Netilat Yadayim: Ritual Handwashing

Learn How

Click here to show more Learn How content

Rabbi Sacks: An Introduction to the Ritual Hand Washing Before a Meal

Rabbi Sacks: An Introduction to the Ritual Hand Washing Before a Meal

Produced by the United Synagogue, an Orthodox British organization committed to helping young adults live observant Jewish lives, this practical video offers an introduction to how and why Jews wash their hands before eating bread. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the previous chief Rabbi of Great

How To: The Ritual Hand Washing and Blessing Over the Bread on Shabbat

How To: The Ritual Hand Washing and Blessing Over the Bread on Shabbat

This short instructional video, part of The Jewish Living Series of Perelman Jewish Day School, provides a detailed explanation of the ritual hand washing and the blessing over the bread on Shabbat, according to Ashkenazic tradition. Complete with the recitation of both blessings with accompanying transliterated subtitles,

How to Wash Hands Before Eating Bread

How to Wash Hands Before Eating Bread

This short animated video demonstrates how to perform the ritual hand-washing prior to eating bread, including a slow, clear recitation of the the blessings over hand-washing and eating bread, according to Orthodox Asheknazic custom and pronunciation. This video is produced by JewishPathways.com, the more advanced

Moishe House: Friday Night Shabbat Rituals

Moishe House: Friday Night Shabbat Rituals

This less than 5 minute long animated video introduces the basic Shabbat rituals performed on Friday night, including the candle lighting ceremony, the Kiddush over wine, the ritual hand washing, and the blessing over Challah. With fun animations, an amusing plot, and a karaoke-style transliteration for the

Blessing for Washing Hands: Al Netilat Yadayim

Blessing for Washing Hands: Al Netilat Yadayim

This short, interactive video introduces the basics of the ritual hand-washing before eating bread, including a slow, clear recitation of the blessing. Created by a young girl named Nicky in Colorado, this video was made for other youth as part of a project of BBYO,

Let’s Learn T’fillah: Netilat Yadayim

Let’s Learn T’fillah: Netilat Yadayim

This short, interactive, animated video demonstrates how to recite the ritual hand-washing blessing, including a brief introduction and the Hebrew text. Part of the “Let’s Learn T’fillah” (Prayer) video series, this video was created by Rabbi David Paskin, an accomplished spiritual leader, singer/songwriter, Jewish futurist,

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

This short home video compares the different customs of washing one’s hands after waking up and before eating bread. Although the same blessing is recited in both cases, the order in which the hands are washed is different. Both hand-washing rituals are concerned with purity,

A Detailed Halachic Guide to Hand-Washing

A Detailed Halachic Guide to Hand-Washing

This lengthy, detailed article explains the different halachic explanations and requirements for the various hand-washing rituals in Judaism, concluding with a guide to the hand washing before eating bread, the most complicated type of washing. In the following excerpt, one can learn about all of

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

This simple one-page card from Aish.com provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings for the ritual washing of the hands and the bread. It also includes directions for the accompanying ritual actions, according to Orthodox Ashenazi custom. This resource is ideal for

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

This two-page resource includes a detailed step-by-step guide explaining how to fulfill the ritual washing of the hands and the blessing over challah according to Sephardic tradition, including Hebrew, English and transliterated texts. Whereas according to Ashkenazic tradition, the blessing is simply recited upon washing the

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

An Introduction: The Ritual Washing of the Hands

An Introduction: The Ritual Washing of the Hands

This short article offers a brief introduction to the origins of hand-washing rituals in Judaism, as well as a practical how-to guide for how to perform this ritual before eating bread, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing. The author, Rabbi Howard

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Detailed Guide

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Detailed Guide

In this video, Rabbi Joel Finkelstein outlines the circumstances in which one is required to perform the ritual hand-washing before a meal, according to Orthodox Jewish law. He demonstrates how to do this mitzvah correctly and offers additional spiritual significance, explaining how the Sages transformed what

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Basic Guide

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Basic Guide

In this short instructional video, an American Conservative rabbi offers a presentation of how to wash one’s hands before eating bread. This practice, which can be traced back to the biblical Kohanim (Priests), sets a tone of sanctity as we begin any meal, and is thus

A Practical Guide to Washing Hands Before a Meal (Hebrew)

A Practical Guide to Washing Hands Before a Meal (Hebrew)

In this exclusively Hebrew video produced by Yahaduton, a YouTube channel that provides instructional videos for Israelis looking to learn more about performing mitzvot according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition, two actors explain and demonstrate the historical and spiritual significance of hand washing before eating bread.

Hand-Washing before a Meal 101

Hand-Washing before a Meal 101

This colloquially-written, point-form article shares the basics of the ritual hand-washing that takes place prior to eating bread at any meal, including Shabbat. Complete with the English, Hebrew and transliterated text of the blessing, this article is relevant for anyone who is interested in learning how

Ritual Hand-Washing: A Clear Explanation

Ritual Hand-Washing: A Clear Explanation

This brief yet thorough article  clearly explains the origins and directions for the ritual of washing hands prior to eating bread at a meal, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing. Written by Rabbi Louis Jacobs (1920-2006), founder of the Masorti/Conservative movement in the UK,

Washing for Bread: Symbolism, How To, FAQ & Reflections

Washing for Bread: Symbolism, How To, FAQ & Reflections

In this article, Lori Palatnik explains the deep symbolism behind the hand-washing ritual and provides a straight forward guide as to how to perform the commandment, complete with the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing, as well as an audio recording. The article

Click here to show less Learn How content

Customs

Click here to show more Customs content

The Blessing for the Ritual Handwashing

The Blessing for the Ritual Handwashing

This image provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the blessing for the ritual washing of the hands before eating bread (and upon waking up).This resource was created by NCSY, an Orthodox organization dedicated to inspiring Jewish youth to engage with Judaism and Torah. 

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

This simple one-page card from Aish.com provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings for the ritual washing of the hands and the bread. It also includes directions for the accompanying ritual actions, according to Orthodox Ashenazi custom. This resource is ideal for

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

This two-page resource includes a detailed step-by-step guide explaining how to fulfill the ritual washing of the hands and the blessing over challah according to Sephardic tradition, including Hebrew, English and transliterated texts. Whereas according to Ashkenazic tradition, the blessing is simply recited upon washing the

Do We Wash Each Hand Two or Three Times?

Do We Wash Each Hand Two or Three Times?

This short post describes the different halachic opinions regarding how many times one must wash each hand when performing the ritual hand-washing before eating bread, including both technical and mystical explanations. This response was written by Rabbi David Sperling, an Orthodox rabbi with an expertise

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

Click here to show less Customs content

Music

Click here to show more Music content

Al Netilat Yadaim Children’s Song

Al Netilat Yadaim Children’s Song

This catchy children’s song was composed by Yisroel “Erik” Ilyayev to give kids an easy way to remember the words to the ritual hand washing blessing. 

The Hand Washing Song: A Catchy Camp Song

The Hand Washing Song: A Catchy Camp Song

This short video presents a fun, catchy song about the ritual handwashing before eating bread. Performed by Yakov Fleischmann, the Director of Camp Stone, this song is aimed at campers and staff at this Orthodox summer camp. Based on popular melodies, this song can be

The Singing of the Hand Washing Blessing

The Singing of the Hand Washing Blessing

This 20 second audio recording presents the blessing for the ritual hand washing sung to a tune, followed by the English translation of the blessing. Although this song is from the album “The Passover Seder,”  the blessing over washing one’s hands before eating matzah on Passover

Click here to show less Music content

Informative Articles & Videos

Click here to show more Informative Articles & Videos content

Why Do We Wash Our Hands Before Eating Bread?

Why Do We Wash Our Hands Before Eating Bread?

This short post explains the biblical origins behind the ritual hand-washing before bread, which is based on the ancient purity rituals of the Kohanim (Priests) in the Temple. This explanation was written by Orthodox Chabad Rabbi Naftali Silberberg as an answer to a question posted on AskMoses.com,

The Origins of Ritual Hand-Washing In Jewish Thought

The Origins of Ritual Hand-Washing In Jewish Thought

In this excerpt, Chaviva Gordon-Bennett provides an overview of the origins and significance of the different Jewish hand washing rituals, including washing the hands before eating bread. With supporting texts from the Torah (Bible), Talmud, and Midrash (oral teachings), this article gives its reader a unique understanding of

Washing for a Meal: The Practical, The Philosophical & The Mystical

Washing for a Meal: The Practical, The Philosophical & The Mystical

In these three long video lectures, Chabad Rabbi Mendel Kaplan breaks down the mitzvah of Netilat Yadayim at mealtime, with an in-depth exploration of the practical, philosophical and mystical aspects of the hand washing ritual. These videos are beneficial for anyone who is looking to dedicate their

Hand-Washing & Silence on Shabbat

Hand-Washing & Silence on Shabbat

This home video explores the custom of refraining from speaking between washing one’s hands and making the blessing over the bread. Referencing a wide variety of halachic sources, Rabbi Drew Kaplan describes several different customs, as well as the reasoning behind them. Despite the video being

Why Do We Not Speak Inbetween Washing Our Hands and Eating Bread?

Why Do We Not Speak Inbetween Washing Our Hands and Eating Bread?

In this clear video, Orthodox Rabbi Simon Harris of Wembley United Synagogue describes the halachic development of the custom of not speaking between the ritual hand-washing and eating bread. Rabbi Harris sites many of the different rabbinic sources in which this practice is discussed, rendering

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

Click here to show less Informative Articles & Videos content

What else?

Click here to show more What else? content

Hand-Washing Blessing in ASL

Hand-Washing Blessing in ASL

This video demonstrates how to sign the ritual hand-washing blessing in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their practice more inclusive. While there are no subtitles, there is an audio of

Ritual Hand-Washing Meditation

Ritual Hand-Washing Meditation

In this short meditative practice, June Kozak Kane suggests intentions which one can ponder while performing the ritual hand-washing in order to make this act more meaningful. Although the author is specifically referring to the hand-washing upon waking, where one washes each hand alternately three

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

This short home video compares the different customs of washing one’s hands after waking up and before eating bread. Although the same blessing is recited in both cases, the order in which the hands are washed is different. Both hand-washing rituals are concerned with purity,

Click here to show less What else? content