A. Dipping ones hands into water that is in a vessel: 
Dipping one’s hands into a vessel of water does not remove the impurity from the hands. This applies even if one dips his hands three times into the vessel. If one dips his hands three times into three different waters [that are within a vessel], it is questionable whether the impurity is removed. Thus one is to re-wash his hands properly pouring three times from a vessel. [Practically one may not say a blessing over the washing until he pours the water on his hands.]
B. Dipping one’s hands in a river:
Dipping one’s hands three times into a river is questionable whether it removes the impurity. Thus one is to re-wash his hands properly pouring three times from a vessel.
May one recite a blessing upon dipping his hands in a river?
If the river is an invalid Mikveh [i.e. made of rainwater] then one may not say a blessing over the washing until he pours the water on his hands. If however the river is considered a valid Mikveh [i.e. made of spring water] then one may dip his hands with a blessing, and then re-wash again later, as explained in the next Halacha. A typical river is made of spring water and is hence valid for the blessing.
C. Dipping into a kosher Mikveh [i.e. Ocean]:
One who is traveling on the road and does not have a vessel with which to pour the water onto his hands, then he should dip his hands into [a Kosher Mikveh, such as] a puddle of 40 seah worth of rainwater, or a wellspring, even if it contains less than 40 seah, and then say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim. [However] if later on one accesses a vessel, then he should pour from the vessel three times [inconsecutively] onto his hands.
D. Dipping into rainwater of less than 40 seah:
In a time of need, when one does not have a vessel and there is no kosher Mikveh available, then if one does not anticipate to receive a vessel prior to the time for shema and prayer, one should dip his hands into any available puddle of rainwater, even if it contains less than 40 seah, and then say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim.
E. Dipping into drawn water [Mayim Sheuvim]:
Dipping one’s hands into drawn water, even if it is more than 40 Seah, does not purify the hands and hence a blessing may not be recited upon this washing. [Nevertheless, if a vessel is not available, one is to dip his hands in the water without a blessing. If a vessel later becomes available one should wash his hands properly with a blessing.]
Does one need to dip his hands three times into the Mikveh, or does one time suffice?
Some Poskim rule one is to dip his hands three times into the Mikveh.
May one dip his hands in snow and say a blessing?
A blessing may not be recited on dipping hands in snow even if one dips his hands three times and there is more than 40 Seah of snow. However if the snow has been crushed and melted then one may dip his hands into it and say a blessing if it contains 40 Seah.
|Is impurity removed?||Is a blessing recited?||Must one rewash?|
|Water in vessel||Questionable||No||Yes with a blessing|
|Drawn water on ground||
Yes with a blessing
|Mikvah||Possibly||Yes||Yes without blessing|
|Ocean||Possibly||Yes||Yes without blessing|
|River||Possibly||Yes [if is Kosher Mikvah]||Yes without blessing|
What is one to do if there is no water available:
If there is no water available to wash with upon awakening, then [if he slept without clothing] he is to clean his hands with any matter that cleans in order to be allowed to recite blessings and learn Torah. One does not recite a blessing on this cleansing.
 Kama 4/12; Michaber 4/12
 Even if one dipped his hands three times into water which is in a vessel, he has not removed the impurity from his hands, as immediately upon touching the water the first time he dipped his hands into it, all the water in the vessel becomes impure, and becomes like spilled water [and thus cannot remove impurity from his hands]. [ibid]
 This means that there are three vessels with water and one dips his hands one time into each vessel. Alternatively he uses the same vessel and switches the water between each dipping for a total of three times.
 As it is possible that the impurity only becomes removed from the hands through pouring from a vessel. [Kama ibid; Beis Yosef in name of Zohar; Kaf Hachaim 4/42 that according to the Gemara the impurity is removed and the doubt is only according to the Zohar] However according to Basra it is clear that dipping does not purify the hands. However from Siddur it is implied that dipping in rain water does remove some impurity. Vetzaruch Iyun.
Ruling of Basra: Basra 4/2 states: “One must be very careful not to touch the water in the washing basin and impurify it, as the hands are only purified if one pours the water on them”. This additional wording of “if one pours on them” clearly implies that there is no doubt in this matter, and dipping in water does not remove any impurity. Hence if one dips his hands even in three different vessels he must wash again through pouring on them three times.
Ruling of Siddur: In the Siddur of Admur there is no discussion of whether impurity is removed through dipping or only through pouring, although he does discuss whether one may say a blessing upon dipping one’s hands in water, and within this itself there are two different rulings. On the one hand Admur rules that one needs human effort to place the water on his hands, thus implying it must be poured. However in 159/17 Admur differentiates between dipping one’s hands into a puddle of water and into a vessel that contains water, as in the latter there are opinions which say that when dipping into a vessel one is not required to have human effort. In the Siddur Admur does not detail this law of dipping inside a vessel. Practically in 159/7 Admur rules to be stringent and dip without a blessing and in the Siddur he writes that all the laws which apply by washing for bread apply likewise for the morning washing. On the other hand Admur rules that if one is traveling he may dip his hands in rainwater and then say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim. This follows the same ruling as washing for bread as explained in 159/21 that there is a difference between dipping in rainwater and in drawn water Mayim Sheuvin]. Nevertheless the difficulty in these two ruling is with regards to whether the impurity comes off through the dipping, as if it does not come off at all then on what basis is one saying a blessing on dipping in rain water, as according to Admur’s understanding in the Siddur the reason behind morning washing with a blessing is because it removes at least some impurity. [see previous Halacha] Thus it seems that dipping in rainwater does remove some impurity. Vetzaruch Iyun if according to Admur in the Siddur even dipping in a vessel removes some impurity and a blessing is simply not said being it is invalid for washing for bread.
 In Kama 4/12 Admur concludes: “Thus it is proper [good] for him to rewash his hands with pouring from a vessel, as it is possible that the impurity only gets removed from the hands through pouring from a vessel.” However, based on the next footnote according to the Basra and Siddur, this is more than simply proper but is rather necessary as one may not say a blessing over this washing and hence he must wash again in order to wash with a blessing.
 159/7 regarding washing for bread and Siddur that states that morning washing follows same laws as washing for bread; Basra 4/2 “only purified if one pours on them” implies no impurity is removed through pouring and hence a blessing may not be recited as according to Basra [and Siddur] the removal of impurity is part of the reason behind the blessing [see previous footnote for explanation]
Ruling of Admur in Kama: In Kama 4/2 Admur rules: “One does not need to pour the water onto his hands, rather he may even dip his hands into a vessel and rub them in the water, and is considered that he washed his hands.” Likewise in 4/3 Admur rules: “If one does not have any vessel then he may nevertheless still rinse his hands with [even] drawn water [which is invalid for a Mikvah] and say the blessing, as the sages did not make any mention of a specific way of washing, thus as long as he has washed his hands, he may say the blessing”. Thus according to the Kama although one needs to use a vessel-if available- nevertheless even initially one does not need to pour from the vessel and rather one may even dip his hands inside of it. The reason why a blessing may be said is because according to the Kama 4/1 the removal of impurity from ones hands has nothing to do with the reason of sanctification like a Kohen. [See Halacha 2] Thus even if no impurity is removed from the hands one may recite a blessing.
Other Poskim: Many Poskim rule a blessing is to be said as rules Admur in Kama. [Michaber 4/12 and 22; M”A 4/9; Chayeh Adam 7/4; M”B 4/25] The following Poskim rule like Admur that one must use a vessel and otherwise the washing is invalid: Mor Uketzia [brought in Kaf Hachaim 4/27]; Kaf Hachaim 4/40 concludes a blessing is not to be said due to Safek Brachos Lihakel.
 Kama 4/12; M”A 4/10; Mamar Mordechai 4/7; Chayeh Adam 2/1; 159/22 regarding washing hands for bread; See previous Halacha and footnotes there for the background and explanations of this ruling.
 Although dipping three times into a river is similar to dipping one’s hands into three different vessels, nevertheless it is possible that the impurity only becomes removed from the hands through pouring from a vessel. [Kama ibid]
 This follows the ruling of Admur in the Siddur which equates the laws of the morning washing to the laws of washing for bread. However according to Admur in Kama 4/2 and the other Poskim [Michaber ibid; M”A ibid] a blessing may always be said over dipping the hands in a river for the morning washing and this ruling here is only relevant in a case that one is washing for bread.
 Yoreh Deah 101/2; If it is made of majority rainwater and minority spring water then according to the Ashkenazi custom one may dip with a blessing. [Rama ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 34 footnote 2] However according to the Michaber ibid one may not say a blessing. [Kaf Hachaim 159/84] If it is made of majority spring water according to all it is a valid Mikvah and a blessing may be said. [ibid]
 159/22 regarding washing for bread in moving rainwater. There Admur rules that it is questionable whether it is valid, and hence a blessing should not be said due to Safek Brachos Lihakel. Now, the Siddur states that morning washing follows same laws as washing for bread and hence also regarding the morning washing no blessing is recited; An additional reason and source is from Basra 4/2 which states:“only purified if one pours on them”. This implies no impurity is removed through pouring and hence a blessing may not be recited as according to Basra [and Siddur] the removal of impurity is part of the reason behind the blessing [see previous footnotes for explanation]
Ruling of Siddur: In the Siddur Admur does not mention whether one may dip his hands in a river and rather simply states that if a vessel is not available one may dip his hands in a Mikvah and recite a blessing and if he then finds a vessel he is to rewash properly.
 See previous footnotes regarding if it is majority rainwater.
 As stated in the next Halacha regarding dipping in a Kosher Mikvah, and so rules Ketzos Hashulchan 34 footnote 2 regarding washing for bread.
 Ketzos Hashulchan 34 footnote 2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 159/23 regarding washing for bread.
 Siddur; 159/21-22; Seder Netilas Yadayim 8 regarding washing for bread; Nehar Shalom 4/2 in name of Rashba; Chayeh Adam 7/4; M”B 4/25; Shulchan Hatahor 4/8
 The reason a blessing is said: Some explain a blessing is said being that impurity is removed from the hands when one dips it three times in a Mikvah of 40 Seah. [Olas Tamid 4/6; M”B 4/25] Others however rule that based on the Zohar it is questionable whether the impurity is removed through dipping. [Elya Raba 4/7; Machatzis Hashekel on M”A 4/10] Nevertheless even according to them a blessing may be said as the reason behind the morning washing is not only to remove the impurity but also to prepare oneself like a Kohen. [Kaf Hachaim 4/45 based on Michaber 4/22; Admur Kama 4/3] However based on Admur in Basra that the reason behind the morning washing is due to the removal of impurity then one must say that some impurity is removed through dipping, as rules the Olas Tamid. Furthermore in the Siddur it is implied regarding the ruling in a case that one does not have enough water to wash three times that we only allow a blessing to be said because even one pouring removes some part of the impurity, and thus sanctifies a person. [See Halacha 12] Thus here too if the dipping does not remove any of the impurity, how can we allow a blessing to be made? Hence perhaps according to the Siddur dipping in a Mikvah removes some of the impurity. Vetzaruch Iyun.
The Nussach of the blessing: In 159/24 and Seder Netilas Yadayim 9 Admur rules that it is best to say the blessing of “Al Shetifas Yadayim” when dipping the hands in a Mikvah. Here however he rules one is to say Al Netilas Yadayim. Vetzaruch Iyun. To note that the Ketzos Hashulchan 2/8 writes one is to say “Al Netilas Yadayim”.
 Siddur ibid; Seemingly the reason for this is because it is possible that the impurity only becomes removed from the hands through pouring from a vessel. [Beir Heiytiv 4/12; Kama 4/12] However based on the Siddur [see previous footnotes] one must say that dipping in a Mikvah removes some of the impurity. Hence washing three times is only needed in order to fully remove it. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Siddur; 159/21; Seder Netilas Yadayim 9; M”B 4/25
 Seder Netilas Yadayim 8; Ketzos Hashulchan 4/2 “If a vessel is not available one should nevertheless wash his hands but without a blessing”. This must be referring to drawn water that is not within a vessel.
Ruling of Admur in Kama: In Kama 4/3 Admur rules: “If one does not have any vessel then he may nevertheless still rinse his hands with [even] drawn water [which is invalid for a Mikvah] and say the blessing, as the sages did not make any mention of a specific way of washing, and thus as long as he has washed his hands he may say the blessing”.
Other Poskim: The Michaber 4/7 rules that initially one is to be careful to follow all the laws that apply when washing for bread. Hence according to the Michaber one is initially to use a vessel. The Rama rules that Bedieved a vessel is not needed, and so rules Admur in Kama ibid. The following Poskim rule like Admur that one must use a vessel and otherwise the washing is invalid: Mor Uketzia [brought in Kaf Hachaim 4/27]; Zekan Ahron 2/1. Kaf Hachaim 4/40 concludes a blessing is not to be said due to Safek Brachos Lihakel.
 Ketzos Hashulchan 2/4: Seemingly this is done in order to be allowed to pray and learn Torah. Alternatively it is to suspect for those opinions which validate the washing.
 Ketzos Hashulchan 2/4 based on Admur in Siddur that the first washing was completely invalid.
 Olas Tamid 4/6; See also Beir Heiytiv 4/12. He rules that one must dip three times, even when dipping in an ocean, as the impurity does not leave with less than three washings. Admur does not mention how many times one is to dip. In Seder Netilas Yadayim 9 Admur rules that when dipping one’s hands for washing for bread only one dip is required. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Based on Admur Seder Netilas Yadayim 8; second opinion in 160/14; and Siddur that the laws of the morning washing follow all the laws of washing for bread.
Opinion of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: In 160/14 Admur records two opinions regarding whether it helps to dip one’s hands into 40 Seah of [even un-crushed] snow. He concludes that one may be lenient in a time of need. However in the Siddur Admur rules stringently that dipping in uncrushed snow is invalid.
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that if one dips his hands in three different areas of snow that contains 40 Seah then in a time of need he fulfills his obligation. [Ataz in name of Rashba; Olas Tamid 4/6; Beir Heiytiv 4; Kaf Hachaim 4/44; M”B 4/25]
 Siddur; See Chapter 3 Halacha 7
 Based on various rulings in Siddur: 1. All the laws that apply by washing for a meal apply likewise for the morning washing.
2. A blessing may not be said on washing less than one time on each hand [Halacha 12]
Ruling of Admur in Kama: In Kama 4/3 Admur states: “If one does not have any water available at all and he desires to Daven immediately upon awakening, then [even if he slept in his clothing] he must clean his hands prior to Davening using a rock, dirt, beam of wood, or any other matter that cleans. Upon doing so he says the blessing of Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvosav Vetzivanu Al Nikkiyas Yadayim.” Thus according to Kama after awakening in the morning, a blessing is always made on washing or cleaning the hands in preparation for the daily prayers, due to the reason mentioned in 4/1 to sanctify himself like a Kohen.
Other Opinions: This ruling of Kama follows the ruling of Michaber 4/22 and so rules M”B 4/58. The M”A 4/25 rules one is to only say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim. Some Poskim understand this to mean that one is to never say the blessing unless washing with water. [see Kaf Hachaim 4/105] The Kaf Hachaim ibid concludes that a blessing is not to be said due to Safek Brachos Lihakel.
Leave A Comment?
You must be logged in to post a comment.