Washing with a blessing upon awakening in middle of the night

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Washing with a blessing upon awakening in middle of the night:[1]

One who awoke in middle of the night, after sleeping for at least 60 breaths [30 minutes], is to wash his hands upon awakening, with a blessing. However, the blessing may only be said past midnight as is the law regarding the recital of all the morning blessings.[2] [One is to follow the order explained in Halacha 8B which is to wash, immediately go to the bathroom, and then immediately rewash with a blessing.]

If one plans to return to sleep: Even if one plans to return to sleep, a set sleep, prior to dawn, he may nevertheless wash his hands with a blessing after awakening past midnight.[3] In such a case that a blessing is said on the first washing one does not say a blessing upon washing in the morning as will be explained in the next Halacha. [Nevertheless, it is not obligatory to recite the blessing after the first washing and if one chooses he may say go back to sleep and say the blessing after the second washing in the morning.[4] If however one only plans to return to sleep after dawn, or it was already past dawn when he woke up, then the blessing must be said right away and one is not to delay the blessing until he washes after waking up a second time.[5]]

 

Summary:

If one awoke prior to midnight he is to wash without a blessing [and rewash again after Chatzos with a blessing]. If one awoke past midnight, then he is to wash with a blessing. If he plans to return to sleep a set sleep after this washing, before Alos, then he may delay the blessing until after washing upon awakening in the morning.

 

Q&A

If one awoke to go to the bathroom, and plans to immediately return to sleep, does he need to wash his hands?

Yes. See Chapter 3 Halacha 3 Q&A!

 

If one did not say a blessing when he washed upon awakening may he later wash again with a blessing if he did not return to sleep?

Example: One woke up at 2:00 A.M. washed hands without a blessing and did some work until 5:00 A.M., which is after Alos. May he now wash with a blessing?

The Law: Some Poskim[6] rule that he is to go to the bathroom or touch his usually covered areas and then wash with a blessing.

 

If one woke up after midnight and remembered he did not yet Daven Maariv, should he now wash with a blessing?[7]

Yes. One is to wash with a blessing even if he plans to go to sleep a set sleep prior to Alos.

 

What is the law if one woke up in middle of the night, washed without a blessing, and then washed for bread with a blessing? May he say the blessing upon washing in the morning?[8]

No. In such a case one is to initially wash for bread in the same way he washes upon awakening and recite a blessing having in mind also the morning washing.

 

If one woke up before midnight when is he to say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim?[9]

One is to wash hands without a blessing prior to midnight. After midnight he is to [rewash his hands] with a blessing.

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[1] Siddur; This scenario is not explicitly mentioned in Shulchan Aruch although is discussed in 4/14 with regards to whether one must wash a second time in the morning. See also 6/8 that Admur states that one is to say the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim after the first time he awakens even if he plans to return to sleep a set sleep for a second time.

[2] This stipulation that the blessing of Netilas Yadayim may only be said past midnight is seemingly a novelty of Admur that has not been found in previous Poskim. [Glosses of Rav Raskin p. 16]  The Ashel Avraham Butchach [Mahadurah Tinyana] 4 questions this ruling of Admur. However see Kaf Hachaim 46/49 in name of Mekubalim that one is to recite all the morning blessings from after midnight and perhaps it is based on this that Admur writes his ruling. This ruling of Admur is also recorded in Misgeres Hashulchan; Amudei Hashulchan 2/11 [brought in Kaf Hachaim 4/52]

Other Poskim who mention midnight: Rav Avraham Sharabi in Divrei Shalom 48 writes that if one did not sleep during midnight the evil spirit does not reside on his hands, and hence one is not required to wash to remove impurity but rather for cleanliness. The mention of midnight is also made by Admur regarding the morning blessings and Birchas Hatorah. It is mentioned in Peri Chadash 46 and 47/13 regarding the blessings of Hamaavir Sheiyna and Birchas Hatorah. It is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch 47/9 regarding the blessing of Hanosein Lasechviy Bina.

Other Opinions: The Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 13 rules one may wash and say the blessing before midnight and so concludes Kaf Hachaim 4/52.

[3] The novelty here is that although upon sleeping a set sleep prior to dawn the spirit of impurity has certainly returned to the hands and one will thus be required to re-wash [according to all opinions-Rosh and Rashba-see P”M 4 A”A 13] nevertheless he may choose to say the blessing after the first washing. [Siddur ibid] This implies that Admur rules completely like the Rashba unlike the Rosh. [See Biur Halacha “Afilu” 4/1]

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to always delay saying the blessing until after the morning washing. See Halacha 8B in opinion of M”B.

[4] So is implied from the wording in the Siddur “He may say the blessing on the first washing” and not that he must say the blessing. See Chayeh Halevy 1/2

Ruling of Admur in Shulchan Aruch: In Kama 4/14 Admur writes that the Sages only required a blessing to be said when one awakens as a new creation and this only occurs after awakening the first time. This implies that one must say the blessing after the awakening for the first time. [Rav Raskin in “Notes on Siddur“ page 10] This is more clearly stated in 6/8 where Admur rules regarding this scenario that he is to say the blessing only the first time he awakens and not delay it until later. Seemingly however it seems clear that in the Siddur Admur holds differently. Perhaps the reason for this is because in the Siddur Admur rules that the morning washing is contingent on the removal of impurity [and not just becoming a Berya Chadasha]. Hence since the impurity will anyways return one can choose to say the blessing after the second washing.

May one delay the blessing even if he plans to return to sleep a temporary sleep? According to the above explanation if one will only return to sleep a temporary sleep then seemingly it is proper to wash with a blessing after awakening the first time even according to the Siddur, as it is questionable whether the impure spirit returns to the hands by a temporary sleep. [See Chapter 3 Halacha 6] Vetzaruch Iyun. See also 6/8 which refers to returning to a set sleep regarding this law of delaying the blessing.

[5] Pashut and so is understood from Admur which emphasizes “that he plans to return to sleep prior to dawn”.

[6] M”B 4/33 based on the fact that he already fulfilled his obligation according to the Rosh, with the first washing and hence how can he now say “That you commanded” on this second washing that he is doing in the morning. See also Shaareiy Teshuvah 4/5 for a similar ruling. However see Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 16.

[7] Chayeh Levi 1/2

[8] Orach Yisrael 1/3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4 footnote 21 based on Ashel Avraham Butchach 4 [Mahadurah Tinyana] that one fulfills his obligation if he says the blessing of Netilas Yadayim when washing hands for bread.

[9] Piskeiy Teshuvos 4 footnote 17 based on Siddur; Vetzaruch Iyun based on the law of one who heard a rooster crow before midnight of which Admur rules in the Siddur that he must delay the blessing until Alos.

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