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Chapter 40: 1-3
The Laws of Washing Before a Meal

1. A person who desires to eat bread over which the blessing hamotzi is recited must wash his hands before doing so. If he desires to eat more than the measure of an egg (k'beitzoh*), he should recite a blessing before washing. If he desires to eat less than this quantity, he should not recite a blessing before washing.

* {The commonly accepted figure for a k'beitzoh is twice the size of a k'zayis, according to Shiurei Torah and Rav Moshe Feinstein (thus, it is approximately 52 or 62 grams respectively). The Chazon Ish considers it the size of three k'zaysim, thus placing the figure close to 100 grams.}

2. One must wash one's hands from a vessel.* This vessel must be whole, without any holes or cracks that extend through its walls. Its upper rim should also be level without any indentations protrusions.**

* {The vessel must contain at least a revi'is (86:4 cc. according to Shiurei Torah, 150 cc. according to the Chazon Ish) (Shulchon Oruch 159:1).

** (The Misgeres Hashulchon 3 quotes a number of opinions which allow such a vessel to be used, provided to contains at least a revi'is of water below the crack. Similarly, if there is a protrusion on the rim, the vessel may still be used, provided one pours from the level side.}

Pitchers which have a spout which protrudes above their rim may not be used for washing the hands if one pours through the spout. The spout is not considered part of the vessel, since it is not intended to contain liquids. Rather, one must pour the water over the pitcher's rim, [so that the water will pass over] a portion of a pitcher used to contain liquids.

3. [The following rules apply to] a vessel which can stand only when supported: If it was originally made with the intent that it be used when supported by another entity, it is considered to be "a vessel" and may be used for this washing. If, however, it was not originally intended to be used in this manner - e.g., the cover of a pot - one should not use it for this washing. The Shulchon Oruch mentions a number of particular laws in this regard.

   Laws of Washing Before a Meal
Paragraphs 4-6
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 






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