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Negel Vasser seems impossible

I wash negel vasser in the morning after I get dressed make my bracha on my tzitzis and go to the bathroom. Apparently I got it all backwards, really one should immediately wash his hands and make a netilas yedayim upon putting their feet on the ground, withot walking 4 amos which I am told is about 8 feet give or take a little. I am also told that I cannot take the water to wash negel vassr with from the bathroom. Furthermore I am also shocked to find out that on the 6th page of the Shulchan Orech it mentions the laws of negel vasser and their importance. In the Kitzur Shulchan Orech it mentions this halacha on the fourth page.

I got to thinking in the past couple days about the importance of this halacha while not wanting to get out of bed to say kriays shema on time. My roommate comes barging in with the nus and uhs referring to my hands full of tuma about to say shema which is totally assur. It got me to thinking how much wrong I really do and how hard of a mitzvah or halacha negel vasser is. Maybe its from all this Tanya I have been learning or maybe its just from general willpower to improve my self but I want to rock the negel vasser. The more I think about it the more I realize its near impossibility for most folks.

My roommate went on a rant tonight about how I could have gone to black hat yeshiva and not have ever been taught this basic yet difficult halacha. Its true that I dont remember having learned it and know of very few people that keep this mitzvah to the tune of placing a basin with the washing cup in it by their bed, aI always used to think that was kind of chumra and all those people who had a bowl with a cup of water by their beds were nuts and too frum. I still wonder how many folks actually keep the water by their bed, so before they touch their eyes or go to the bathroom they have washed? Furthermore how many people actually wash every time they use the bathroom or scratch their heads or touch their shoes?

Are my worries of stepping into the cup in the middle of night while rushing for a midnight pee unfounded? Am I just being lazy and letting the yetzer harah dictate which mitzvos I choose to tackle based on their easiness? Is the true way of negel vasser really that hard? My roommate washes every single time he goes to the bathroom in the night, meaning he must wash and change the water and he says you cant take it from the bathroom making the process even more time consuming and frustrating when one just wants to hop back into bed. Please any comments or tips are appreciated.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • January 17, 2007, 7:33 AM

    If I’m not mistaken, washing near the bed is a chassidic chumrah, but I could be totally wrong.

    The other day I heard a little girl from BP relating the following heart wrenching anecdote:
    “One day I didn’t want to wash negel vasser by my bed and my mommy said that she had a friend who always forgot to wash n”g and one day she went to sleep and didn’t wake up in the morning”

    Some chinuch, eh?

  • January 17, 2007, 1:47 PM

    Negel Vassar is pretty lame. Tumah on the hands? Puleeeease. There are more important mitzvahs. Stop focusing on all the superstitious mumbo jumbo in your yiddishkeit.

  • January 17, 2007, 5:12 PM

    Lots of mumbo jumbo, but the question still stands if it was mumbo jumbo- why would it be one of the first halachas that the Shulchan Orech mentioned- last time I checked we did hold of him correct?

  • January 17, 2007, 6:38 PM

    “Furthermore I am also shocked to find out that on the 6th page of the Shulchan Orech it mentions the laws of negel vasser and their importance. In the Kitzur Shulchan Orech it mentions this halacha on the fourth page.”

    Stop showin’ off! This post reminds me of my creepy British dorm counselor from Yeshiva in Israel. When he would wake me up in the morning i would always start rubbing my eyes. He would then proceed to scream, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! DONT TOUCH YOUR EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    Ruach hatumah kinda freaked him out.

  • January 18, 2007, 8:41 AM

    I think that we should always be working to improve our observance of the mitzvot, but we can’t take on do to all the mitzvot pefectly, all at the same time.

    How do we know which mitzvah is more important than another? We don’t. We can only choose which one we decide to “work on first” — and I guess that decision should be made with the guidance of a Rabbi who knows you well and has an idea of which part of your observance you need to strengthen more.

    So for now, if you this is the mitzvah you want to focus on improving — then do it. Or, leave this one for now and focus on doing another one. Or ask your Rabbi for advice on what mitzvah you should work on.

  • January 19, 2007, 2:27 AM

    Yup, the bowl by the side of the bed thing is actually in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, or is the Shulchan Aruch? Either way, it’s not a chumra. And if you don’t want to step in it in the middle of the night, just slide it under the bed. The Kitzur actually says to use it, but if you don’t have one you can go to the bathroom and just wash there. The thing about “all of this” is that there is an easy way – find out what you need to do, and simply make it your second nature. The reality of it is that many of these important yet small Halachot are actually very easy. Can I add a link to your site to my blog? It’s http://www.jew-is-beautiful.blogspot.com? Thanks, Shabbat Shalom…

  • JoJo November 13, 2007, 9:31 PM

    You cant use water from the bathroom? This is news to me.
    I wake up, go to the bathroom, neigal vas, go outside to say the brochos, come back in, dry my hands, and use the toilet.

  • heshman November 14, 2007, 1:07 AM

    Apparently you actually could use water from the bathroom- this is according to the new book by Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen on the laws of daily living, since nowadays bathrooms are not what they used to be, and are used for multiple purposes.

  • Devorah November 14, 2007, 2:46 AM

    I keep the water by my bed, and was told by my Rov to wash when I wake up in the night to take care of a baby too. I learned that you actually shouldn’t put the bowl under your bed, but I honestly don’t remember why. And taking water from the bathroom is only okay if you have a door between the toilet/shower area and the sink area that you close when you wash. Many people who build homes are starting to incorporate this into at least the master bath and the guest powder room. (I was told this by a Rov who consults on mikvah design around the world — he has shuls make their mikvah prep bathrooms this way.)

    I was taught (1) modeh ani, (2) wash by the bed, (3) bathroom needs including rinsing mouth, (4) wash in kitchen w/ brocho, then bircos hashachar & davening. The reason we can say modeh ani in bed is because Hashem’s name isn’t in it, but we rinse our mouth in the morning before we say His name — this is why you’re supposed to spit a little before brochos on a taanis, since you can’t rinse your mouth.

    Don’t let it all get you down — if you’re asking it means you care and want to know more, and we all have mitzvahs we’re working on! 🙂

  • Heterim are for Hippies June 18, 2008, 10:18 PM

    I’m pretty sure I heard the zohar says you get kares for puting your feet on the ground before washing negel vasser.

  • Mikeinmidwood June 30, 2008, 10:02 PM

    the Zohar also says that if you touch your eyes they start not doing their job.

  • Chana September 7, 2008, 12:43 AM

    I keep negel vasser by my bed… and I thought that you wash first with no bracha, get dressed, go to the bathroom, then wash again and say the bracha…. But who knows? I’ve defenitely been wrong before.

  • Rentsy December 11, 2008, 11:48 PM

    I took this very seriously when I first learned it. Unfortunately, it became harder and harder for my 12-year old self, and eventually I gave up.

    You might inspire me to give this another go.

  • Anonymous January 12, 2009, 7:16 AM

    its not so hard, i think not using from the bathroom is just a chumra- be careful that cellphones and ipods that may be in close proximity to your bed, don’t fall in, but don’t put the water under your bed!

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