QUESTION: Rav Papa states that when one wants to eat bread, he may not wash his hands from an "Arisa d'Dala'i." RASHI (DH Hai and DH Ein) explains that this refers to a pipe (or channel) that carries water from the river to the fields for irrigation. One may not wash his hands by placing them in the pipe and allowing the water to flow over them, because the flow of the water is not considered to come as a result of a person's action (of taking the pipe and diverting the water towards the fields), but rather the water is flowing on its own accord (through gravity). For Netilas Yadayim, the water must come upon the hands through "Ko'ach Gavra," the force of a person.
Rav Papa adds, however, that if one puts his hands close to the place where the water is taken from the river and poured (by a person) into the pipe, then this is a valid Netilas Yadayim.
This Gemara seems to contradict the ruling of the ROSH here (8:15), cited by the SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 159:2). The Rosh rules that when a vessel has a hole but can still contain a Revi'is of water below the hole, one may wash his hands by pouring the water out through the hole onto the hands. However, one may not wash one's hands by pouring the water from the top of the vessel above the hole, because the part of the vessel above the hole is not considered to have the status of a valid vessel, since the hole invalidates it.
Even though the part above the hole is not considered a proper Kli, it should be no different from the pipe discussed by Rav Papa. Since the water pours onto the hands as a result of the person's action of pouring it from the part of the vessel below the hole, this should be considered "Ko'ach Gavra" and the Netilas Yadayim should be valid.
ANSWER: The CHAZON ISH (OC 21:8) answers as follows. Perhaps the person's act of tilting the vessel to pour out the water provides only enough force for the water to flow over the hole into the top area of the vessel. In order to make it flow out over the top, further force is necessary. This additional force comes about when the person tilts the vessel even more. However, at that point it is the upper part of the vessel that needs to be tilted in order for the water to come out, because the water is already above the hole. However, the part of the vessel above the hole is not a valid Kli for Netilas Yadayim; the Netilas Yadayim is being performed from an invalid Kli.
The Chazon Ish points out, however, that this is not sufficient reason to invalidate the Netilas Yadayim. Perhaps since the water lower down in the vessel -- in the valid part of the Kli -- is pushing the water near the top, the water is considered to be leaving the vessel through "Ko'ach Gavra" and may be used for Netilas Yadayim.
The Chazon Ish writes that, therefore, it is possible that when the Rosh and Shulchan Aruch rule that one may not perform Netilas Yadayim from water in the top of the vessel, they refer only to when one fills the vessel with water above the level of the hole. When, however, the water starts off below the hole and then one pours it out from the top of the vessel, the Netilas Yadayim is valid.
The Chazon Ish concludes that from the words of the earlier Poskim, it seems that they were not lenient in this matter, and the question requires further elucidation.
(See also Chazon Ish to Kelim 22:5, where he writes that since the water would not come out if the vessel would not be tilted, the water is considered to be emerging from the broken part of the vessel and the Netilas Yadayim is invalid. In contrast, the washing in the case of Arisa d'Dala'i is valid when the hands are near the river, because the force of the water comes only from the one pouring it. This seems similar to the Chazon Ish's first line of reasoning in OC 21:8.) (D. BLOOM)
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses various laws of washing the hands before one eats bread. The Gemara teaches that the water must be poured from a vessel (as opposed to water that is flowing forth from a pipe), and that the vessel must contain at least a Revi'is of water.
How much water must be poured on the hands in order to fulfill the requirement of Netilas Yadayim?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH d'Lo) writes that it is necessary to pour water three times on each hand. The first pouring is done to remove any dirt or other foreign particles that might be stuck to his hands. (This first pouring presumably would not be necessary if one's hands are already clean.) The second pouring is done in order to be Metaher the hands from their Tum'ah. The third pouring is done in order to be Metaher the previous water that was poured on the hands, which became Tamei upon contact with the hands.
The ROSH (8:18) writes that it is necessary to pour water only two times on each hand (as the Mishnah in Midos says). However, he seems to be referring to the second and third times that Tosfos mentions, and the reason he omits the first pouring (which Tosfos says is done in order to remove dirt from the hands) is that it is obvious that the hands must first be clean of any foreign substance before they can be washed to become Tahor. This is written clearly by the TUR (OC 162) in the name of the SEFER HA'MITZVOS.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 162:2) writes that one should first pour on the hand part of the Revi'is in the vessel in order to remove the dirt, and then pour a second time in order to remove the Tum'ah from the hands, and then a third time in order to be Metaher the water on the hands. The Shulchan Aruch continues and writes that if there is no dirt on the hands, then one should pour the entire Revi'is at one time, and that suffices.
The Shulchan Aruch is discussing one who washes with a vessel that contains exactly one Revi'is of water. When one's hands are dirty, he must use part of the Revi'is to clean off the dirt, and he is left with less than a Revi'is. Since he has less than a Revi'is, he must pour two times -- one to be Metaher his hands, and one to be Metaher the water left on the hands. When one does not need to use part of the Revi'is to remove dirt from the hands, it suffices to pour the entire Revi'is on the two hands at one time, in one pouring. This is because a Revi'is of water is considered a "Mikvah that is Metaher"; it is Metaher the hands without becoming Tamei itself.
According to the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (and the REMA, who agrees with this ruling), when one has a vessel that contains more than a Revi'is (which is the case with the common washing-cup found today in Jewish homes), and one's hands are clean (or, after one has removed the dirt from his hands, there is more than a Revi'is of water left), then it is not necessary to pour the water two times on the hands. Rather, it suffices to pour a full Revi'is (or more) on the two hands at one time (or, in the case of today's large washing-cups, to pour a full Revi'is on each hand separately).
However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 162:21) points out that according to some Rishonim, even when one pours a full Revi'is on each hand, he still must pour water a second time on each hand. They maintain that a Revi'is of water is not able to be Metaher itself. The Mishnah Berurah cites the CHAYEI ADAM who rules that this is the proper way to conduct oneself: to wash with a Revi'is on each hand, and then to pour a second pouring of water on each hand.
QUESTION: The Gemara asks whether one may eat bread by wrapping a cloth around his hands, without washing (see following Insight). Is there a concern that he will come to touch the bread? The Gemara attempts to answer this question by citing the conduct of Rebbi Tzadok, who was given less than k'Beitzah of bread to eat. He held it in a cloth, ate it outside the Sukah (on Sukos), and did not recite Birkas ha'Mazon after eating it. The Gemara infers that the only reason why he held it in a cloth and did not wash his hands is that it was less than a k'Beitzah, but had it been a k'Beitzah, he would have washed his hands before eating it.
The Gemara's assumption implies that one is not required to wash his hands for a piece of bread that is less than a k'Beitzah. What is the Halachah?
ANSWER: The BEIS YOSEF (OC 158) quotes the opinion of the ROKE'ACH who rules that for less than a k'Beitzah of bread it is questionable whether or not one must wash his hands. Therefore, one should wash his hands without a Berachah. The Beis Yosef suggests that the doubt of the Roke'ach is that since food does not become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin when it is less than a k'Beitzah, perhaps the Chachamim did not require Netilas Yadayim for such a small piece of bread. This is consistent with the view of the RASHBA, who maintains that less then a k'Beitzah of food cannot become Tamei with Tum'as Ochlin at all. (See Insights to Chulin 25:1 for the various opinions of the Rishonim with regard to what size of food is Mekabel Tum'ah.) However, the MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 158:9) explains that the Roke'ach agrees that a piece of food can become Tamei even when it is less than a k'Beitzah, but its Tum'ah is only mid'Rabanan. Since its Tum'ah is mid'Rabanan, perhaps the Chachamim did not institute the requirement for Netilas Yadayim.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 158:2-3) quotes the Roke'ach's opinion and adds that for less than a k'Zayis, some say that there is no need to wash with Netilas Yadayim at all. The Mishnah Berurah (OC 158:10) explains that this opinion maintains that eating less than a k'Zayis is not considered an act of eating, and therefore it does not require Netilas Yadayim. The Mishnah Berurah concludes, however, that when eating either less than a k'Beitzah or less than a k'Zayis, one should wash his hands with Netilas Yadayim but without a Berachah. (Z. Wainstein)


OPINIONS: The Gemara asks whether one may eat bread by wrapping a cloth around his hands, without washing. The Gemara concludes with the statement of Rav Tachlifa in the name of Shmuel: "They allowed Terumah to be eaten with covered hands, but not Chulin that is Tahor."
How does this answer the question of whether or not one may eat bread by wrapping a cloth around his hands?
(a) The ROSH (end of 8:18) explains that if the Chachamim did not allow eating Chulin that is Tahor with covered, unwashed hands, then certainly they did not allow eating ordinary Chulin with covered, unwashed hands, since a person will not be careful to avoid touching the Chulin with his bare hand. Only the Kohanim are permitted to eat Terumah with covered, unwashed hands, because Kohanim are always careful to guard the Taharah of their Terumah.
Based on the words of the Rosh, the TUR (OC 163) rules that it is forbidden to eat bread without washing one's hands with Netilas Yadayim, even if one covers his hands or eats with a fork or spoon.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Berachos 6:18) rules that it is permissible to cover one's hands with a cloth and eat bread (or a food dipped in a liquid; see Insights to Chulin 106:4) even if one has not washed his hands. The BEIS YOSEF explains that the Rambam's logic is that since the reason for the requirement of Netilas Yadayim is "Serach Terumah," and Terumah may be eaten without Netilas Yadayim as long as the hands are covered, certainly the law in the case of Chulin should be the same.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 163:1) rules that only in extenuating circumstances may one eat bread by covering his hands (or with a fork or spoon), without washing. When one is far from a water source, he may wrap his hands with cloth in order to eat bread. If one is traveling and estimates that there is no water within four Mil ahead of him, or within one Mil behind him, then he may wrap his hands in a cloth and eat bread. (One Mil is the distance that it takes 18 minutes to walk. See Insights to Pesachim 94:2 for the various Halachic opinions.) The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 163:3) adds that if one is in his home and has no water, he does not have to travel up to four Mil to get water; rather, if he estimates that there is no water within one Mil, he may eat bread by covering his hands. The Mishnah Berurah (163:2) points out that when water is available, one is prohibited to eat bread without washing with Netilas Yadayim.
Similarly, one who is unable to wash his hands because they are bandaged (with a bandage that is not easily removed) may eat bread without washing, because there is no concern that he will remove the bandage and touch the bread with his bare hands (Rosh, ibid.; Shulchan Aruch OC 162:10). However, if any part of the hand is exposed, he should be careful to wash that area, and if that is not possible, he should wrap it in a cloth (Mishnah Berurah 162:62).
OPINIONS: The Beraisa quotes Raban Shimon ben Gamliel who says that when a man from the north is a guest in an inn, and a man from the south lodges at the same inn, they may eat at the same table, one eating his cheese and the other eating his meat. The Chachamim prohibited eating together at the same table only in a case of "Tefisah Achas." What does "Tefisah Achas" mean?
(a) TOSFOS (DH k'Ein), in his first explanation, writes that "Tefisah Achas" means that the two guests came together, as one group. Since they are acquainted with each other, the Rabanan were concerned that they might share food, and therefore they prohibited the two people from eating at the same table when one eats milk and the other eats meat.
(b) In his second explanation, Tosfos writes that "Tefisah Achas" means that the table was set as though one group would be eating there (with no noticeable separation between the settings). Tosfos points out that the present custom is to place a jug or loaf of bread between the two people, or to use separate tablecloths for each person. In this way, the table is no longer considered to have been set for one group.
The REMA (YD 88:2) points out that a loaf of bread is considered a separation only when it is not being eaten, while a jug is considered a separation even when it is being used, as long as it would not ordinarily be on the table.
(c) The ROSH (8:20), after quoting Tosfos, writes that there are those who explain that "Tefisah Achas" means that the two people eating at the table are sharing the cost of the food. In such a case, they may not rely on any separation and must eat at different tables.
The BEIS YOSEF concludes that since TOSFOS and the ROSH mention that the custom is to rely on separations, the Halachah is in accordance with the explanation of Tosfos that permits the two people to eat at one table with such a separation. (Z. Wainstein)
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that one who is eating dairy foods is not permitted to eat at the same table as one who is eating meat foods, because of the concern that one might eat from the other's food and transgress the Isur of eating meat with milk.
This Halachah seems to contradict the Halachah taught in the Gemara in Nedarim (41b). The Gemara there says that if a person makes a Neder prohibiting his friend from deriving benefit from him, the two may eat at the same table but not from the same plate.
Since one who is prohibited by a Neder to derive pleasure from his friend is prohibited from eating his friend's food, why are they allowed to eat at the same table? There should be a concern that the Mudar Hana'ah will eat his friend's food and thereby transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of violating a Neder!
(a) The RASHBA answers that the Isur of transgressing a Neder is especially severe, and thus a person is very careful to avoid transgressing a Neder. Therefore, one will not accidentally come to eat the prohibited food on the table. (See also Insights to Chulin 103:2.)
(b) The ROSH answers that presumably two people who made a Neder not to derive benefit from each other are not on friendly terms. It is likely that they loathe each other. Therefore, there is no concern that one will eat from the other's food. In fact, in such a case they may even eat meat and dairy foods at the same table.
HALACHAH: The SHACH (YD 88:2) writes that it is prohibited for a person (Reuven) to eat at the same table with someone else (Shimon) who is eating food that is prohibited to him (Reuven) only when one of the following conditions exist:
1. Shimon is eating something that is permitted to others but not to Reuven (for example, Shimon is eating dairy products while Reuven is eating meat).
2. Shimon is eating food that is not inherently prohibited to Reuven, but is only prohibited because of a Neder.
3. The other person is eating bread that is prohibited. (Since bread is a basic staple, there is a greater likelihood that Reuven will inadvertently eat from Shimon's bread.)
4. The other person is eating Chametz on Pesach (even if it is not bread). The law is more stringent on Pesach, since even a minute amount that might fall into Reuven's food will prohibit it from being eaten.
If Reuven does not know the other person (and thus is not likely to reach over and eat the other person's food), then he is permitted to eat with him at the same table, unless the other person is eating Chametz on Pesach.
Based on these conditions, one is permitted to eat at the same table with one (such as a Nochri) who is eating non-Kosher food, as long as the bread that he is eating is Kosher. If one does not know the other person, then he is permitted to eat with the other person even if his bread is not Kosher.