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even prior to Davening one may not wash his hands after using the bathroom, if the hands did not become dirty in the process. [Rosh and Tur according to Bach, brought in Machatzis Hashekel 613:2] Some hold that for this reason one is to always get his hands dirty in the process, even prior to Davening, in order to wash his hands according to all. [Bach 613, as explained in P”M 613 A”A 2, Ateres Zekeinim 613, Mateh Efraim 613 Alef Lamateh 6]

[12] The reason: As it is a Mitzvah to Daven with pure hands that have been washed, as the verse states “Hachein Likraas Elokecha Yisrael.” [Admur ibid; Admur 7/2]

[13] Admur 613/4-5; Michaber 613/3; M”B 613/6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 613/2

[14] Orchos Rabbeinu 2 p. 207 in name of Chazon Ish; Piskeiy Teshuvos 613:2; Nitei Gavriel 43:14

[15] Mateh Efraim 613 Alef Lamateh 7

[16] Nitei Gavriel 43:14 and 70/2 regarding Tisha B’av; Piskeiy Teshuvos 613/3; Shearim Hametzuyanim 133/2; Shevet Hakehasi 4/165

[17] Rav Akiva Eiger 613; P”M 613 M”Z 2; Kaf Hachaim 613:12

[18] See M”B 613:5; Kaf Hachaim 613:13

[19] So is implied from the fact that Admur and Michaber omitted such a common fact that most bathroom uses take place in a bathroom, and from the fact no mention of this exception was made implies that it is not correct in their opinion.

[20] Mateh Efraim 613:4; See M”B 613:5; 554:21; Kaf Hachaim 613:13

[21] Piskeiy Teshuvos 613/2

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